When Carly Hartman, 19, first envisioned creating a pageant, she wasn’t thinking about the typical beauty contest. She wanted to put on an event that would empower young women. The idea arose after after she dropped out of the Miss Los Angeles pageant last year. “I just realized that this wasn’t for me,” said the Moorpark College graduate. “I was raised with morals and awesome values and decided to drop out. I thought, ‘why don’t I create my own [pageant].”
And at the age of 18, she did just that. Calling the event Pageant 360, she describes it as a presentation about modesty and the “whole girl.” The Calabasas resident hopes her program will inspire young women, ages 14-24, to become confident future movers and shakers. Hartman employed the support of fellow girlfriends from her church to help out.
“Our contestants are judged on inner beauty, not outer beauty,” she said. In fact, she refers to her judges as “mentors,” who will be scattered throughout the audience rather than evidently sitting out front as to not intimidate the girls.
According to Hartman, the girls with the highest score in talent, poise, posture, intellectual skills and physical fitness will be crowned. At the end of the show, one Miss and one Teen will each take home a $500 cash prize. “Our goal is to make each and every contestant shine on stage and help them reach their full potential,” she said. “From this experience, our girls will gain public speaking skills, confidence, improved self-esteem and patience.”
Jaime Goldstein, recreation specialist for the City of Agoura Hills, was so impressed with Hartman’s pageant that she requested that the City sponsor and host it at the Recreation and Event Center.
“The City is currently implementing new teen programming at our new facility and the tie in was perfect,” said Goldstein. “We are working on getting teens to be more actively involved in the community by offering more programming. More importantly, the message behind Pageant 360 is one we can all support.
Hartman is actively seeking girls and young women to apply. “We have an early bird registration special that is a suggested donation of $50 until June 30,” she said. The donation price raises to $100 after that.
New this year will be a conference the week prior to the event that focuses on training the girls to gain “confidence skills, entrepreneurial skills, talent skills and public speaking skills,” Hartman said. “It is important that we teach them this the week before, so that they are ready and equipped for the pageant day.”
There will also be vendors onhand who will start selling a few hours before the pageant. “… so it’ll be a nice ‘night out’ on the town,” Hartman said.
“We want to inspire these young women to be strong leaders and world changers,” Hartman said. “In Pageant 360, the girls are able to openly share their morals and values. When they get comfortable doing this … they will gain the confidence to take their boldness into the real world and their field of study.”