Chronic Illness · Epilepsy · Epilepsy Awareness · Health · Invisible Illness · Mental Health · Uncategorized · Wellness

“A Royal Girl Talk” IGTV with Warrior Footprints

On Thursday 14 January 2021 I had the privilege of chatting with Ashley Flowers the founder of Warrior Footprints, an epilepsy nonprofit based in the USA. We had a great hour sharing our stories and talking about anything and everything- epilepsy related or not 😊

You can find me on Instagram @ms.janice_macgregor and Warrior Footprints is on Instagram @WarriorFootprints

Here’s a link to Warrior Footprints’ IGTV where you can watch the entire video:

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CKDGiUSFVL_/?igshid=qeq53ldw32hs

#Repost @warriorfootprints
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Tonight was such a blast! Thank you @ms.janice_macgregor for joining me 😊. You are truly one of a kind! Make sure to catch the full live on @warriorfootprints IGTV 😊

Bullying · Health · Mental Health · Relationships · Self Acceptance · Uncategorized · Wellness

Jasmine Pearce (Miss Teen Global Darling) on Her Journey with Anxiety and Bullying- Skype interview

Janice MacGregor (Miss Regal World 2020/21, left) and Jasmine Pearce (Miss Teen Global Darling, right)

I first met Jasmine Pearce through the Miss Regal World pageant system. Jasmine lives in England and was in the Miss Teen division and made it all the way to the finals of Miss Teen Regal World! Since then she has competed in a different pageant… and won Miss Teen Global Darling!!! πŸ‘‘

Jasmine wanted to do this interview to raise awareness about mental health. In this interview we discuss her journey with anxiety and panic attacks and the bullying that exacerbated them.

… And we spent a lot of time at the end laughing and giggling 😁 😍 😊.

It seems that the video won’t upload on my blog but you can view it on YouTube. Here’s the link to the interview: Mental Health, Anxiety, and Bullying.

COVID-19 · Health · Mental Health · Quarantine · Relationships · Self Acceptance · Self Improvement · Uncategorized

Quarantine Convo’s

Some of you reading this might not believe this right now and may just chalk my words up to the sad element of the country music I’m listening to as I write this (yes, I’m listening to classic country at 2:30am). The truth is that this is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a few months… besides, I’m constantly listening to country music so I’m somewhat immune to the sadness in country songs 😊

So, about these “Quarantine Convo’s”… I hate to say this but more often than not these conversations are distractions and not real relationships. I’ve seen people fall in love with their neighbours or with online matches. But few people stop and think “Would I feel this way about this person if life was ‘normal’?” The answer in these cases is more than likely a hard pass.

With quarantine and lockdowns due to COVID-19 people are being forced out of their normal lifestyles. For some people that means that they are ending long-term relationships. For other people that means starting relationships they would normally never consider.

I think it’s important to remember that these “relationships” are likely not going to last once people’s lives are back to normal. With Coronavirus putting us in these situations that are abnormal to humans, people are reaching for whatever human interactions they can find. IMO, that means that people are reaching out to people who they would normally not be interested in.

I’m not judging or looking down on anyone- we all have the right to live our lives as we please. But I think it’s important to realize that these “quarantine conversations” are just a distraction. Under normal circumstances this would be considered a distraction from the boredom between relationships. People need a distraction from feeling imprisoned in their homes so they are reaching out to neighbours or online relationships. It’s important to stop and think about whether one would have been interested in this “relationship” under normal circumstances.

It seems that more often than not one (or both) party is in this “relationship” simply to fulfill the normal human desire for contact with other humans. Normally this would be considered having a distraction from mundane day-to-day life but considering how online dating and relationships have proliferated during quarantine/lockdown/social distancing it seems that people are looking for extreme distractions. That is, rather than just seeing these “relationships” as stopgaps they are seeing them as something more than that and ascribing meaning to them.

I guess what I’m saying is to just guard your heart and be smart. Don’t fall in love with someone you normally wouldn’t be interested in just because that person is convenient and pays attention to you. When things get back to normal will this person still invest their time and energy in you? Before starting a relationship ask yourself if you would be interested in this person if you weren’t locked in close proximity.

