At the end of my reign, there are so many things I want to say and not enough words to say them. A brief paragraph would not be able to encompass the remarkable gratitude, joy, glamour, hardships, reflections, friendships, experiences, and opportunities that constitutes my year of being Miss Teenage BC. Pageantry used to be such a foreign term, but now it is one of the most endearing, nostalgic and commonly-used terms in my vocabulary, because pageantry has been redefined for me. It’s changed my life for the better and helped me grow in unprecedented ways. I don’t want to begin by talking about my experience, but rather, the people who’ve made it possible.
Thank you to Michelle Weswaldi, the director of Miss Teenage Canada. You’ve enabled me to do so many amazing things with my life and inspired me with the amount of dedication you put into this pageant. I wish you all the best!
Thank you to Ariel Cao, Miss Teenage BC 2016 and her family, I would definitely not be here if it weren’t for you. You are all so gracious and generous, and I will be indebted to you forever for the support you’ve gifted me.
Thank you to Blink & Brow, C & C learning center, and White Rock Learning Academy for being great sponsors. You’ve made this journey truly magical.
Thank you to Angeline Macdonald. Not only have you provided me, and many other girls, with beautiful gowns that enhanced our personality, you’ve been a wonderful judge.
Thank you to my mom. From encouraging me unconditionally to helping me pack my enormous gowns into a tiny suitcase, you’ve truly supported me in every way.
Thank you to all the pageant girls I’ve met along the way. All of you are incredulously positive and inspired me in ways you can’t imagine. You are all my sisters for life.
Lastly, thank you to anyone who came out to my fundraisers, donated to my campaign, or wished me good luck. Your support means the absolute world to me.
When it comes down to it, people will ask me: “What’s the best part about being Miss Teenage BC?” To which I respond not with “all the glamour and fun”, “all the meaningful connections I made”, “all the confidence I’ve gained” or “all the people who want to take pictures with me”, (however, these are all true) but rather, the best part is being able to make a difference. Being able to use my crown and sash for something more than decorating purposes. Being able to tell little girls who come up to me that each and every one of them are natural princesses, they should believe in themselves, and follow their dreams. Being able to raise $1000 for the WE charity and provide educational resources to those who are in dire need of it. Being able to prove to the world that pageantry is life-enriching and confidence-inducing. Being able to broach social issues and spread multiculturalism with my platform. Being able to leave my reign, knowing that I changed the world somehow. That’s the best part of my year as a provincial winner.
I hope you have all enjoyed the documentation of my journey via blog, it was a blast to attend events hosted by wholesome organizations and have cool exchanges with the media. If you want to know the specific events I attended as a titleholder, read some more of my blog posts. It was heartwarming to volunteer for kind people and be able to help those in need, and exciting to make my first appearance on TV & in a parade!
The best things in life are outside of your comfort zone. A year ago, I was an insecure, anxious girl who melted into the corners of a room. But today, I am open, free, and proud of everything that I’ve achieved and have become. My journey doesn’t end here, and I will keep trying to push myself to do my best and try new things, keep trying to empower those around me, and keep being my own kind of beautiful, after all, that is what pageantry is all about.
To all the girls competing this year or involved in pageantry, I commend you. It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to express yourself so openly on a stage, and heels hurt. A lot. But this will change your perspective on life, on pageantry, and most importantly, yourself. You will see yourself as a role model, a change maker, a confident person who’s deserving of love and appreciation. But don’t take my word for it, go out into the world, and take a chance. Whether that’s in pageantry or just in life, don’t be afraid to try. I don’t know where it will get you, but it will get you somewhere new, I can promise you that. It will get you to new territories teeming with promising opportunities and new ideas and people. I wish everyone reading this the best of luck in the future, and a bittersweet virtual wave of goodbye.