Albert County Pageant Queen, Miss Teen Maritime International and National Canadian Teen are some of the titles Brooklyn Wilkins wears with pride.
This July, the first-year St. Thomas University student will represent Canada on the international stage at the Royal International Miss Pageant.
“The week is going to be filled with rehearsals and little themed parties where we all get to let loose at the end of the day,” said Wilkins.
“I’m super excited and have been preparing non-stop ever since I was crowned. I cannot wait.”
Wilkins is from Albert County, New Brunswick and plans on majoring in journalism.
Her last win at the National Canadian Pageant is what qualified her to represent Canada in the 2020 Royal International Miss Pageant. By winning that National Canadian Pageant she advanced to the 2020 Royal International Miss Pageant.
Wilkins said the pageants she participates in focus on personality, community involvement, professionalism and stage confidence.
She said a major part of pageant life is interviewing. She has a few minutes to present herself to the judges and answer their questions. Questions can revolve around explaining why she deserves to win or political issues.
For the show, contestants get to introduce themselves and then participate in a fashion show. Wilkins and the other contestants practice choreography and in the process, get to know each other. They also like to explore their host town.
Being a pageant queen isn’t what Wilkins always had in mind.
“Before I started in pageants, I was in a severe state of depression, and [had] a little bit of anxiety … and because of that I didn’t have any faith in myself”
Instead of tearing each other down, Wilkins said the contestants lifted each other up.
She said after she started competing in pageants her confidence made a huge leap.
“I was able to discover what my sense of style was and through that, I learned who I was and began to love myself.”
Representing Canada at Royal International Miss means Wilkins will be competing with women from around the world.
She also wants to start a non-profit organization with money from her Royal International Miss winnings called, How to be a Royal.
“I teach them the skills that I have learned in pageantry [like] teamwork, communication, and leadership workshops,” she said.
In the next five to seven years, she hopes to be a somewhat successful journalist and have competed in the Miss Universe pageant.
Miss Universe is the most widely televised pageant and airs in over 190 countries.
Wilkins has begun fundraising for her trip to Orlando. She plans on holding different events such as fashion shows and is currently looking for sponsors.
She wants people to know pageants aren’t what they seem.
“I take any opportunity I can to help people realize that pageants aren’t their stereotype anymore.”