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UI Student Appears on MTV's "Tiara Girls" Series

MTV's newest documentary show, "Tiara Girls," goes inside the world of beauty pageant contestant Megan Wettach, a University of Iowa student from Mount Pleasant. The program first aired Wednesday, May 3, on MTV and will be repeated several times this spring.

The eight-part series documents the lives of beauty pageant contestants -- the stories of young women as they prepare and train for competition -- shopping for their sometimes outrageously expensive wardrobes, training their bodies, and even hiring special coaches to fine tune their interview and presentation skills.

On this week's episode, Wettach is making one last desperate run for her dream crown -- Miss Iowa -- before she ages out of the pageant system. But as the episode shows, winning a pageant just to qualify for the state title is proving to be a lot harder than she ever expected. She must hone her interview skills, deal with body issues, and face criticism from her coach and father.

According to MTV, "Tiara Girls" depicts what motivates pageant participants, the often significant role that parents play in guiding their children's aspirations, how they deal with victory or loss, and ways they pursue their ultimate goals in living the life of a tiara girl.

Wettach has won several pageant titles -- including Miss Burlington and Miss Iowa National Teenager -- and was a runner-up in the 2005 Miss Iowa pageant, won by UI alumna Kay Pauszek.

Wettach, a junior communications major at the UI, has turned her pageant experience into a successful business. She started her first business, Premier Prom & Pageantry, as a 17 year-old high school senior, which she still operates from a storefront in downtown Mount Pleasant.

After owning her own apparel business for two years, she discovered an untapped specialty market for pageant suits. She then launched the Megan Amanda Collection, a line of pageant interview suits and prom dresses, which has clientele from across the U.S. The clothing line is exclusively designed for Megan Amanda by designers in Brazil, Russia, New York, China, and Iowa.

Wettach has taken classes in entrepreneurship at the Tippie College of Business and won a $5,000 seed capital grant in the 2003 statewide Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition. She was recently featured in Fortune Small Business, and in 2002 she was recognized by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as an outstanding young entrepreneur in his State of the State Address.


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