I have been thinking about this article all week. Going back and forth with my true feelings and those of a bruised ego.
When I started the journey of pageantry at a very young age it was all about the crown, the scholarship dollars and how I looked. I would spend hours in the gym to be the perfect size to walk in front of hundreds in heels and a bathing suit. I wasn’t at the place of self development and inner beauty I am now and neither were at the forefront of how I represented myself.
When my body was ravaged by cancer and lupus my thoughts became that of self loathing and pity. Hours spent hating the body that was keeping me alive. It wasn’t until I started to put the work in mentally and spiritually that I was able to accept my body for all that it has gone through and continues to daily.
When the opportunity presented itself to start competing again in pageants it took me a very long time to muster the courage to get back on the stage and represent the true women I am. The full figured woman who knows who she is and what she is all about.
Last year placing 1st runner up at a National pageant was that push to make me look at pageantry again in a more positive way. So I spent this year preparing myself to head back to the National stage one more time.
As this year progressed I was receiving messages from women across the map who had seen me on the National stage. They too were now competing for titles because of how I represented curvy women. I was humbled and honored to receive messages and feel like the pageant stereotype was changing. I was so excited to be back on the stage this year, feeling empowered and excited for the week spent with amazing women.
This year it felt different, however, I felt more pressure to win the title and started to question everything about myself. I started to feel as if this curvy girl was out of her league. I had many pep talks with myself and continued to believe that this curvy girl was enough on the inside to win a national pageant title.
The week finally came and I felt mentally strong. I walked away with the preliminary talent and resume award and a 1st runner up placement in runway. Here is where the game changed for me…. AND be prepared for some truth bombs….
The woman that walked away with the runway award was probably a size 2, blond hair, beautifully stunning woman who wore what looked to be a Victoria secret runway outfit. Although she was stunning, I knew in that moment I was not the woman they were looking for. My accolades in talent and resume were enough to get me to 3rd runner up for the National title but I was not the pageant girl those judges wanted to see have a crown on her head. There is so much truth in watching from the sidelines as others parade themselves around yet never show their true authenticity. Why in 2019 are we continuing to believe curvy women have no right to have a crown on their head and a sash across their body? Why in 2019 do we have women who belittle other women for their body type and struggle? Why in 2019 is the stereotype of a National Queen that of a Barbie Doll look alike? Those that have done the inside work (and I’m talking about the mental work) should never feel that it doesn’t matter.
I have struggled so much this week with body image and being angry at the world we live in. I’m angry that women are meant to feel as if the only thing that matters is the way they look. I am angry that women, right this very moment are starving themselves to be what they think they should be. I am angry that your heart and true self is not what matters in the pageant world but more of what you look like in a gown and heels. I am angry that curvy women are seen as second thoughts and not taken seriously in the pageant or modeling world. And I am angry with myself for questioning my worthiness….
Because I am worthy! I am worthy of love, of self acceptance, and worthy of a crown on my head and a sash across my body! Truth bomb number 2…. I don’t need a crown and sash to know who I am and what I stand for. I never did. I just didn’t realize it til now. Pageantry will never change until we truly accept everyone for who they are; Beauty beyond size. Short, tall, curvy, stick thin, lumps, bumps, and belly plumps. IT WILL NOT CHANGE UNTIL WE CHANGE!
Pageantry has given me a lot and I don’t want anyone to think it hasn’t. I have made amazing friends, put myself through school on scholarship dollars, but the most important thing it has taught me is about who I am. I am a powerful and fabulous fighter. I am a curvy woman who has heart and would give you the shirt off my back. I am a cancer fighter, a wife and mother. I am a Doctor and CEO of 3 companies. I am authentically me 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. My heart and integrity never change to fit a stereotype.
I am worthy and so are you. Forget the crown! I will continue to wear my warrior cape and be the badass that I know I am. To all my Fabulous Fighters, no matter who you are, or what your struggle, know your heart and integrity IS ENOUGH. You are perfect no matter your size, shape, gender, enthnicity, or circumstance. As long as you stay true to you, that is all that matters. Being who you are is the only way to truly know who cares and respects you for you.
I may not have walked away with the crown but I have walked away with more fire and determination. The world needs to hear these words and start to embrace us all. I will not allow anyones opinion define who I am and neither should you. Embrace your flaws and everthing that makes you authentically you. I promise the more we show the world there is a place for all of us at the top the shift will happen.
Sending you all FABULOUS love and light,