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Hello everybody !
Tonight, we met four beautiful and inspiring women. I really enjoyed listening to their stories, and will remember this evening for the rest of my life.
Alexandra Orlando is the author of In Pursuit of Victory and Breaking Through My Limits: An Olympian Uncovered, two books in which she talks about her experience overcoming challenges. As an olympian athlete, she had to face brutal disappointment : she missed qualification by only a tenth of a point. But she didn’t give up, and held on tight to her dream. In 2008, in spite of some of the negative comments, her hard work paid off and she accomplished her dream by becoming an olympian athlete.
Now, she is a motivational speaker and shows us how to never give up, to face our challenges and always try to accomplish our goals.
“We don’t have it all figured out, but you can’t be afraid of failure.”
In 2001, Natalie Archer became a dentist in Toronto, at the Rosedale Family Dental Centre. She started a career as well as raise a family, which proves that both can be done successfully. She believes that you are “not fully dressed without a smile”.
This evening, she gave us tips that I am sure will come in handy as I move forward in my life :
1. Make calculated business risks. Think things through but do not be afraid to take risks in business, and take a chance.
2. Set limits, create strong relationships and do not lose yourself. You can work hard to achieve your goals but always maintain who you are, and build strong relationships along the way, which will help you realize your dream. Nobody can do it alone.
3. Don’t wait until it’s too late to have a family. This woman has proved that you can have both a career and a loving family. It’s all about balancing the two.
4. Get involved!
“You must build your own web and be strategic about where you place it. Be articulate with all the different angles that it offers. Remember, Spider webs are built so strong . And it is unpredictable when you will catch the fly!”
I found all of these women amazing, but the one who really moved me was Katrina. She went through so much personal struggles because she was different from the “average” girl, being taller and bigger, which led to some bullying. My sister was once a victim of bullying, so I can relate and understand her pain, having watched my sister go through it. She figured she’d try to use her hight as an asset and became a competitive basketball player with a dream to play in the WNBA. Unfortunately, more obstacles came along the way while playing a game one night, she suffered a career ending injury.
On the support from her peers, she followed on yet an other dream, modeling. In spite of not fitting in the mold, she kept her competitive nature and worked her way through this industry. It was difficult, due to the fact that she was in between two categories. But thankfully to Ben Barry from The Ben Barry Agency, which is the first modeling agency to accept models from every shapes and sizes, he believed in her and introduced her to many people, which helped her succeed in her modeling career. She was asked by Sunny Phong to walk in a fashion show, which was a thrill for her. As she walked down the runway, the audience clapped and cheered – everybody loved her curves. What a exhilarating moment !
One of my favorite moments of her speech was when she read us a poem that her mom used to read to her, called ” Don’t Quit”. And my favorite piece of advice from the whole night was,
“Don’t quit, for you’re not a failure
Until you fail to try.”
Katrina also gave us several tips to help us.
1. Take car of your health
2. Find a hobby as a way to forget about the world
3. Carry an attitude of gratitude
4. Be able to forgive
5. Let go of negative energy
Melani has developed a skin line called Soya Boutique. These organic products are a natural skin care collection.
What I took from Melani’s speech is that she accomplished many different things in her life. She was in the beauty industry for over 15 years, being a Canadian Ford model, but before the fashion industry she was an athlete. With the encouragement of her father, she was led to other paths than sports, and she signed with the Ford Modeling Company. That led her to have amazing contracts with MAC and Dolce & Gabana, for example. Which is a high accomplishment, but Melani still strived to find her passion. She kept her options open and after trying modeling, being a stylist and a designer, she finally found that skin care was what called to her and went back to school in order to get the education she needed to accomplish her dream.
One of Melani’s most important tips for us girls was to “embrace opportunities that arise from every experience”.
Having listened to Melani, I realize that even if I feel accomplished in what I am doing, I will alway be striving to go further, do better, and not be afraid of challenging myself.
As a part of my pageant they asked all us girls to think about if we could star or host our own TV show, what would it be about and why would we choose it. This assignment took me a little while to choose what I wanted to do because I had a lot of ideas floating around in my head but this is what I came up with-
Title: CROWED: Behind the Scenes of a Canadian Pageant
½ hour documentary series airing once a week
My TV show would show what pageants really are, because the examples we see on tv do not portray what pageants (especially what miss teen Canada world) are all about. My show would go from province to province showing how the girls prepare for the Miss Teen Canada world pageant. It would highlight their volunteer work, their appearances as well as their fund raising for Free the Children. It would show the stress but also how much fun it is to be involved and how fortunate we are to have these experiences. This show would hold a higher integrity and show viewers how these girls are interested in trying new things, helping and volunteering in their communities and meeting other girls their age who also want to be a good example and good role models.
Each episode would be me traveling across Canada interviewing the girls and going with them around their home town in preparation, the week in Toronto, pageant rehearsals, appearances, preliminary night, just to name some of the things they would film. The season finale would be the national pageant, behind the scenes of the show, crowning, prize winners and everything that goes on that night.
I’m not oblivious as to what makes viewers want to watch a show it is the drama and the suspense so I will not exclude these factors. However, the “drama” in this show would be the everyday drama’s of the pageant including, unfriendly staff at a store, hoping people will come to fundraisers, and other tasteful things that will still add suspense to the show.
I mainly chose this because although I have not yet been to the national pageant, I will explain using my experiences from the provincials and my experience leading up to the national level. During my two days at the Miss Teen Ontario pageant there wasn’t one time I felt self conscious being around 45 beautiful, smart and talented girls. Everyone was really kind, supportive and helpful to one another. We were constantly told not to compare ourselves to any of the other girls and if we were going to compare ourselves to anyone we should just focus on trying our hardest, taking the tools we were given (taught) and improve from the first time we tried it. MTC-W slogan is be your own kind of beautiful and I’d love to show all of Canada how beneficial this pageant has been to my confidence and how it’s affected the other girls which I’m sure have grown through this whole experience.
Co-stars: the co-stars of the show would be the girls going on to compete for the title of Miss Teen Canada World.
Network: CTV- I chose CTV because it is a Canadian based network, it has a high amount of viewers, as well as all shows CTV airs are very diverse and they are different from one another, it has something for everybody. This would give more opportunity for my show to be seen as well as it shares a network with shows like America’s next top model, e talk, fashion star which I think people would find similar topics discussed in my show.
Sponsors- I think Goody Canada would be a great sponsor to my show because their mission is “to give girls and women tools that make them feel great about who they already are and allow them to confidently express themselves to the outside world in any setting.” (quoted from Goody Canada) I think Goody would be the perfect match because as a company they hold a high standard and a high integrity as I would aim for my show to have. Also, the audience that my show would attract is the target demographic that goody products are sold to.
I think MAC cosmetics would be a great sponsor of my show as well, mainly because my show would demonstrate the fashion and cosmetics aspects of pageants and MAC would appeal to our target audience as well. Mac is another honorable company, they promote themselves by saying “We are committed to working together with our suppliers to source products and services responsibly, with uncompromising ethics and integrity that is guided by our vision—Bringing the Best to Everyone We Touch.” (quoted from the MAC website) They not only want to make amazing products but they want to make sure it is made in a fair way with equality for all their workers starting with their suppliers.
Both these companies have values that are important to me and are values that I would like my dream television show to portray as well.
That is what my DREAM tv show would be if I could “star” in my own show.. would you guys watch it? 🙂
keep a look out for my next blog, I’ll be posting it shortly