Canada · Community · Entertainment · Guyana · Media · Pageants · Podcast · Saskatchewan · Uncategorized · Western Canada

Watch “Pageant Sit Down. Episode 22. Miss. Regal World 2020/21. Janice MacGregor” on YouTube

Join the podcast at 7:30pm EST on Wednesday 7 April 2021 and ask me anything in the live chat! Can’t wait to see you there ❀

Canada · Culture · Entertainment · Evening Gown Competition · Guyana · Health · Heritage · Pageants · Saskatchewan · Uncategorized · Western Canada

Miss Regal World πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¬πŸ‡ΎπŸ‘‘

Last month (on 7 August 2020) something amazing happened: I won an international pageant! I am your reigning Miss Regal World! Yeah, this girl from a town of 700 people in rural Saskatchewan won an international pageant!!!

Miss Regal World 2020/21 (Dress: Armando Medina; Makeup and photography by Hazel Envoy)

To say I was/am honoured is an understatement. The finalists in the Miss division were all remarkable women and I was honoured to be grouped as a finalist with these ladies. There were 56 of us from around the world in the Miss division and I was honoured to be a Top 8 Finalist. The finalists included an NHS nurse, a full-time pageant coach, a NYFW model, and a wide range of diverse individuals from different career paths and countries. The one thing we have in common is that we’re all passionate about our respective platforms.

The Top 8 Finalists (I’m in the middle row, on the far right. Recognize the dress? If not, see my other blog about upcycling clothes.)

My platforms were epilepsy awareness (surprise, surprise πŸ˜‰) and education for girls especially those in developing nations (also not a big surprise). I intend to continue to act for anti-racism during my reign (no surprise to anyone who knows me in real life or anyone who started following me because of my platform as International Ms Canada 2018) and to support small businesses especially those hit hard by COVID-19.

I guess it’s taken almost a month to write about this because I’ve been busy and not sure if this is reality or a dream. I’ve won local, provincial, and national pageant titles in Canada before. I even represented Canada when I placed in the Top 10 at an international pageant in the USA before… but winning an international pageant is completely uncharted territory for me. I have fantastic sister queens in the Junior Miss, Teen, and Ms divisions though and our director is a wealth of knowledge and support. ❀ But any readers who have experience in pageantry at the international level please feel free to contact me with advice or pointers! I need to utilize this year with an international platform to the fullest extent.

Halter and skirt: Armando Medina; Makeup by Hazel Evoy; Photography by Ezra Aleczander.

Ultimately I want to use my crown and sash to bring smiles to people through either in-person or virtual appearances especially for epilepsy groups and small businesses. Even more important, I want to make a difference in the civil rights movement. I want to be on the right side of history.

I can’t wait to write another blog and spill the tea on some of the different delegates I formed relationships with through this pageant! I have so many happy memories from the day I was first welcomed to the fold back in April and new memories with these ladies are continuing to be formed. Actually, just a couple days ago a delegate in the UK messaged me to let me know that she was listening to Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) by the Backstreet Boys and thought of me! πŸ₯° I felt so special that she thought of me, all the way across the Pond πŸ’•

If you’d like to watch the crowning moment announcement it can be found on the Miss Regal World facebook page. The Miss division announcement starts at the 7:15 mark. Crowning Moment Announcement (7min, 15s) And yes, you heard that correctly, I was privileged to represent my parents’ homeland of Guyana in the pageant. They both became naturalized Canadians years before I was born but I’m still proud to be Caribbean-Canadian and Guyanese-Canadian.

Disclaimer: Don’t @ me! Due to COVID-19 we did *not* have 125+ delegates (across the four age groups) fly in to the UK from across the globe for an in-person pageant. The pageant was completely online this year. Next year the pageant will be in-person. I can’t wait to meet this year’s delegates who will be competing again next year and next year’s new delegates!

beauty · Community · Culture · Entertainment · Pageants · Uncategorized

The Scary Truth Behind Pageant Security

It seems that many state/provincial-level pageants are taking place soon. And some international pageants will be taking place soon too. Some pageants such as the international Galaxy pageants and Miss America have been postponed as a preventive measure to keep COVID-19 from spreading between delegates who would then take it back home to their state/province or country (hello second wave).

COVID-19 causes some logistical problems for delegates. For example, if a pageant is being hosted somewhere that has a mandatory 14 day quarantine on new arrivals the delegates have to budget for an additional two weeks of food and accommodations. Or they may have to quarantine after returning home from the pageant.

