As said by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her TED talk in March 2014.

Hi everyone!

I leave for Toronto in a few hours, but first I wanted to share a message that I am passionate for: my Beauty with a Purpose.

As Julia Morley, the Chairman and CEO of the Miss World Organisation said on the Miss World Beauty with a Purpose website:

“Beauty with a Purpose […] is the heart of Miss World.”

And I truly believe that my heart lies in my Beauty with a Purpose: Refractions of a Reality, a breaking stereotypes initiative.

I am a female mechanical engineer, a mental health advocate, and a pageant queen, to name a few of the stereotypes that I am breaking daily. I am working to show society that it is okay to be yourself, regardless of what stereotypes exist and what labels are thrusts upon us. My desire to share my experiences, talk with others, and help society see how detrimental stereotypes can be gave me the courage to start an online community called “Refractions of a Reality,” where I share stories about who I am and the stereotypes I face, encouraging others to share their experiences as well.

Photographer: Kaboha Photography

What’s in a name?

I came up with the name “Refractions of a Reality” or ROAR for short, because I wanted something that combined all sides of myself. The technical and the real. The creative and the logical. I wanted a phrase that was easy to remember, while being something solid that I could take with me and that would serve as a symbol of ROAR.

For this representation, I chose a diamond because they have such a unique and powerful brilliance. This brilliance comes from a diamond in three ways: reflection, refraction, and dispersion. Reflection is when light hits a surface and comes back, like looking into a mirror. The remaining portion comes from the light traveling through the jewel; refraction is when light deflects through another medium, and dispersion is when white light spreads into its full spectrum of colour.

While I was considering names, the acronym ROAR was very powerful to me, and finally helped me decide on the name. I use the phrase “Let me hear your ROAR!” to share the stories of how someone is breaking stereotypes. This reiterates that everyone has sides to themselves that we sometime hide, but by sharing your ROAR, you are giving yourself the power to be loud and to be heard.

Now let me share with you some of the stereotypes I am breaking daily.

Engineering


SWE Member and past SWE President, Stacey M. DelVecchio

Being a female in a male dominated field has taught me so much about finding my voice, allowing me to speak up when I have an idea and to ask questions when I am uncertain. I have a unique perspective on problems, and I am able to apply the logical thinking that is a vital part of engineering to every aspect of my life.

My proudest moment in engineering was last November when I received my Iron Ring, a symbol of engineers who have studied at an accredited Canadian University. I now have a physical reminder that I wear everyday to remember the hours of studying, the many group projects, and my journey with mental illness before I completed my degree.

I am currently working as a Manufacturing Engineer in the Aerospace industry. I help the employees on the floor find better, faster, and safer ways to do their jobs, while continuously working on improvements and problem solving.

Mental illness

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It’s the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends, but hating socializing, it’s wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It’s feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

Author Unknown

Although finishing any degree is worth a celebration, finishing my degree meant I made it through the hardest period of my life – working through mental illness while completing my engineering degree. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety halfway through my degree, and there were many days that I didn’t think that I would be able to graduate.

I didn’t understand what depression or anxiety actually were before I was diagnosed. I took a term off university, went to group counselling, and had my doctor prescribe me anti-depressants. It took me three months before I was able to take the medication – I didn’t understand why I needed a drug to make me emotionally stable. Why wasn’t I doing enough? Why wasn’t I enough? It wasn’t until one of my group members said, “Sometimes asking for help isn’t a weakness, but a strength to know that you need help.” This is to date one of the most powerful and inspiring phrases I’ve ever heard.

I went back to my degree that fall, and three years later I am proud to wear my Iron Ring as an engineer and to have received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.

Pageants

Pageantry often brings to mind the classic stereotype that those of us who compete are familiar with – vain, not smart, and constantly answering ‘world peace,’ regardless of the question asked, but the ladies who compete are so much more than this simple surface scratch. Through my involvement with pageants I have met women of diverse backgrounds and career choices, from firefighter to med student, from flutist to teacher, with so many in between. 

I have competed in 5 pageants since 2012, and I have learned that pageants are about so much more than outer appearances. They taught me self confidence, how to enter a room and put others at ease, and how to inspire others. They taught me so much of who I am as a person and made me into the person I am today. 

