What is National American Miss? Another Beauty Pageant?

About a week ago while gathering my mail I tore one open that my daughter had been recommended for NAM and was invited to open call for the National American Miss.  What?  The first thing that came to my mind was SCAM.  Looking more closely at the letter it did have some well known sponsors and was accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, but before getting ahead of myself I decided to do my research.

Now, I think my daughter is the most beautiful little girl on earth, although I am a little partial:)  So I don’t believe in the Toddler in Tiara pageants where they are caked in  makeup and wearing little clothing.  National American Miss does not allow for girls under the age of 12 to wear any makeup and there are no swimsuit competitions, this is great news.

 This pageant seemed to be geared more towards building life skills like public speaking and interview skills.

My daughter had been sick the last couple of days and wasn’t really feeling up for this, but I was really interested in finding out more information on it in person, so we went to the open call, it was free and only lasted about an hour.  They interviewed each girl there only a few questions about themselves.  My daughter wouldn’t tell me the details, she was in one of her moods where it was all “blah blah blah”.  When she came back out to me in the line of girls ages 4-6 she was holding hands with a couple of the other girls and having fun!


So, it all sounds really good.  NAM is the biggest outfit right under the girl scouts and gives away 1.5 million in prizes each year!  So what’s next?  Well, in a few days we should either get a phone call saying she’s an Arizona finalist or a post card saying she’s not.  Then the work begins… she must secure sponsors to pay for her $440 registration fees!!  Wow.  We’ll see what happens, I look at it as an opportunity for my daughter to learn some great skills at an early age.    I will keep you updated on what happens!

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  1. Your daughter is a cutie! Good luck in this adventure and can’t wait to hear more!
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  2. She is beautiful! I hope to see more pageant posts soon. Good luck!

  3. She’s really adorable! Good luck with the sponsor searching! I hope she wins!
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  4. Hi, Your little princess is such a cutie! We received a letter too…. I almost threw it away thinking junk mail. We are going to check it out.
    Do you know what kind of “snappy” clothing is good for this open call? Just a cute dress???? AND if something does come of it…. how does one shop for sponsors???
    Thank you

    • They say for open call anything that you would dress them in for Church, a nice dress is perfect. As for Sponsors, they give you brochures to give out and you can make up something of your own as well. Then visit your local businesses, especially those you work with and talk to them about sponsoring your daughter.

      • Thank you soooo much and for getting back with me so quickly. Wonderful, I will be shopping for her adoption dress so hopefully it will work for two events!!! She is actually my granddaughter and I am adopting her at the end of Feb. We are very excited.

  5. NAM is totally a scam. They say they only pick the special ones to be accepted, but when we went to the “free” training we noticed that there was a ton of people that showed up. At this point I started to question NAM. We immediately got our money back. What a joke. It was totally obvious that they had “accepted” every single person that showed up…besides how could they decide in only a few minutes if a girl is qualified? The answer is that they can’t. By accepting every person that shows up you guarantee that at least you’ll get some suckers money. Yes, there are parents out there that think this is great and I say great or you, but a scam is only a good scam when you get people excited about it and willing to give money. How do you think they can afford to pay salaries and prize money? They can afford it by getting desperate people to fork out money with the hope of finding “sponsors”. (by the way, most companies now are unwilling to donate to a single person, only to an organization.)

    Also, check out Clark Howard’s website. He has a great article about modeling scams and it sounds just like NAM.


    • Mike,
      I have had the pleasure of meeting some people who have had fantastic experiences with NAM people who are not involved in the pageant in any way now because it has been a few years and they have great things to say. I say to each their own. It’s a great opportunity to teach these girls to get in front of an audience and work on their confidence and skills for the future.

      • I am currently involved with a NAM pageant(first time ever and was not going to attend under any circumstances until the night before) , and although I think there will be some who are not really going to have wonderful experiences, I think it all depends on what you make it. For our daughter, it is in lieu of a public speaking course where she learns to stand in front of people and make a quick presentation. It also is an opportunity to learn how to interview and techniques.

        Any course in this kind of thing that motivates the girls to move forward and want to succeed would cost at least this much if not more. Already our daughter’s confidence is rising way up and she carries herself differently and has learned how much the people in the community have been behind her.

        What could be wrong with that, right?

        Even if the pageant is not that great, she will have gained a lot from it that nothing else we are privy to would be available to us to provide for her!

        Oh, and by the way, at open call there were several packed meetings – I would say well over a thousand girls that attended just in our area. When we went to pageant prep, there were only about 50 total for three categories of girls- WAY less than open call.

  6. We just did the pageant and probably won’t be doing it again. I do believe it has a lot to do with how much money they can make off you. Every last one of the girls that won bought or sold 3+ ad pages sold over 30 tickets . check the princess that won had make up on after they said no make up.

  7. BBB does not give an A+ rating. A “B” rating is the most current, with significant complaints.

  8. Rayshon says:

    My NAM pageant is this weekend !! So far , my experience has been amazing . Ive made friends & learned ALOT about self confidence . Yes , it is very expensive .. but , trust me ..its worth it !

  9. I just did a NAM pageant and it was great. A really positive experience. I feel like I can take on anything now. I actually can’t wait to get back to school and get involved in more things.

  10. I love NAM, i’ve done is 6 times and placed 1st Runner up to the crown twice, its not a scam, trust me. When i first started i was shy and scared to go on stage, now i can’t get enough of it! She is adorable and would do great, good luck!

  11. Julia Stanfield says:

    National American Miss has an “F” grade at the Better Business Bureau. The problem is, most parents don’t check this the site until after they turn in their first sponsorship installment, then find out that the pageant costs more than they were led to believe. Then they check http://www.bbb.org/houston/business-reviews/beauty-pageants/national-american-miss-in-houston-tx-64569. Make sure you check the NAM with the Houston address, the main headquarters.

  12. Dear Parents,

    We received the letter today as well, and of course I’m tempted to go to the pageant because as any mom I think that my daughter is the most wonderful girl on the face of the Earth J. The letter is not a scam just an advertisement. They will provide you with a service for a certain cost. The service is some new experience and possible training for your child (I’m not thinking about winning prize because the chances are the same as in any lottery, and they are not providing it just sharing part of the profit). Think about it as a business transaction: Is it worth the time spent plus $500, and cost of clothes and travel to gain some communication skills, new friends and possibly a day at Disneyland? For me the answer is NO mostly because of the time required for participation in a pageant. I strongly believe that my daughter will gain much more using this time for her regular activities. Also I don’t like the whole idea of comparing people. I think every person is unique and should do his/her (not others’) best.

  13. I got one of these letters today. It said that the open call was by invitation only. Sounds very special. How lovely that someone recognized the superior qualities of my daughter and recommended her to NAM. However, my only child is a 35 year old son. Although he was interested in the possibility of winning a 2014 Mustang, he is unwilling to shave off his mustache to compete, so I think we will skip this event.

  14. My granddaughter did this pageant in 2009 and won talent. We didnt sell any advertisements at all (just dont have the time or resources), and she still won a trophy and 250 dollar check for talent. She had a blast doing this pageant and would recommend this to any little girl. We have always told our granddaughters its not about winning its about having fun and that is exactly what she did. She really felt important all weekend and made alot of new friends. I really dont care if my granddaughters win and go to national because they are still very young, and I just want them to be kids. But the pageant does offer alot of fun and a chance to be on stage and in front of crowds. Dont worry about winning if your children are young. Let them have fun and be themselves!

  15. Do you get to use all the money you raise towards your prizes and no other person ?

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