And for goodness sake, do not settle for less than your worth just because you’re lonely or bored. There will be a COVID-19 vaccine soon enough and things will be back to normal. If you’re not really in to the person you suddenly find yourself attracted to, rather than investing your time and energy in to that person spend that time investing in yourself. Read books that expand your knowledge in to areas that you’re not familiar with. Learn about historical events. Explore other perspectives in to issues that you have already made up your mind on. Learn a new skill. Take up knitting or crocheting. (And don’t mock either of those- knitting is one of my favourite hobbies!) With winter rapidly approaching knitting blankets or mittens for homeless people would be a better investment of your time and energy than spending those resources in a man or woman who wouldn’t typically be your person of choice.

Yes- you are just human and have a need for human companionship and interactions. Use this time to connect with friends and family via video calls. Use it to invest in your community by helping the less fortunate, especially as winter approaches. Do things that are spiritually, mentally, and emotionally fulfilling. If you’re meant to be with a person, that person will still be around even after quarantine/lockdown is over.

There’s no rush to get in to a relationship and a pandemic is no reason to mess up your personal life. Don’t settle. Focus on things that improve YOU for your own sake- you’re the person you’ll be spending the rest of your life with! Check out musicians you’d normally never consider. Between books, podcasts, and calls with your friends and family there really is no time left over for either being someone else’s distraction or for using someone as your distraction. This is the time to be focussing on growing yourself and helping your community.

The world is on fire- don’t do anything that will add to the negativity in your personal life.

I mean this with your best interest at heart. Janice πŸ™‚

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!

Confidence · Evening Gown Competition · Health · Mental Health · Modelling · Pageants · Uncategorized

Dealing with Pageant Nerves…

I recently did a pageant interview where I was asked how I deal with pageant nerves. I don’t experience pageant anxiety and my initial reaction was that after a decade and a half of runway modelling and theater experience I had been desensitized to on-stage nerves. But then I realized that although my theater and modelling experience may play a factor there is something deeper in play…

Competing in a pageant requires one to put her best self forward… and it’s best to be one’s authentic self or it will become obvious that one is fake. I can think of three examples IN THE PAST WEEK where people involved in different aspects of pageantry in different countries were exposed and had their pageant reputations damaged, if not permanently destroyed. All three cases made international headlines in the pageant community around the globe. I’m not going to discuss those cases now, I’m just using those as examples of how one’s true self always surfaces.

The truth about my lack of pageant anxiety is that I know that a pageant (and the preceding weeks spent interacting with the other delegates) is basically a job interview. Each pageant system is a company or brand and they will crown (aka hire) the person who best represents their company. If there is another delegate who better jives with a pageant’s brand then it would be in the pageant’s best interest to hire that delegate instead of me. And if I don’t fit in to their system’s mission it could be an unpleasant year for me as a titleholder as I try to live a life that is true to myself while trying to fit in to what they want me to be.

I know that not winning a pageant does not mean that I’m not smart, articulate, personable, and compassionate. It just means that I’m not suitable to represent this particular pageant system. There will aways be another pageant system that fits with my values that I can compete in in the future.

I walk in to every pageant knowing that I will not be the tallest girl in the room. I know that I will not be the one with the most symmetrical features. I’m cool with that. I can’t change my height and I certainly will not have surgery to make my facial features or body more symmetrical. (Note: If someone else wants surgical enhancement I’m not judging them. But with my body I’m making the decision to not undergo elective surgery). If a pageant is being based solely on physical beauty that is not a pageant I want to be associated with anyway. Besides, if I won that kind of pageant my message to pageant fans would not mesh with that pageant’s mission/brand so we’d be at odds in this employee/employer relationship.

So why do I not have pageant anxiety: I’m confident in who I am and if I do not win that does not mean that there is something wrong with me. It just means that I am not the best selection for that pageant’s mission statement. That does not speak to my worth as a human, nor does it speak negatively about the pageant. It’s like any successful romantic relationship: Both sides must be compatible and if they are not compatible that doesn’t mean that either side is “wrong” or needs to change. Whining about how I was “robbed” of a pageant title without evidence of there being a bias against me or bias towards another delegate is like whining about an opera company not hiring me when I have no opera training or experience. There were two situations in the past (2009 and 2016) where a pageant organization was biased against me because I have epilepsy. One day I may write about that my experiences with that pageant system. For now suffice it to say that they thought that having epilepsy made me inadequate since I “would just go falling down everywhere” at the international pageant. I’m not sure what they think epilepsy is but their discrimination against me was unfounded and based in ignorance. (PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM **NOT** TALKING ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MS PAGEANT. The International Ms Pageant system fully embraced me knowing full well that I have epilepsy. They did not treat me with kid gloves or treat me like I was a freak or of lower status than the other delegates. I fully support the International Ms Pageant because of the way they treated me like everyone else while knowing that I have epilepsy.) I am not talking about Miss Dream Girl which I won less than a year ago. The director knows my situation and the judges’ decision was based solely on judgment criteria without knowing that I have epilepsy. Miss Regal World has also welcomed me with open arms even though a Google search of my name will result in hits about epilepsy awareness. PLEASE DO NOT SEND HATE MAIL TO INTERNATIONAL MS, MISS DREAM GIRL, OR MISS REGAL WORLD. These three are the ones who are capable of seeing past a neurological condition and seeing that I am an intelligent and capable woman. The Miss Canada International system did not know I had epilepsy when I competed in 2007 but I am still in contact with the director and I know that she would not have held epilepsy against me.

