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What is the difference between Runway Modeling and Beauty Pageants

Updated on June 26, 2010

What is the difference between runway modeling and beauty pageants

Every pageant mom wants their son or daughter to be the hottest or most beautiful or gorgeous kid on earth.  The teach them to walk, sing, dance, strutt, swish and answer questions about solving world problems.  They also fill their heads with dreams about becoming fashion models and sometimes even becoming supermodels that can do runway, catalog, live display, photographs, commercials and other forms of modeling.  The thing that Pageant Moms just don't ever get is that there is a huge difference between modeling and beauty pageants and that is that the beauty pageant is all about the person and modeling, especially runway modeling is about the product. 

Mom's train their kids to strut and sashay their way down a runway.  They teach them to walk in a bathing suit to make the bathing suit help enhance their bodies and how to flirt.  They teach them to match evening gowns to their hair, makeup and to enhance their beauty.  They make hairstyles that feature their faces and show how beautiful they are and that is because they need to do this to show why they are a beauty pageant winner. Runway models have a different goal though and this is what is almost impossible to break from a pageant contest.  The goal of the actual model and Runway model is to feature and show off the clothing and accessories, not themselves. 

Designers spend tons of money on lighting, makeup, stages, models, hairstylists, make up artists, sound directors, stage hands, etc... in order to make their clothes as presentable and appealing as possible to buyers, celebrities and socialites in their audience.  They need their clothes to stand out so that they can continue to sell their lines and stay in business so that they can create their next season.  If you have a pageant trained girl walking down the runway, they are taught to steal the stage and make it about them.  This defeats the purpose of the fashion show since the goal is to feature the clothing, not the model. 

If the model flirts, kisses and doesn't make the dress or skirt or blouse or hat work, then the designer doesn't get to sell his/her line.  This is why they tend to not take beauty pageant winners on their runways and catwalks. 

Runway models pounce, stomp and hold posture and still.  Beauty Pageant contestants swish and sway, they smile and show tons of emotions as well as keep their arms in a pose so that everything focuses back up on to them.  Runway models hold the dresses and gowns, walk to make the garments flow or show off how versatile the fabrics and cuts are and try to blend themselves into them so that the clothing stands out.  Beauty Pageant contests wear clothes that accent and make them look better while fashion and runway models get crazy makeup and hair to make them blend into the clothing and turn themselves into a piece of art. 

Beauty Pageant contests are all about the attention.  The more attention they get and the more they can keep the judges attention on them, the better chance they have of winning.  They are kind of like Drag Queens where they wear tons of make up and need attention and love to perform instead of the model who has to pass the attention onto the clothes.  The more they can show off the clothes they are wearing, the more recognition they can gain for themselves by being a model that makes designers money.  The more they can show off and sell the clothes by focusing on them, the more bookings they get and the more famous they can become. 

If Pageant Moms want their girls to grow up to be models, they have to remember to teach them the difference between pageants and runway modeling.  If they cannot separate the need for attention from themselves and learn to walk to show off an outfit then they probably will never make it in the modeling world.  Modeling headshots aren't about glamor.  Pageant head shots are all about the hair and the makeup

Go sees for models are about showing how they can walk and work the designer's clothes.  Pageant go sees for agencies want to see how they can flirt and show themselves off.  There are huge differences between runway modeling and beauty pageants and if you cannot separate the two or realize how to work each type of show, chances are you aren't made for one or the other. 


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