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About the Mask Debate…

So, I’m just going to be blunt. I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m speaking my mind- you can like it, love it, or hate it.

Yes, masks are now mandatory in some public places. Not a big deal. Let’s put this in perspective. It’s 2020 and we have the option of disposable masks, reusable masks, and masks that show our personality through colours and patterns. Flash back to 1915 on the front lines on World War I where Canadian soldiers outside Ypres, Belgium were wearing urine soaked handkerchiefs to protect them from chlorine gas. We’re complaining about a minor inconvenience that protects our communities but my country’s soldiers had to use unpleasant makeshift “masks” to protect themselves from chemical warfare.

As for the complaints about social distancing and limits on how many people can gather… We have Zoom/Skype/Facetime/Messenger. We can still communicate with out friends and families. Even in places where the internet connection is shoddy, there are landlines so we can speak to our family and friends even if we can’t see them. In both World Wars our soldiers only had snail mail to communicate with loved ones at home. And as for social distancing- they had an ENTIRE OCEAN separating them from their families. Six feet/two meters is nothing compared to what our soldiers and their families faced.

Even these days when our military overseas can communicate with family at home via modern technology, they are still geographically separated by more than 6 ft.

Yeah, it sucks that we can’t see our families. My family didn’t get to celebrate my mom’s birthday together a couple weeks ago. We always spend birthdays together. And my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones but haven’t been able to have a proper funeral. I am NOT saying that these are easy times. And I am not mitigating the hardships that social distancing and limits on gatherings are causing. I understand that these limits on how many people can assemble are causing problems for people who are already in difficult situations.

I think that before we complain about having to wear masks or having to stay 6 ft (2 m) apart we should reflect on the sacrifices that our World War I and World War II soldiers made to give us the right to whine about such trivial inconveniences. We need to step back from whining and do what other people did or are doing- put the “we” before “me”.

Those are my thoughts and opinions, feel free to disagree. But remember that the Allies served and sacrificed to a far greater extent so you have the right to complain about relatively insignificant things such as wearing a mask.

beauty · Canada · Clothing · Community · Cultural Appreciation · Culture · Fashionista · First Nations · Heritage · History · Indigenous · Media · Modelling · Pageants · Uncategorized · Western Canada

Toast… Honouring the Past. Inspiring the Future.

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.

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!