The only pageants I would enter now are pageant systems that echo and support my values: Civil rights, anti-racism, epilepsy awareness, multiculturalism, and access to education for girls and women.

The tl;dr is that I don’t have pageant nerves because I know that I go out there as who I really am, not as a fake version of myself. If that isn’t something that fits with a pageant system’s mission that’s cool. I’m just there to be my authentic self, nothing less and nothing fake. Not winning does not mean anything bad about me or about the pageant system.

Of course there are nerves about tripping on stage. I get around those nerves by practicing in my hotel during pageant week. And tripping on stage is always bigger in our heads than in real life. I stumbled on-stage in the parade of candidates in International Ms 2019 but when I watched the video a few months later it wasn’t even noticeable. Unless you face plant, tripping isn’t as big a deal as it seems in your mind. And you can avoid face planting by practicing your walk in your gown and high heels, right? Relatively few people actually have a noticeable misstep on stage and with practice walking and posing in your gown and heels you can avoid those missteps. In short, with practice you’ll be good to go AS LONG AS YOU ARE COMFORTABLE BEING YOURSELF. That doesn’t mean you won’t evolve over time, it just means being comfortable with who you are at the time of your pageant. I know that I was comfortable being authentic Janice when I competed in Miss World Canada 2008 but if I met that person now that I am xx-years-old I probably wouldn’t want to be friends with “2008 Janice”. But as I evolved as a person that’s how I presented myself in my pageant paperwork, in the interview, and on stage. Who I am right now is the best version of myself and I can’t wait to see how I evolve as a person and as life presents me with new opportunities to grow and learn!

beauty · Culture · Health · Heritage · Modelling · Self Acceptance

Loving a nose that isn’t “beautiful”… An actress/model’s perspective.

When I was younger there were so many times I desperately wanted a rhinoplasty (nose job). I was mocked because of the bump in the bridge of my nose and the bulbous tip. A nose job was definitely on my To Do List. Now that I’m older I’m so damn proud of this nose! This nose is the product of generations of my ancestors who I never had the privilege of meeting. This is the nose of people who were taken from their homeland and used as indentured labourers in a new country. They were brought from India to the Caribbean and had to earn their freedom. If they passed away before paying off the cost of their passage, their children had to work of the cost of the trans-Atlantic trip. My ancestors were the poorest of the poor in India and wanted to make a better life for themselves in the Caribbean. They were oppressed in the new country too. YET THEY PREVAILED. And I have the privilege of wearing the nose that they wore!

Ultimately every natural aspect of one’s appearance is the product of one’s ancestors. Whether it’s skin color, hair color, hair texture, freckles, height, or WHATEVER else, there is a story behind it. If you’re of Irish lineage and you have freckles that you don’t like, think of your ancestors who survived the Potato Famine and passed their freckles on through their descendants; you have the privilege of wearing their freckles! Whatever the physical trait is that you don’t like, there is an ancestor who had that trait and that person has a story that you might want to brag about. Hate your hair? What about that man or woman in your family tree who started a small business and provided for his/her family while wearing that same hair! Hate your height (or lack of height)? What about that person a few generations ago who served in World War II and despite his height (or lack of height) he contributed to The Allies winning! Whatever your physical trait is that you’re struggling to accept, there is an individual or a people group that had that trait and they were pretty darn awesome. Think of their awesomeness and embrace their physical uniqueness. It’s cool that YOU have the physical evidence of being linked to that person in the family tree or in world history!


This nose may not be the standard of beauty in the Western World or even in India but it is the nose of my ancestors and I am proud to wear it every day.

Thanks to Sanja (StudiO 2:22) for capturing my profile in this pic.

Photo by Sanja Jovic Filipovic (Studi0 2:22)