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National Down Syndrome Society
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The Pageant
The Pageant

Imagine me, Christy Bates, competing in a Beauty Pageant. Well, it is true. It really happened and not once but twice, in 1995 and 1996. I was 19 and 20 at the time. The pageant was called the Miss Illinois American Coed Pageant and it was held in Chicago at the Marriott O'Hare Hotel. Someone recommended me to the pageant and they sent me information and invited me to compete. One thing about pageants, they keep you very busy and you get very little sleep. Every day we were kept busy with interviews, dance rehearsals, dance competitions, and evening gown competitions. My mom helped me a lot with practicing my interviews and rehearsing my dance. My parents always believe in me and help me reach my goals. My talent was dance and I performed an interpretive dance to "A Whole New World" in front of several thousand people. It was very exciting. My dad was my escort in the evening gown competition. My blue evening gown was hand made for me by a friend of our family. I also got to wear a tiara with my gown. I won two awards at the pageant. One was for Miss Photogenic, and I won a really big trophy for the runner up for the Hostess award. The pageants were a wonderful experience for me and I will never forget them. I learned a lot and it gave me many more opportunities to do modeling and dance. Today, I travel around and tell my story and encourage others to reach for the stars and to be all you can be.

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Comments (1,000 character limit)

Grace Courville , United States, SC
11/16/2016 8:44:27 AM
Hello Miss Bates! I am truly inspired by your story, I am currently doing an end of semester project on child beauty pageants and I would love to get more insight on your story and how pageants helped your confidence. Thanks so much!

boby williams, United Kingdom,
2/25/2014 7:12:19 AM
I think this story is very insperational. This girl is reaching for her dreams no matter the circumnstance and sterio typical views on down syndrome. She is a great model for kids, and a very strong independent woman.

monica, South Africa,
4/6/2013 9:07:17 AM
What an inspirational story Christy. You give us lots to look forward to with our daughter - Jordana-Jade!

Nettie DeWeese, United States, IL
3/28/2013 8:26:03 PM
I heard about your story, Christy, from my boss, Jean Bielfeldt. :) It is wonderful that you have decided to enter in such a contest and I wish you luck! :)

Samantha Quigle, United States, IL
3/28/2013 6:56:36 PM
Inspiring - Motivating - Moving - Transforming - You do it all, Christy!!!

Caryl Hoffman, United States, IL
3/27/2013 3:40:56 PM
Wonderful story

Rebecca Young, United States, IL
3/27/2013 3:39:36 PM
Amazing Story

Jean Bielfeldt, United States, IL
3/25/2013 9:34:28 PM
Christy I just smiled and beamed within when I watched your video, you have it all you are beautiful outside and in.

donna o anhalt, United States, IL
3/25/2013 12:51:54 PM
Cristy has been an absolute joy to work with in Seedling Theatre. She is charming, friendly, and has a wonderful work ethic . The best of luck to you, Christy!

Ann Hamer, United States, IL
3/24/2013 7:27:05 AM
Christy, Was delighted to see your photo in this article. You are a beautiful, sweet, young woman.

Toni Grace, United States, TX
3/21/2013 9:46:01 PM
A wonderful and inspiring story of a beautiful and gifted young woman!! I am so proud of you and love you very much!!

Berandette Hunsicker, United States, NJ
3/21/2013 3:23:53 PM
Congratulations and best wishes for a bright and happy future!

Deb Presley, United States, IL
2/26/2013 12:27:00 PM
Way to go, Christy!

maylynn desoto, United States, LA
8/7/2011 11:42:22 PM
I have a little girl with Down Syndrome and she is five years old and i would love to get her into a pagent.That way she may meet other kids like her.She is my lil monkey.

Kelli Appel , United States, IL
12/4/2011 4:35:07 PM
It sounds like you made memories to last forever.

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