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  • Writer's picturecharlotte lister

Interview with Teen Universe Illinois 2020 – Natalie Magdaleno

Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog it’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens and more about the systems that they represent.

Can you introduce yourself?

Natalie Magdaleno, Teen Universe Illinois 2020, 16 years old

What made you enter pageants ?

I started modeling when I was 14 years old and I’d just started competing for magazine covers when my director messaged me. Honestly, I’d never thought about doing pageants before that because I had very low self-esteem and I never believed that I could do it. When she reached out to me, I was a bit hesitant but with the encouragement from my family and friends, I decided to give it a try!

Can you tell us about your pageant journey so far ?

My previous title is Miss Teen Mundial Illinois 2019. It was such an incredible experience from the moment it started! I not only got the great opportunity to compete at Nationals and meet different girls from all over the United States, but also attended lots of events, was a judge for the Miss Planetary pageant, walked in parades, and met so many great people!

What made you decide to compete in the Teen Universe USA Pageant ?

My goal after competing in the Teen Mundial Pageant was to compete in the Teen Universe USA Pageant.

What is the best thing that pageants have taught you ?

Pageants have taught me so much! But if I had to choose the best thing they’ve taught me, I’d choose appreciation. I chose appreciation because you really learn to appreciate everyone who helped you get there! It also teaches you to appreciate the moment, memories, and experience overall!

What’s your pageant platform and why ?

My pageant platform is to Stop Bullying. This is something that is very important to me because when I was younger I used to get bullied. I was picked on for lots of things and this caused me to have a low self esteem. I want to be able to help in any way I can to stop bullying. I believe that in every person who is bullied there is a strength and tenacity to survive. You become a survivor, someone whose courage and spirit is far stronger than all of the hate and cruelty of their bullies, and the belief that one day at a time, they too can get through this. I truly believe that everyone deserves kindness and compassion. I want to spread this belief because I want everyone to know that there are consequences to your actions.

What’s your dream title ?

My dream title is Teen Universe USA. It would be an absolute honor to represent my country in Nicaragua next year!

If you were to win Teen Universe USA what would it mean to you ?

It would mean the world to me if I won! I’ve worked so hard these last years to be where I am and I’m extremely grateful to everyone who’s supported me through this journey, especially my family. I would be so happy to make them even more proud!

What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant contestants ?

My advice to them would be to really enjoy the experience! It is a one in a lifetime thing. Not every girl you meet gets the chance to travel to a different state and say that they made so many friendships and memories!

What have you been doing in the run up to your nationals ?

In preparation for Nationals in October, I’ve been working out, eating much healthier, and trying to help out my community during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve also been training for my pageant walk & interview portion of the pageant!

What’s your favourite ever appearance ?

I would have to say that my favorite appearance would be when I participated in the Mexican parade in Chicago. I was so proud to be there and represent my heritage. My culture is very important to me! Another great appearance I went to was when I won the Top Model of the Year Award here in Chicago. I was very honored to receive such an important recognition and the event was very fun!

How has the lockdown due to COVID19 affected your pageant journey ?

In Chicago, almost everything is shut down and no one is really able to do anything. Therefore, it’s limited my ability to accomplish a lot of things that I wanted to do with my platform. I wanted to really have a chance to show the judges what I’m passionate about through the work I would’ve done if COVID-19 had not occured.

Has your reign been extended due to COVID19?

No, it hasn’t, I got my state title right before the pandemic began. Actually, as of today, Nationals were rescheduled from August to October. Although I’m sad I have to wait longer to meet all of these beautiful girls, I’m glad that I’ll get more time to prepare!

What makes a good pageant role model ?

I think that a good pageant role model is someone who knows that it isn’t just about a crown and a sash. It’s someone who doesn’t just talk about their platform, but they actually do work to help their cause. A good pageant role model is someone who’s involved with their community and uses their title to inspire and help others!

What’s your favourite pageant round ?

My favorite pageant round is the interview! I love it because it’s the perfect chance for you to show the judges just who you really are! It’s your chance to stand out, make yourself known, and connect with them.

How do you deal with pageant nerves ?

I get really nervous! What I do to help my nerves is take some deep breaths and think about my family and friends who believe in me. I think about all of the preparation I’ve done and remember to have fun throughout it all!

Social Media Links

Facebook: Natalie Magdaleno Instagram: @Teenuniverseillinois

Thank you so much for answering my questions it’s been lovely getting to know you and your platform I wish you all the best at nationals. Much Love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.

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