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, if I listened and believed all of the stereotypes I heard, I wouldn’t be proud to admit that I love science and math or that I can spend hours reading a book and devour them in one sitting. It’s still hard for me to talk about depression at times, but when it’s important or I can help someone else I will. I don’t let stereotypes define who I am or what I will do in the future. My career, my personal life, and my passions would be severely limited if I let society’s labels dictate who I was and what I could do.

Through my experiences, I learned what both determination and resilience truly are. I know that with determination I can accomplish many things and with resilience I can pick myself back up when I fall. Everything I have gone through has taught me so much about who I am, and who I will become. If I can help even one person see that who they are is important – not the stereotypes placed upon them, but who they are – then I will be contributing to showing others that their true selves are valued, making this platform so rewarding.

Thank you so much for reading about my Beauty with a Purpose and finding out just what Refractions of a Reality means to me! If you are interested in joining the community, you can follow ROAR on Instagram here, participate in the conversation by using #RefractionsofaReality, or sending me a DM and sharing your story – maybe you will be the next person featured!

Sincerely,

Courtney

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Hi everyone! These past couple weeks have been busy ones with prepping for the pageant, but they’ve been the best kind of busy!

One of the many things that I did this past week was attending an event on Winnipeg’s most favourite time of year: the free slurpee event at 7-eleven. I know this may not sound like the biggest and most impactful event one can attend in Winnipeg, but as a city, this is something that defines us. We are affectionately known as the slurpee capital and I am more than happy to affiliate myself with my fellow Winnipeggers in our obsessive love of slurpees. From face-painting and mascots to free food, music, and limbo competitions, everyone was sure to come out to the celebrate the day of the slurpee.

But all humour and jokes aside, I believe it’s just as important to support your community in small ways as it is to support it in big ways. Being a titleholder and making the choice to attend and help out at a smaller, local event, I believe, sends a different kind of message to the people involved. It shows that you care about the community as a whole, and not just the certain, big or flashy events. It shows that, even though you wear a crown and sash, you are not above anyone in social status or class. You can sense a feeling of family at such events, even though most people hardly know each other. There is something humbling about volunteering at ‘smaller’ events, and I would like to encourage anyone reading this to make the effort to volunteer your time in opportunities like this. It builds your character and shows your community you are there for THEM and are willing to represent THEM. It makes people feel special, and knowing you’ve played a part in making that happen leaves you feeling far more satisfied than you might imagine.

Thank you for taking the time to read this short but sweet blog post! I hope to update you all again real soon! Until next time! xoxo

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Hello and thank you for reading my first blog post!

My name is Courtney and I am honoured be a National finalist for the Miss World Canada pageant this summer, representing Manitoba.

Photographer: Rachel Okot

In this blog, I will do my best to show you who I am through my personal thoughts, my chosen career and my Road to Miss World Canada. This journey will include events, my Beauty with a Purpose, and what the National crown means to me.

Now, Miss World Canada is the official preliminary to Miss World, which remains the oldest, largest and the most prestigious pageant in the world represented by 147 countries and attracting over two billion viewers – more than the Olympics! I have chosen to compete in this pageant because I absolutely love their core message of “Beauty with a Purpose.” This is more than simply a motto to me, but rather it means that we have a purpose, and I’ll talk about mine in my next blog!

Now here’s a bit more about me!

I am so proud to say that this spring I completed my biggest challenge to date: I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Manitoba. My degree was in the department of Mechanical Engineering and I am currently working full time as a Manufacturing Engineer in the aerospace industry. Last November, I received my Iron Ring, which is a ring that goes on the pinky finger of our dominant hand and is symbol of Engineers who were trained in Canada. This was one of the proudest moments of my life – be sure to watch for my Iron Ring at Nationals! This degree took me six years to complete and I gained determination and resilience through the journey. I am so proud to be a woman in engineering, a woman in science, and a woman in the STEM field.

Photographer: Kaboha Photography

I am a female Manufacturing Engineer with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a pageant queen, a husky mom, a mental health advocate, a high school tutor, a DIY-er, a travel lover, an avid reader, among many others. These are all facets, all refractions of who I am. They all have taught me so much about who I am, and who I will become.

