This blogpost is probably something that I've not really said so openly on the internet. Before I continue, I just want to say that this blogpost isn't meant to hurt or defame anyone at all, these are purely my own opinions, and people are more than welcome to disagree, but with that being said, I'd appreciate if you'd keep your hate to yourselves, especially if it's purely because you aren't able to see it from another person's perspective and you can't comprehend it.
Don't antagonise what you don't understand.
I suppose one of the biggest reasons for me to finally write this blogpost is to attempt to break the stereotype and stigma around beauty pageants. I'm definitely not a pioneer for this 'movement', but I realised that it better than keeping quiet. I'm not a beauty queen myself, and I've personal reasons for not wanting to take part in a pageant. However, I've been given multiple opportunities to speak to some organisers of pageants and former queens.
I never expected the huge amount of hate that came my way (though not really directed at me) when I released my blogpost and vlog for Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2017. I should add, the comments and views exploded overnight (particularly for my vlog) and it was pretty scary. Views are views, and negative comments are still comments, but that doesn't mean it's good for anyone. It sucked that people were just being hateful towards the girls and it made me really sad. I don't really know how I'm going to do it, but I want to at least try to open people's minds about beauty pageants.
Yes, it sort of took me almost 2 years to finally say something about it. I have said a few things here and there in my blogposts, but I think it's time I actually dedicated a blogpost to this. Honestly, I think I haven't really got over the harsh reactions from people, so in a way, this is my outlet and it did take me a while to rationalise my thoughts because I began hating on the people who hated on the contestants and pageant world. But hating the haters doesn't do anything, apart from bring them satisfaction, and I did not want to succumb to that. It also made me realise that it's just a lack of knowledge or perspective and being able to witness a number of pageants over the past few years did give me better insight.I know writing this blogpost isn't really going to stop people's hate or ignorance, we all love a good bitching session and it's really easy to throw shade (I'm definitely guilty of being judgemental, not gonna lie lol).
I should also mention that I'm not doing this blogpost because some of the girls from MSBP2017 became some of my good friends, but because it made me realise that people expect one thing from beauty pageants: flawless faces and flawless bodies.
I used to think beauty pageants was just pure glamour and bikinis. I wasn't a hater, in fact, I never thought too much about beauty pageants, it was something that intimidated me, especially since I personally struggle with body confidence. I'm grateful to ERM Singapore for inviting me to my first pageant, and that pageant was for married women. It was such an eye-opener and I'm thankful I took that leap of faith and attended the press conference for Mrs Singapore World 2015.
Yes, there are pageants that do look out for those qualities, some pageants do have a minimum height requirement, but that doesn't mean all beauty pageants do. There are pageants for petite girls like Miss Petite Princess and Dream Girl Singapore as well as pageants for plus sized ladies like Ms Top of the World Plus Size. I'm sure there are many more, and I'm hoping to be able to discover them too.
A simple quote from Joyce Giraud, Miss Universe Puerto Rico 1998.
There are pageants that give back to the community, like Miss Earth caters to caring for the environment, with one of their events being a beach cleanup. Pageants like Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant and Mrs & Classic Mrs Singapore have charity events or fund raisers to give back to the community. Like I said, it's really so much more than just being a role model for little girls. It's about being empowered to make changes in the society and to inspire others to fight for what they believe in. I know there are some contestants who join pageants for exposure, or to give themselves a new challenge, which is great, because it serves as an inspiration to others who have tuned in to their pageant journey. It's about being brave and believing in yourself too. I strongly believe that's what a beauty pageant really brings to the table.
Speaking of being inspiring, this misconception is one of the reasons why I started doing the Tea with Queens segment in my blog. Queens come from all walks of life, and they all have different backgrounds and goals, I hope to highlight that. Another thing that I want to talk about would be Childrens pageants. I was able to attend the Little Ms and Little Mr Tampines Pageant last year, and it made me realise that it isn't about objectifying the children, but about giving them confidence and exposure more than anything.
There were children that came into the auditions looking terrified, refusing to introduce themselves to the judges, but had decent talent, and later on in the finals, they're able to walk on the big stage by themselves with no problem. I think this sort of growth is important for children nowadays, especially when we are surrounded by so much technology and we are all glued to our computers or phones. Also, since they've been given that opportunity when they're young, it may allow them to discover things about themselves, which I feel is important for children.
I'm not a parent, and I don't intend to be one, but that's just my two cents. We shouldn't be afraid to let the little ones make mistakes and learn from them on their own. Well, unless the mistake's something insanely dire like murder or drugs, but that's very extreme. But what I'm trying to say is, small challenges like putting themselves out in public doesn't hurt anyone, and it allows them to really learn.
I wasn't able to find out much about who Chantel Giamanco is, but I really liked this quote from her.
There are many more quotes out there that I resonate with, but I won't overload everyone with them today. However, I do post them on my other instagram (@t.withqueens) where I purely focus on my interviews with past/reigning queens and post some inspiring quotes, in hope of breaking the stereotypes.
I believe that beauty truly is skin deep. We've seen people out there who used to look like a divine statue carved from marble turn to anything but because of sickness, addiction, lack of self care, or just by their own personal life choices. We all grow old, and I don't think everyone ages gracefully, so beauty isn't forever, but your heart's intentions and personality will stay. I think these are things you can't fake because time always reveals the real person that we are.
I'll be ending this blogpost here. I could go on and on forever, but I doubt that people would actually want to read so much about just one person's opinions. But if you did read this blogpost all the way to the end, thank you very much, it does mean the world to me that you'd actually read this, whether you agree with my views or not! 'Till my next blogpost!