But there is a problem with delegate security that has been around since long before the novel coronavirus hit and will be around long after COVID-19 is under control. Let me tell you the story of when I was a judge at an international pageant. This is more so applicable to delegates who are travelling to another country to compete rather than delegates who are travelling within their home country.

This is a firsthand account of what I saw a few years ago when I was a judge at an international pageant. This pageant had delegates fly in from different countries across the globe, from five different continents. Of course, in order to enter the country that hosted the pageant they needed a valid passport. One night I went to the director’s hotel room and I saw two stacks of passports on her nightstand. That immediately made me uneasy. I asked why she had the delegates’ passports and she said it was for security because she would be held responsible if anyone ran off and stayed in the host country illegally.

I’m going on the record as saying that I do NOT believe she had nefarious plans when she took the passports away from the international delegates. Even still though, the logic didn’t make sense. If someone has the resources and/or connections to abscond in another country they could have a fake passport and fake ID made. But even with no ill intentions it was wrong to confiscate passports from the delegates who were coming from outside of the country.

Pageant delegates: LISTEN TO ME! Never, ever hand over your passport to someone. Keep your passport on you or in your hotel vault. Never give anyone else possession of your passport. For your own safety, never let anyone have your ID especially when you are in another country. Also keep in mind that your passport is not yours to hand over to someone else. On both the inside cover and the first page of my passport it is clearly stated that my passport is the property of the Government of Canada. As such, I cannot just give it to someone else. But aside from my passport not being my personal property, it is incredibly unsafe to give someone your passport. Again, I do not believe this particular pageant director had bad intentions when she confiscated anyone’s passport but there are some people/groups who hold fake pageants used to attract beautiful women from around the world who they then force in to prostitution or human trafficking.

I’ve competed internationally and when I competed in the USA the pageant director did not ask for my passport. She knew I was coming from a different country and would have my passport with me but she did not ask to hold on to my passport during the days leading up to the pageant or from the pageant until the day I returned to Canada.

Ladies (and gentlemen competitors), I’m one of you regardless of if we compete in different pageant systems or different countries. I’m a Sash Sister, Sashionista, Sister Queen, Pageant Girl, or whatever term you want to use. I want you all to be safe while travelling. I want each of you to get home safely. I want you to have a safe and enjoyable pageant experience. Fundamental to all of this is your safety. Do not give your passport or any other government issued ID to anyone. Before you leave home make sure to confirm in writing that you will not be asked to hand over government issued ID to any pageant officials upon arriving in the host country. Print out that email so you can show it to any pageant staff who asks for possession of your ID.

We need to watch out for each other. Please listen to what I’m saying. I know from seeing it in person that some pageants will ask for possession of your passport upon your arrival. I also know from personal experience that some pageants do NOT ask for possession of your ID. Be smart and be alert if someone asks for your ID. It’s not your property to just hand over and it’s not safe to just hand it over. Even if the person asking for your ID doesn’t have ill intentions, your passport may not be safe. As I said, the stacks of passports were on the pageant director’s nightstand, not even in the room’s vault. Myself and other female pageant staff had access to the passports. Did hotel staff also have access to the passports when we were out at events and appearances in the weeks leading up to the pageant???

National pageant directors: You need to talk to your pageant delegate about her safety before she leaves home to compete in an international pageant. Parents: You need to talk to your children about safety while abroad. Even if your child is a legal adult she/he may not be aware of the dangers of travelling internationally for a pageant. You need to discuss rights and responsibilities before they leave. Delegates: Use your common sense.

I wish all of my fellow pageant delegates the best in their respective competitions. May you be the best version of yourself, make new friends, have fun, learn about different cultures, stay safe, and return home safe and healthy.

beauty · Clothing · Confidence · Entertainment · Evening Gown Competition · Mental Health · Recycle · Reuse · Uncategorized · Upcycle

Do You Wear the Dress or Does the Dress Wear You???

With COVID-19 turning our world upside down, several pageant directors have made the responsible decision to either cancel their local and provincial/state level pageants or postpone them to a later date. As a result, a lot of pageant girls are selling their BRAND NEW pageant dresses. This is because by the time their new pageant date comes around the dress will be “last season”.

