You may use your own discretion, but it is not necessary to spend lots of money on clothes, make-up, hair, etc.
During an interview, Miss Iowa 2001 Erin Smith commented, “I spent no money to compete for my local. I borrowed a swimsuit from my sister and wore my high school prom dress for evening gown.”
Above all, choose a platform you truly enjoy. You will be spending a lot of time with your platform (especially if you win, but even if you don’t). Choose a platform that can be applied to larger areas than your hometown in case you have to extend your service statewide or even nationwide. Try to avoid centering a platform around one event. Instead of choosing a telethon for AIDS research, for example, choose AIDS awareness (you can still use the telethon as one of your projects).
You must be a female who lives, works, or goes to school in the state of Iowa for at least six months prior to entering a local. You must be between the ages of 17-25, and a United States citizen. Please see this page for more details: http://www.missiowa.com/compete/competition-phases-and-scoring
Practice your talent. Be sure that you are comfortable with your performance and that it meets the requirements.
Start thinking about the interview. Predict what kinds of questions you think you’ll be asked. Don’t memorize canned answers, but be ready for lots of different topics. Your local library, a university career center, and the Internet can be wonderful sources for information about effective interviewing. Pay attention to current events.
Get involved with your platform. Volunteer with an existing program or start your own. Keep track of the work you do.