One teenage girl wants to change the perception of today’s pageants. She wants the world to know it’s not all about the beauty, gowns or glamour.
Her name is Kayanna Lovett. She’s a 15-year-old self-proclaimed entrepreneur and founder of Kayanna Lovett Teen (KLT) Pageants. The process of building her business started two years ago, but last year after winning second place in the Indiana Black Expo Youth Entrepreneurship Competition she was able to see it manifest.
“I have always been told I was a leader rather it was a positive or negative one. I decided to take my leadership skills and use it toward good to help young girls who deal with the same issues I do. I have a passion for pageants and telling my life story,” said Lovett a freshman at Fall Creek Academy.
This year’s KLT Pageant is entitled Miss Indy’s Dazzling Star. Their slogan is ‘we refuse to be ordinary.’ The competition consist of two divisions a Jr. Division (6th and 7th grade) and Senior Division (8th and 9th grade). The girls are judged on their personality and uniqueness in categories including personal interview, on stage question, casual wear, evening gown, talent and community service.
The crowned Miss Dazzling Star will participate in speaking engagements, events and community service throughout her reign. The queen was crowned March 17th. Every contestant received an award.
At KLT Pageants not wearing makeup is not only an option, it’s encouraged.
“I say let your looks define who you are not Mary Kay or Mac. Everybody is a winner and will receive an award. I want to teach my girls even if you don’t win you’re still a queen. I’ve participated in pageants and didn’t win, but that did not affect me. I want my girls to be the same way,” she said.
Although Lovett exudes positivity, she still deals with the same issues other teens experience. Her life took a turn for the worst earlier this year when she was expelled from school for fighting. The altercation stemmed from her being bullied.
“I’ve had issues in school. I felt like I wasn’t a leader because I just got expelled for fighting,” she said. “It affected me a lot. But now I’m back and determined to work hard so I can attend Howard University in the future.”
Lovett admits it was hard juggling school, pageant practice, business, checking on the girls and maintaining her social life. She admitted some weeks resulted in her contemplating her decision to continue Miss Dazzling Star.
“It’s all so demanding, ” she said. “People say running a business is really hard, and I have to agree with that. I am taking away an awesome experience and working with amazing girls.”
Confidence has taken her far, but it also costs her a crown before.
“A judge told me I was overconfident and it resulted in me not placing in the pageant. But me being strong minded, it didn’t affect me. I always say, never walk with your head down because your crown may fall off. I just take the constructive criticism and keep improving.”
*This was adapted from my story written for the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper.