Two local students each hope the glass slipper fits her when Miss Teen Texas USA 2020 is chosen in a pageant to be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 in Houston.
Jadyn Pittman, representing Friendswood, got her feet wet last year by competing as Miss Teen Southeast Texas USA, but the 17-year-old senior at Bay Area Christian School has been entering beauty pageants since age 1.
“I have loved it ever since,” said the daughter of Troy and Lori Pittman. The tap dancer, who is a member of her school’s varsity cheerleading team and National Honor Society, has won prestigious international titles in the Cinderella pageant system.
Gwendolyn Diaz, 16, is a Cinderella herself, having played the ultimate fairy-tale princess her freshman year in the musical “Into the Woods” at Episcopal High School in Houston. The daughter of Brad and Rosy Diaz of Pearland will represent her hometown in the state teen pageant a few days after Thanksgiving.
Miss Teen Pearland USA
Gwendolyn Diaz is new to the USA system, but before Taylor Kessler, Miss Texas USA 2020, won her crown, Kessler helped Diaz choose her evening gown at Muzzie’s, a popular dress shop in northwest Houston where Kessler worked.
“Taylor is so sweet; she helped me pick the perfect formal gown,” said Diaz. “I didn’t feel pressured at all. She would say, ‘I love this, but I think we can find something better.’ She did not let me leave until we found ‘the one,’ and it was one of those moments. Neither of us could say why, but we both just knew. Going in, I said I didn’t want a white dress, but I picked a white dress — oh my gosh, it sparkles; it makes me feel like a princess.”
In addition to fitness and evening gown modeling, there is an interview category; so Diaz also had to choose an interview outfit.
“I wanted something more vintage because I am into ‘older school,’” she said. “Finally, I found an outfit that’s royal purple, and it looks like it came out of the ’50s.”
Previously, Diaz represented Pearland at the finals of the National American Miss competition in Anaheim, Calif., where she sang “Much More” from the off-Broadway classic “The Fantasticks” and placed second runner-up in the talent competition.
Miss Teen Friendswood USA
Jadyn Pittman plans to tell the judges at Miss Teen Texas USA 2020 about her platform, which she calls “Find Your Ideal Career.”
“My mission is to encourage young people to follow their dreams and live their dreams,” she said.
“For starters, we are pressured into going to four-year colleges when that isn’t necessarily the best path for everyone. My dad and I were driving down the road and saw a real estate agent’s picture on a billboard. We looked at each other and said, ‘That’s got to be it.’”
She was further encouraged to learn that Miss Texas USA 2018, Logan Lester, is a successful Realtor.
“She was roommates at one point with Madison Lee, who says she is super-sweet,” said Pittman, explaining that she and Lee were both queens in the Cinderella system.
Lee, who was Miss Teen Texas USA 2012, also became a Houston Texans cheerleader, a position that Pittman aspires to.
“This spring, I will be trying out,” she said.
The state pageant brings together dozens of teenage girls from across the state for a weekend of fun and competition at the Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel.
During the preliminary show, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, each contestant will be judged in fitness attire and evening gown, with winners announced for the top vote-getters in photogenic and fitness categories.
In the finals, the next day at 2 p.m., 16 semifinalists will compete in fitness and gown. Five finalists will be selected, then the winner will be chosen to succeed the reigning queen, Kennedy Edwards, who competed last year as Miss Teen Houston USA.
Kessler will co-host the shows with pageant personality Albert Soliz.
Miss Congeniality will be chosen by her fellow contestants.
The People’s Choice Award will allow fans to vote for their favorite contestant — $1 per vote — with each donation benefiting the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation. The People’s Choice Award winner will automatically advance to the semi-finals.
The new Miss Texas Teen USA 2020 will claim a prize package that includes jewelry, travel, wardrobe items and the honor of representing the Lone Star State at Miss Teen USA.
Tickets can purchase at www.MissTexasUSA.com.
For further details, call 281-493-4100.
Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be contacted at [email protected]
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