Compiled by Grace Ding
The Oracle: Why did you originally begin participating in beauty pageants?
Lily Liu: Because I’m pretty tall, a lot of people were like you should do pageants or you should do modeling and things like that. I wasn’t really sure if that was for me at first, but I knew some friends who did it before, so that’s why I was like, maybe I should try it out.
TO: When did you start participating in beauty pageants?
LL: I actually started in 2015. The first pageant I went to was called the Sing Tao Daily. They’re a newspaper company and they’re pretty big on pageants and things like those. I joined in June of 2015 and I was the Miss June Cover Girl. Later on, I joined the Miss World Fashion Beauty Pageant and I won second place [first runner-up] in the U.S. region. In the final worldwide region, I won Best Talent.
TO: How do you typically prepare and rehearse for pageants?
LL: It really depends on the organization for the pageant. For Sing Tao, their big event is in December, so you have to go to a lot of practice in the weeks before that. For the other com- petitions I went to, it really depends. You have to go because it kind of reflects on your final show. For Sing Tao, we had to do a group dance so then if you don’t go to the practices, you can’t really do it.
TO: How do you compete at pageants?
LL: Technically, many of the pageants are the same, where it’s self-introduction, walkway-runway kinds of things, and then Q&A in an evening gown, where they ask you a bunch of random questions and then you’re supposed to answer them within a minute or something like that. For big worldwide ones, they have a swimwear walk, too. ere’s also talent [performances], but it’s always optional.
TO: What’s your favorite thing about pageants?
LL: Well, you gain a lot of confidence through the experience. You also meet a lot of friends and get a lot of opportunities.
TO: Do you have any advice to potential new participants?
LL: I think the most challenging part about pageants is the Q&A. You have to prepare yourself for it, because sometimes they might ask political questions. Also, always be yourself. In one of my Q&A’s, I got a question asking what I thought about plastic surgery. And I forgot what I said word-to-word, but I remember saying how you should just be yourself because you’re beautiful and true.
TO: What do you think you have gained from your experience with beauty pageants?
LL: Before, I would say that I was kind of shy. I didn’t really know how to talk to other people. But now, I can talk confidently and express myself in a way that would be different from before.
TO: Do you plan on participating in more beauty pageants in the future?
LL: I think the one I just attended was my last one. It gets kind of busy for school, especially at Gunn. I think since I already won a world-wide one and many pageants are regional or local, there aren’t a lot of other pageants I can do. ere might be a possibility that I will compete in U.S. Miss Teen California, but that’ll probably be after my senior year. If I find a good organization, I might continue to participate in pageants in college.