We caught up with the newly crowned Sheri Harvery, Miss Atlantic 2021/22 for some of her tips on being a pageant lady of substance, how she plans to use her title and her journey to the Miss Atlantic crown.
How many times did you compete for your title?
This was my second attempt for the Miss Atlantic title after placing top 5 the previous year.
What does your system stand for and why is this important to you?
Miss Atlantic stands for making waves in pageantry. I interpret this as breaking pageant stereotypes and being truly yourself. Making enough noise and movement to cause big changes around you. This is important to me because pageants are still looked down at by people who don't understand them. To be able to be part of the movement to break down the barriers is important to me.
Can you tell me a bit about your chosen platform?
My chosen platform is Caring4Childhood, something I have been working on for close to a year. With the aim to raise awareness to the effort that being a young carer has on their childhood. I struggled when I was younger trying to balance social and school around my caring responsibilities, which made things very difficult for me. I want to educate those around Young Carers such as peers and teachers on how they can help someone like me. I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with my local carers centre and be able to take my platform into schools to educate.
What do Beauty Pageants mean to you and how would you define them?
Beauty pageants are a platform for women everywhere to help grow within themselves as well as promote their advocate for change. They create bonds and sisterhoods between like minded people you would usually get to meet. They are a brilliant example of women support women. Beauty pageants have given me the confidence to come out of my shell and be happy in who I am as a person.
When did you enter your first beauty pageant and why?
I entered my first pageant after years of bullying, I wanted to prove to myself if what everyone had been saying was true or not. I needed a confidence boost in a way. I found a pageant competition being advertised online and decided to send my photo in. I ended up winning that online competition and that was back in 2013, in 2015 I saw an advert for a live pageant final and decided to try my luck and to push myself out of my comfort zone. I made it through to the finals and 4 years later after competing in different systems I joined the Miss Atlantic system. Then with training from Rachael Tate, determination and some incredible people by my side I never stopped and became Miss Atlantic 2021/22.
What is something important you would tell a newcomer to Beauty Pageants?
Speak to a pageant coach, I remember my first pageant. I had no idea what was happening or what to do. I feel competing out of my depth, luckily there are incredible women in pageantry who will take you under the wing and help you with the basics. However a pageant coach can at least answer any questions and be able to do into more details of what a pageant is. Then do your research, find a pageant that fits your ethos and morals.
Click here to find a coach for you - www.pageantland.online/pageantcoaches
What is the most important thing you have done or will be doing with your current title?
Being Miss Atlantic has given me a larger platform to be able to push my platform Caring4Childhood national. Being able to raise awareness for Young Carers is something close to my heart, and to me one of the most important things I will be doing. I also can’t wait to support all the other incredible women on their journeys for their dreams.
Do you think it is important for a queen to use her title to support her system and take part in community and charity work?
I believe a queen should use her title to the fullest of her capability to promote her system and their ethos. How they choose to do that is up to them. I plan to use my title as Miss Atlantic to promote my system as well as continuing my work within my community and my charity work. I have big shoes to fill in my year and hope to do my system proud.
What qualities do you think a competitor needs to win a crown?
The main qualities of anyone competing I believe are empathy, determination and confidence. Empathy so that you can understand another’s point of view, be able to be happy for others as well as understand while you receive your dream others are going to be disheartened. Determination to not give up on what you believe in, to have the strength to grow and work hard for your dreams. Then confidence in yourself to be able to hold your head high and walk into a room unafraid.
Do you think a queen is a role model and has responsibilities connected with that?
I believe so to be a queen you are taking on a title and becoming the face of your system, with that comes the responsibilities that people will look to you as someone they would like to follow in your footsteps. Although you may hold a division title you will have women of all ages looking at you as a role model.
How would you explain Beauty Pageants to someone who has never experienced one?
Beauty pageant is a group of women empowering and supporting each on their own journeys. While we compete for titles and crowns. We also make friends for life, from all backgrounds and from around the world. We learn valuable life lessons that help us in our day to day, beauty pageants will help you grow as a person if you allow yourself to enjoy the experience.
What's been your greatest learning experience from pageantry?
Learning to love myself. For years I was never truly with how I looked or who I was. Pageants started helping me find my passions, my confidence to speak to others and then the past year it taught me I know when I need to ask for help. Which brought Pageant Coaching Academy and Warhorse Training into my life to help push me in the right direction to change the negativity I felt into positivity.
What was running through your head when your name was announced as the winner?
The first thing I thought I had was, ‘was that my name?’ It was my name, my whole house erupted in screams and shouts. I couldn’t believe it, I still can’t. I had been dreaming about being Miss Atlantic for 27 months. Now that dream is a reality. It was very overwhelming. It took a long time to stop my crying.
Who is your Beauty Pageant inspiration?
There are so many incredible women in pageantry that inspire me. I think there’s one that will always hold a place in my journey which is Emma Collingridge, she’s the reason I still compete. We met back in 2015 at my first ever pageant, no idea what I’m doing but she took the time to help me understand and was my first friend in pageants.
Can you tell us more about your sister queens?
Already in the short time we’ve been sister queens we’ve started to bond. Already supporting each other’s campaigns and platforms, and just getting to know each other! I’m excited for the events we’re all going to attend together and enjoy our year together. Let not forget of course our queens shoot and The Ritz trips!
We look forward to following Sheri’s year as Miss Atlantic 2021/22. If your want to stay up to date with everything happen in UK pageantry make sure your sign up to our email newsletter - www.pageantland.online/newsletter plus as a thank you for signing up you will receive our Ultimate Pageant Girl Budget Plan for FREE!
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To find Sheri on socials check out:
Facebook: Sheri Harvey Pageant Journey