The modern day pageant can be traced to the United States and the 1921 Miss America Pageant.

Hollywood films and newsreels helped spread the idea to different countries in the 1930s and 1940s.
And they landed their way to North Dakota in 1949.

In a pageant young women are all in one space competing for the same prize, but each contestant has a why.

Why did you start competing in pageants?

“I had always thought about doing them and I had been intrested in it but I didn’t really ever think I was going to do one, I actually recieved a flyer in the mail that basically said you could be the next miss north dakota or teen USA//I had just asked mom if I can be in it she said sure as long as you find a way to pay for everything yourself,” Abigail Pogatshnik, Miss North Dakota 2018.

“It was kinda just something that got started when I was younger//and I was at such an influential age in my life that when I realized this wasn’t just my mom gettting to doll me up and put me on a horse..”
Here in North Dakota there is a variety of pageants to choose from including regular pageants state pageants and even rodeo based pageants,” says Elise Burwell, Miss Rodeo North Dakota.

In a state pageant women are juged on their talent, evening wear, interview and physical fitness, along with having a personalized platform.

As far as rodeo pageants, women are then juged on appearance, personality, public speaking, current event awareness, and unique to Miss Rodeo America… rodeo knowledge, presentation, and horsemanship.

Rodeo pageants are specifically important in our state.

“North Dakota is the number one leader in a lot of different agriculture productions, and North Dakota is founding on that ranching and farming herritage,” Burwell says.

So by having ambassadors like Miss Rodeo North Dakota, she says keeps the future and culture of western noth dakota and ag life alive.

A pageant queen is a role model to all young ladies, says our local queens, they are expected to hold themselves with grit and grace.

But by doing so they are not only teaching a lesson to those watching, but they are learning themselves Miss North Dakota 2018, Abigail Pogatshnik says.

“I became unapolgetically myself throught the time I was competing in pageants”
Even though sometimes people don’t understand, says Pogatshnik.

“One of the things I prided myself in during the time I was competing, when I had the title and now is just proving people wrong about that stigma that social media and movies and tv have made around the pageant industry,” Burwell says.

“My friends think a little bit silly and crazy because I am gone alot, I am always on the road”
Pageant life has impacted the life of so many young ladies, and here in North Dakota, the leaders birthed from these pageants say they wish to encourage all,” Pogatshnik says.

With the celebrarion of National Pageant Day during the week our ND Queens told KX they want our viewers and young girls watching aspiring to wear a crown one day to always be sure to stay true to your self, nurture your mental health and just be you, unapologetically.