Okay, so hold up for a moment. What do YOU really know about pageants? Certainly, before participating in my first one this year I had no idea. I had this notion like so many do that they are these big costume parties in front of an audience with little girls and super skinny tall modelesque women who win sashes and crowns. Little did I know there is a difference from the pageants seen in movies and YouTube and the real ones that take place all over the world. Americans are more heavily involved in the pageant world than their northern neighbour. Pageant families in the United States spend copious amounts of time, money and coaching their daughter(s); more than most families in Canada. However, no matter the pageant it all has the same underlying theme: all girls are beautiful and we need to showcase that we are strong and can achieve anything we set our minds to. They are all for women empowerment.
There are so many misconceptions with the “Miss Teen Canada” pageant, but which one is the real one? At first I thought there was only one Miss Teen Canada, however, I was extremely incorrect. Who knew there would be so many Canadian pageants for teenagers with the name “Miss Teen Canada!” There is no REAL one, but to set the record straight the Miss Teen Canada-World pageant changed its name to Miss Teenage Canada this past year to reduce the confusion between the numerous pageants using the three words “Miss Teen Canada.” Miss Teenage Canada is the largest Canadian teenage pageant and is owned by MTC-W Inc. and produced by Michelle Weswaldi. Miss Teenage Canada is the closest pageant to Miss Teen USA.
In my opinion, I believe a good Miss Teenage Canada would be a young women who is kind and enjoys giving back to her community and most of all her nation. When saying this, I do not mean doing it for the media and because of the title, but because it is in her nature. A young woman who is easy going and relatable to other teenagers across Canada. Miss Teenage Canada should be an individual who is confidently beautiful even without the fancy clothing and makeup as these are superficial things that enhance an individual versus making them. She needs to reflect Canadians and their loving character as she is a national figure for a year. I do not imagine Miss Teenage Canada to be a celebrity, but rather an inspirational role model for Canada and even the world.
I have dreamed of becoming Miss Teenage Canada since last year as Stop the Stigma, a Toronto District School Board mental health committee, was cancelled due to the lack of funding. Instead, I made sure I was able to continue to share my life story and motivate others and be that positive role model for so many more Canadians – teens and adults. If my friends and family had to describe me in one word they would easily say ACCEPTING. Growing up with everything I could dream for to having to work three jobs in order to have food in my stomach was life changing. In my last three years, I have overcome so many barriers and at points it seemed like everything was hopeless, however, I knew I could push through. Thankfully, I did and I am living a much happier life! The people I have encountered during the most difficult years in my life that have left only a positive imprint in my life as I strive to succeed and reach my full potential in life. From these difficult times I have been especially mindful not to judge a book by it’s cover. I take the time to meet people and understand where they are coming from even if we do not see eye to eye. I still make the time to volunteer my time at shelters and drop-in centres to helping out at my old daycare and elementary and high school. I will always put others before myself because I believe there needs to be some kind of support system in every person’s life in order to succeed and continue to grow as an individual. I want to continue to strive to make a difference in every life I touch and I would like to opportunity to be the next Miss Teenage Canada.