If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Destinee King has made several thousand at the young age of eight.

Destinee, who competes in natural beauty pageants on a regular basis, won two crowns in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and four in 2009, including Elite USA’s Little Miss Texas and National Little Miss.

The Hook Elementary School third grader has become comfortable sporting a diamond-filled tiara, but it was tested earlier this year when she competed in WE TV’s Little Miss Perfect: Dallas glitz pageant.

“It was really different because of the glitz,” Destinee said. “It was fun.”

The competition, which consisted of modeling, formal wear and an on-stage interview, was not an average pageant experience for Destinee and her family.

“We competed in the Little Miss Perfect pageant for fun only,” her father Sha said. “My daughter competes in natural pageants so there is a huge difference. With that in mind, it was really a lot of fun. She looked beautiful because she didn’t look fake.”

Although the preparation for a pageant takes an immense amount of time, Destinee’s involvement with Little Miss Perfect came about rather quickly.

“I got a phone call from a director in one of the pageants who asked if we would be interested in visiting with them,” Sha said. “They called at 10 p.m. on a Saturday and asked for a 2 p.m. interview on Sunday (in Dallas).”

Two days later, the phone rang again.

It was WE, asking Destinee to participate in the Dallas episode of Little Miss Perfect.

Within weeks, camera crews were in Stephenville following her for eight days, 10 to 12 hours each day, Sha said.

On the eighth day, Destinee went up against stiff competition in Dallas. While the pageant is history, neither Destinee nor her family is allowed to reveal the winner until the episode airs on Jan. 20.

The coveted crown, however, is not the important part to Destinee and her parents.

“The thing that we do this for, and find most appealing, is the communication skills,” Sha said. “Destinee can sit down across from a panel of 12 judges and carry on a conversation with adults and she is not afraid to stand up on stage in front of a group of people and introduce herself. At five years old she had conquered those fears most people never get over.”

For Destinee, having her family, including her grandmothers, father and mother, involved in her pageant experiences are often the most important part.

“I feel good about it because they help me improve,” she said. “I like them being there and I am used to that.”

Family first and communicating with others are not the only life lessons Destinee learned in the pageant world.

“I think it has helped her self esteem. She is very comfortable with who she is but she is not vain, she does not take it to that extreme side,” Sha said. “We compete in talent and scholarship pageants. It’s not about facial and physical beauty. A person that is not physically beautiful can be intellectually beautiful and win these (pageants).”