I’m so excited to share with you the interview I did with Toast! The article is part of a throwback series done by Bill Stevenson (who doubles as the photographer). You can find the entire article on the Toast website by clicking HERE.
This shoot was done in June 2020 (following Covid reopening guidelines). I did not win the Miss Regal World pageant until August 2020 but Bill proposed the idea of having a Miss Regal World interview as a standalone segment of the throwback issues. I was honoured to be a part of this and to share about my Guyanese heritage, what I’m up to now, and my plans for the future.
In this interview we touch on the societal perspective on pageants, racism, and the importance of personal authenticity and how that is the key to success.
The featured outfits in these photos were created by Indigenous designer Faye Thomas. I encourage you all to research the origin and significance of First Nations ribbon skirts. They are rich in history and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a relevant photo shoot.
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!!!
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.
My platforms were epilepsy awareness (surprise, surprise 😉) 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.
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! 🥰 I felt so special that she thought of me, all the way across the Pond 💕
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!
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.