One of the things I love about being a photographer who specializes in photographing women, is the fact that I am given so many opportunities to meet young women who are inspiring to me. Lydia is one of those girls. Since joining Pure International Pageants Lydia, has won numerous crowns. Currently, she is the reigning Miss Belleville in the Junior Pre-teen category. She contributes her time to more than 10 community service programs. She models for the Crawford agency, runs track and enjoys acting in school plays. That’s a lot to be involved in, for an 8th grader! (Of course, she gets a lot of loving support from her amazing parents!) I could not believe the level of maturity that she possessed, but at the same time, Lydia was fun, genuine and had a very engaging personality. Her smile lit up the room! The Pure International Pageant program is a family-owned business. Their programs focus on public-speaking and interview skills with a mission to build self-confidence and self-esteem. They strive to teach strong professional skills so each contestant can be more effective in the professional world. They encourage their contestants to inspire, lead and achieve! They also promote camaraderie and teamwork among the girls.
One of the wonderful aspects about Pure International is that they focus on natural beauty! The Tot and Little Miss divisions may not wear makeup at all. The Pre-teen division may wear light, age-appropriate makeup only and it is closely monitored. The Young miss and older divisions may also wear age-appropriate make-up only, and it is also closely monitored. Contestants must always look their age. In a world where “plastic” photoshop looks are inundating our magazines and media every day, and giving our young women a false sense of what beauty really is, I applaud this organization for helping young girls to see, and be recognized for their true beauty!
Lydia will soon be headed to the International competition, in June. Good luck, Lydia!