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Pleasureville resident and Shelby County High School graduate Megan Ducharm was one of 51 young women competing in the Miss Teen USA pageant in the Bahamas this weekend.
And while Ducharm didn’t bring home the crown, she did return with memories that will last a lifetime.
“Everyone there was really nice,” she said. “Everyone in the Bahamas was so nice.”
And while the majority of her pageant time was spent practicing or competing for the crown, Ducharm said the contestants had a few opportunities to bond and have fun.
“The first night we were there they had a pajama party with beauty Q&A,” she said.
Ducharm also said the contestants competed against each other on a giant inflatable watercourse.
However, the majority of their time in the Bahamas was spent walking the stage.
“It seemed like we were in rehearsal the whole time,” she said. “We were on a really strict schedule.”
But Ducharm said she had already made friends prior to the Miss Teen USA pageant.
“Most of the girls had already met,” she said, explaining that she had already befriended the reigning Miss Teen USA, Miss Washington Teen and Miss Maine Teen.
“So we were really close already,” she said. “All of the girls already [had] their buddies.”
Ducharm said meeting new friends was part of what made her experience so memorable.
“You meet girls from all over the country and you learn knew things,” she said.
And while she had familiar faces, like her father and boyfriend, with her, Ducharm said she could not see them until after the competition.
She explained that once the pageant began the girls could not have contact with family or pageant coaches until after it was over.
But not having contact with a coach didn’t bother Ducharm, as she had chose not to have one.
“I didn’t have any coaches, she said. “I didn’t feel like I needed them. It ends up changing you. I didn’t want someone telling me I needed to be more pageant-y,” she joked.
Ducharm said she’s never been much of a pageant girl.
“The only thing I didn’t like about [the experience] was the girls were in full hair and makeup each morning for practice and that just wasn’t me,” she said.
But hairspray and memories aren’t the only things Ducharm returned to Kentucky with.
“The first thing we wore was the same Sherri Hill dress and it was ours to keep,” she said. “After the live web stream show, we had a runway show with everyone wearing different Sherri Hill dresses that we kept [also],” she said.
“I had a makeup sponsor beforehand: Kathy Moberly,” Ducharm said. “She had already given me my makeup.”
And while Ducharm received makeup and dresses and a once and a lifetime opportunity, she said her favorite part of the experience was simply being in the Bahamas.
Following the pageant, Ducharm said she reunited with her father and boyfriend and took some time to explore the island.
“I stayed a few extra days so I had a lot of fun,” Ducharm said. “I swam with the dolphins afterwards so that was the best part. It was really good. It was different, I really loved going to the Bahamas. I’ve never been to a place where they have natural culture. It was a good experience.”
And while Ducharm said she is grateful for the experience she is uncertain whether or not she plans to continue pageants.
“I don’t know if I would do Miss USA or Miss Kentucky,” she said. “They put so much pressure on you.”