• Six-year-old wins New Jersey Pageant

    New Jersey Pageant Won by a Sassy Six-Year-Old

    Proud Jersey City native and six year old, Victoria Branker, was recently crowned Miss New Jersey Princess in this summer’s Miss American Coed Pageant.

    New Jersey’s statewide beauty contest is a far cry from the drama-laden pageants on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiara’s, though.  This particular New Jersey competition is an all-natural beauty pageant where contestants aren’t allowed to wear makeup. Instead of superficial beauty, the focus is on talent, scholarship and community service. 

    Victoria spoke with reporters recently about her experience in the New Jersey pageant, stating quite simply: “I won the crown and I met new friends.” Her mother, Christel Thomas, chimed in, “This is what keeps us involved with pageants. The focus is on the girls and their friendships, not the competition.” Thomas continued, “The girl that crowned her is seven. She got to crown her friend.  They hug each other, they love each other.”

    Parents are also expected to show good sportsmanship and are required to go through an orientation where they promise to keep the focus on the fun. "The pageants recognize the parents," Thomas said. "They ask the kids to write letters about their parents and they read one on stage. You don't know who wrote it until they bring the girl up."

    For Victoria and many of the kids involved, the New Jersey pageant is also a whole family affair. Victoria’s dad, Henry Branker, is an ever supportive pageant-dad and said, "I'm just super proud of her. I just love seeing her develop over the years. Her onstage presence and confidence is just blossoming.” Her grandmother, Barbara Branker, even chimed in saying, "There's so much that she's learning. The confidence that builds in her -- that's what girls need."

    The Jersey City community is proud of you too, Victoria! Congrats!

    Read up on other Jersey City news and find out about upcoming local events in NJ today!