The natural.You’ve seen her. She sashayed into the competition with an ease and grace about her. She was sweet. She was personable. She had a killer smile. And you (as her competitor) thought, “Uh oh.” Why? Because she was good. Like… really good. And if anybody deserved the highest marks in the pageant, in the show, in the stratosphere… well, it was her. Why again, you ask? Because she’s the natural. She’s also JaTaune Bosby, a Miss Illinois (Miss America Organization) Top 5 phenom whose stage presence, beauty, and genuine spirit is not lost on any audience member or judge. This week, JaTaune divulges her competition wisdom and tells us just what has to be in her pageant bag.
1)What is your preparation routine for pageants and do you see more competitions in your future? 

Whether it’s 6 months out or one week until the big day, it’s essential to stay ready. Prep has to be Purposeful, Reflective, Empowering and Peaceful. My prep is focused on feeling good about every aspect of competition. It’s about keeping up with current events, making sure my presentation is indicative of who I am and is represented throughout competition. Most importantly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mentally, physically and spiritually is essential to my shine! Although I’ve retired, pageantry has afforded me with many great opportunities that have been a great catalyst for my personal and professional development. From public speaking to grasping a better understanding of who I am and what I exude, my pageant experience has been an integral part of my growth. It’s truly been a blessing!


2)What sparked your interest in pageants and how did you break into the industry?

My mother put me in my first pageant at the age of 12 because I was extremely shy and barely spoke in public. Once I got to college, I needed scholarship money and I liked to perform, so I figured it’d be a great experience! Little did I know I would have the privilege of representing my university as Miss UAB 2010. This became my first exposure to the Miss America Organization. The following year I advanced to the Miss Illinois pageant in my home state. My journey has been a rewarding and valuable learning experience.  

3)What was the best piece of advice someone gave you, and what advice do you have for any girls getting into pageantry?

Pageantry, like any hobby or sport, takes practice. You have to know and understand the fundamentals to be successful. Once you expose and educate yourself on the system you’re competing in, you can determine what your goals are. Your authenticity is what sets you apart. 
My best advice to young women with an interest in pageantry is to have a good understanding of who you are before competing. This allows you to build upon your foundation and personal brand. Despite the crown or banner, you must be able to take something positive from the experience, and apply it to your next endeavor.   

4)What has been your most effective fundraising technique for a competition?

Fundraising can be one of the most difficult aspects of pageantry. I find that informing people of your goals throughout your journey is essential. When people know what you’re trying to do, they want to assist in your progression. Emails and social networking via, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube allows you to get your message out. 
In addition, incentives for businesses are a great way to utilize resources. Providing businesses with exposure through Facebook or Twitter statues, and YouTube promos can be mutually beneficial. 

5)What HAS to be in your pageant bag?
My pageant bag MUST HAVE the following:
– Various shades of pink and red lipstick
– Water
– LASHES!
– IPod or phone with my “pag-zone” tunes…i.e. Lots of Beyoncé to keep me strut   
  ready and some Sarah Vaughn for vocal inspiration.
– A note to self: “Smile and in all thy ways acknowledge Him!”


Quick Facts!

Name: JaTaune Bosby

Hometown: Romeoville, IL 

Education:Undergrad- (UAB) University of Alabama-Birmingham: Political Sci. & Legal Affairs 
Grad- Northwestern University- M.S. Corporate Communication & Leadership

Titles:  

Miss UAB 2010
Miss Illinois Valley 2011
Miss Illinois Preliminary Swimsuit Winner
Miss Illinois 2nd Runner-Up

Organizations: Boys and Girls Clubs of America- Preparing Today’s Youth for the Brightest Future Tomorrow

Contact: jbosby@gmail.com

Imani Josey

Imani is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating Howard University in Washington, DC, Imani received her Masters from Northwestern University. Sometime during all of that studying, she danced professionally for the Chicago Bulls as a (Luvabulls) cheerleader, and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Read her short story “North” in the forthcoming Hidden Youth anthology, out November 2016 by Crossed Genres.

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