In a world where the ascent is concentrated on physical attributes, the major focus in the 1st An-nual Miss Teen Dream USA Pageant will not be on external beauty but on the “aura that is inside.” Par-ticipants are encouraged to “come as you are” and enjoy “being you.” The pageant will be held Dec. 7 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. For more information, please visit www.missteendreamusa.com or call 678-808-9850.
The Miss Teen Dream USA Pageant hopes to bring a fresh dimension to the pageant element by allowing each of the contestants to recognize their aspirations and their need to see themselves as valuable individuals within their communities. The pageant is integral in helping to build confident, self-assured young ladies for tomorrow’s generation.
Self-esteem has been directly connected to an individual’s sense of self-worth, the activities they participate in, their own personal perception and their ultimate levels of confidence.
In an age where social media, movies and television measure young girls for their exterior and promote unobtainable body images and flawed morals, the Miss Teen Dream USA Pageant is geared to support young girls and teenagers from all backgrounds and cultures to “come as they are.” It will address such issues as low self-esteem and confidence-building in an event that celebrates natural talent, intellect, personality, etiquette, social graces and wholesome beauty “inside and out.”
The founder of the Miss Teen Dream USA Pageant is British-born Audrey Beharie. Beharie is a former Miss Afro West-Indies pageant titleholder and an ex-model who trained at the London Academy of Modeling by celebrity modeling coach, writer and body language expert Judi James, who has trained big names in the industry including Naomi Campbell.
It was difficult for Beharie growing up in the 60s in London, and she underwent tremendous amounts of bullying, intimidation and harassment for the fact that she was different to the others around her. As a result, she suffered severe self-esteem issues. However, after entering and winning the coveted Miss Afro West-Indies pageant in 1981, everything drastically changed. The pageant al-lowed Beharie to discover the wealth of being confident in her own self and now, armed with her expert coaching, confidence-building and etiquette training given during her reign, she was able to use these skills throughout her life to enlighten, encourage, enrich and embrace the unique qualities within young girls from all walks of life. This culminated in her eventually launching the Miss Teen Dream Pageant in the UK.
“I am passionate about making a difference, and if I am able to change the life and perception of just one young girl and the way they look at themselves then, for me, this is a job well done,” Beharie said. “We receive no financial help right now, but this still does not deter me from my primary aim, hope and prayer, which is to be able to create workshops and programs addressing the issues that young girls face on a daily basis and, eventually, take it around the country – mentoring, nurturing and en-couraging and providing a light to youngsters everywhere because ‘from small acorns great oaks grow.’”