Students interested in fashion, beauty or with a competitive spirit may find themselves drawn to the Miss Tennessee pageant taking place on Saturday, March 11, at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore Ava Bailey will be competing in the upcoming Miss Tennessee pageant. Though performing in pageants is deep rooted in some people’s heritage, this will be Bailey’s first time competing in a beauty pageant of any kind.
“I grew up watching ‘Toddlers in Tiaras,’ but I’ve never done a pageant before,” said Bailey.
Bailey has chosen to compete in the Miss Tennessee pageant under the name Miss Scenic City to represent Chattanooga.
“I applied in the first week of January after I saw the pageant promoted on TikTok or Instagram. I really didn’t think I would be picked; I just thought it would be fun to apply. Then my application was accepted and I was registered for the competition,” said Bailey when discussing her introduction to pageants.
Bailey, a Chattanooga native, is a 2021 graduate of East Hamilton High School and is on pace to graduate UTC in 2025.
A business management analytics major, Bailey is extremely involved in extracurricular activities at UTC. She is an orientation leader, a Chancellor’s Ambassador, the sisterhood chairwoman for the Sigma Kappa sorority, a student government marketing assistant, a member of the Panhellenic Judicial Board and the Queer Education chair at the Center for Women and Gender Equity.
Unlike most pageants, the Miss Tennessee pageant does not contain a talent portion. “I sing and play guitar, but they removed the talent portion this year,” Bailey said.
There are three equally scored categories: personal interview, evening gown and swimsuit. The judging criteria includes poise, character, confidence and personality.
The Miss Tennessee pageant is intended to encourage young women to empower themselves and reach their full potential. The National American Miss Association describes each pageant contestant as a trailblazer leading the way for future successes.