But does the dress really matter? Of course the length and fit matter. A pageant dress should be altered to fit the wearer like a glove. It should not be baggy or tight. It should also be the appropriate length- not too long, not too short.

I personally don’t think that the dress’ brand name or how old it is makes or breaks the Evening Gown Competition. The delegate should be the focus, with the dress being secondary. Let me give you an example: In 2018 I competed in the International Ms Pageant. International Ms is the top ranked pageant in the Ms division according to The Pageant Planet. I wore a dress which I had purchased in 2009 that was from the 2008 collection of a now defunct bridal fashion line. It was not my first time wearing that dress and I won the Best in Evening Gown Award! There were other delegates who were wearing brand new dresses, dresses that were way more expensive, and custom made dresses. But my dress made me feel happy and that happiness radiated on stage. The judges picked up on that.

Whether it’s in day-to-day life or on the pageant stage, clothes do NOT make the woman. How you feel and carry yourself is what matters. I still have my 2008 dress and I can’t wait to wear it again!!! Here are some photos of other times I’ve worn it.

2010. Holding the train.
2015. The train was likely down but is not visible in this photo.
2018. I wore the train down for the Evening Gown Competition at the International Ms Pageant.
2018. I had the train in a bustle for the awards part of the pageant.
2018. If I had known that I would win Best in Evening Gown I would have left the train down in all it’s satin and sequined lace glory.

And that, my friends, is the tale of a ten year old dress helping me snag the Best in Evening Gown award at a prestigious international pageant. That dress was literally twenty fashion seasons old! Clothes don’t matter. How you feel and how you carry yourself are what really matters. Sell your dresses and buy new ones later if you want, but make sure you’re always in the state of mind where you can rock anything regardless of what the people around you are wearing. xo

Entertainment · Unpopular Opinion

Unpopular Opinion Game

I saw this circulating and decided to give it a try. The point is to share ten things you dislike that everyone else seems to like. These are the ten things I dislike:

1. Tik Tok

2. Facebook

3. “Reality” TV

4. Entertainment shows (ETalk, Entertainment Tonight, TMZ, etc.)

5. Trying on clothes when shopping. (My objective is to get in and out as quickly as possible.)

6. Guacamole

7. Shows that exploit people for ratings under the guise of helping them (Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, etc.)

8. Using the bus on a pub crawl. It’s fun at the beginning of the night but I’d rather cab with friends than be stuck on a bus with a bunch of drunk people who I don’t know.

9(a). Misuse of the word “literally” and (b). neglect of the Oxford comma

10. Football (CFL and NFL). This is a very unpopular opinion where I live- please don’t break in and kill me while I sleep!!!

Entertainment

Joe Exotic is Dead!…

… dead to me. Can he be resuscitated? That’s up to him.

Based on the number of memes and how much “Joe Exotic” has been trending on Google, I’m guessing that I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen the show Tiger King. At first I wasn’t going to watch it because the most interesting part of it seemed to be Joe’s outfits. I’m not being sarcastic- I like his shirts! But I don’t like his shirts enough to invest my time in watching his show.

I was planning on watching the show if I found the time. Fortunately for me, information about Joe Exotic surfaced before I invested my time in him and his show. Video footage has surfaced indicating that Joe is racist and uses the n-word. Tiger King director Rebecca Chaiklin is quoted as saying β€œJoe is a racist, I would say categorically” and that he said some things during filming that were “unsettling”. Chaiklin said that Joe’s racist trait and language was cut from the show because it wasn’t relevant to the plot. (https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/netflix-tiger-king-director-joe-exotic-racist-carole-baskin-a9441801.html)

His racism may not be relevant to the show, but it does impact whether some people would choose to watch the show. I’ve decided not to watch the show because I don’t want to support him in any way. This decision is not extreme- I imagine that most people reading this would not support a new project by Bill Cosby, Jussie Smollett, or Harvey Weinstein if any of them were ever given Hollywood redemption. Their personal characteristics do not impact their ability or talent, but the way their characteristics present in their behavior towards others does influence whether we choose to support them.

That’s why I’m glad I was too busy to watch Tiger King and why I do not intend to watch Tiger King. That said, I don’t subscribe to cancel culture so if Joe gives an HONEST AND GENUINE apology and demonstrates that he has changed his mentality towards other people groups I might be open to watching a future iteration of the show. But because his racist attitude was demonstrated during filming of the current Netflix show (but skillfully edited out) I will not watch Tiger King.