November 30, 2017
For most girls, homecoming is a chance to go out and buy a dress. They’ll wear it once, get all glammed up, and then move on with their normal, everyday lives. Chloe Zambrano, a junior, had a different experience during her dress outing last year. She realized she had uncovered a new passion and wanted to learn more about ‘pageants’ and how she could use them to make a difference in her community.
Miss Colorado Teen USA is an annual pageant that takes place to award a contestant the title and help them make an impact in their state. They have a platform in communities through charities and sponsors that provide humanitarian efforts to create a positive change.
Last year, Zambrano entered her first pageant after months of training. “I had never done anything like it,” Zambrano says, “I made it into the top five and I started thinking, ‘This is weird, I actually have a shot’.” She went on to receive first runner up last year in the pageant. After seeing how close victory was, Zambrano left the venue with motivation to push towards her dream. The competition encourages girls to tackle forms of self confidence to prepare for the competition such as eating healthy, exercising daily, and other actions to work towards improvement.
“The thing that motivated me the most was knowing what the title would allow me to do,” Zambrano’s motivation paid off this year as she took home the title of Miss Colorado Teen USA 2018. Also in the competition was fellow junior, Mercy Lee. Lee excelled as well and came in as first runner up.
“My goal is to inspire others to put themselves out there and compete. Mercy and I came from a small town and I’m super proud to say we both go to FMHS. I want other girls to compete and come home with the crown.” Winning the title gives Zambrano a platform to work with kids who have down syndrome, boost the self-confidence of people with low self-esteem and overall, have a voice in her community and her state.
Pageants have more worth than just smiling and looking pretty. One of Zambrano’s goals of winning the title is to stomp out the stigma of pageants being a platform to objectify women. The background of the pageant is to help young women realize their worth and be who they are. “Judges can tell when you’re not being yourself. I told the judges I was in love with Justin Bieber and how much Chick-fil-a I eat… the teen pageant doesn’t wear swimsuits, they wear athletic gear so it is much more than just looks,” Zambrano explains.
Another aspect of pageants is how much support and effort is put in from the people around you. Family and friends of Zambrano were a huge part of her success and why she never stopped believing in herself.
Zambrano is taking her role one step at a time to make the most difference and leave her mark on the world. “Being in the pageant has helped me become more confident and find myself. I’m excited to represent Colorado next year and for all the opportunities to come.” Follow Chloe Zambrano on her journey through her instagram page @misscoteenusa and give your input on how she can help the community. Miss Colorado pageants are now taking applications for next year’s competition.
Picture credit: Miss Colorado Pageants – Libby Watkins