Thank you so much for reading my first blog post, and stay tuned for the next one!

Sincerely,

Courtney

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MISS MANITOBA WORLD CANADA 2019

Hi, I am so proud to be representing Manitoba as one of the delegates for the Miss World Canada 2019 Pageant and I know it is going to be an amazing journey with your support.

I’m the first of four children. I Lived most of my life in Nigeria and migrated to Canada as an international student in Dec 2012. After a few years I became a permanent resident with the arrival of my Family into Canada. I must say it has been an amazing experience so far. In May 03, 2019, I officially became a Citizen of this great country and I must say I am so proud to be called a Canadian. I am currently a student of University of Manitoba, Faculty of Science and also pursuing my dreams of becoming a professional pilot at Harv’s air in Steinbach, MB. I am professional Model represented by Panache Management in Winnipeg, MB. I also have interest in art and love cooking. During my free time I create food recipes and do some abstract painting.

Participating in Miss World Canada Pageant is a great opportunity for me to serve my community and Country. I see this as a huge responsibility and opportunity to inspire and impact the lives of younger generations most especially children positively and I am willing to make the best out of it. I will like to be a true leader. I also got into this competition to build my self esteem and confidence as it is my first time participating in a pageant. I live a life of love, discipline and positivity.

I would like to use this medium to say thank you all for your support and hope to make you proud.

Make sure to follow me on my social media;

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/missmbworldca2019/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MissMBWorld2019

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MissManitobaWorld/

Thank you once more for your support and watch out for more blog posts from me.

Much Love


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Hello everyone! I am beyond ecstatic to have been given this amazing opportunity of representing my province at the national level; something I had never even dreamed of doing! I am so excited to share this incredible experience with you all, and I hope I am able to give you as much of an insight into my life as I can!

I am an only child who was born and raised in a small town in Manitoba. I grew up in a Christian home with two very loving parents who raised me up to be a woman of faith, and I have since learned to make it my own. From day one, I was introduced to the world of horses, and since then, my love for any living creature under the sun has only grown at a wild and rapid pace. My mother owns a boarding stable, and as a toddler, she made sure I had sat on the back of a horse as many times as possible. By the age of 5, I was taking riding lessons and growing more and more confident in my skills. My passion for horses only grew, and I was soon participating in our local Pony Club, competing in shows, and riding in clinics.

As the years went on, I continued to develop my skills in jumping, but soon found myself beginning to fall more and more in love with the art of dressage. I dedicated myself to learning and mastering all that I could, and the results of our hard work spoke for itself in the show ring.

Sadly, I couldn’t remain a kid forever, and I soon found that I had outgrown my beloved pony, Keegan. It was shortly after that that I found my next horse, Liebe, who would then be my partner and teacher in dressage for the next 8 years. In that time, I learned lots about patience, determination, hard work, diligence, and courage, just to name a few. Together, we excelled and impressed people with what we had accomplished.

Sadly, in October 2017, Liebe suffered a severe injury and passed away. I was heart broken, but I knew my influence in the horse world was not over. I had seen the impact horses had on people, and how people, in turn, responded to horses. I had witnessed emotional improvements, as well as physical and mental improvements to people who rode, or were even just in contact with horses, and I decided I wanted to be a part of it.

Though I also have a passion for the arts, modelling and acting, I had never thought I would ever enter myself into a pageant, and, to be honest, I wasn’t even aware that pageants were being held in our province. But in April, 2018, I found myself standing on a stage and competing for the title of Miss Manitoba World with other amazing girls from around the province. Though I did not win, I was offered the opportunity to be a titleholder, which I unfortunately had to turn down as I had previously committed myself to volunteering on a missions trip the very same week as the national pageant. In that one weekend, I experienced way more than I had expected to, but the two things that stood out to me the most was the incredible influence one could have as a titleholder, and also how close I felt to the girls I was competing with. I truly experienced a sense of sisterhood that I had not expected to feel in such short time. I quickly realized this was something I wanted to continue to be a part of, and shortly after, I made plans to compete once again for the title in the following year.

This year, I was honoured to receive the title of Miss Manitoba World and I can’t express enough just how thrilled I am to be competing in Toronto in about one month’s time. I want to use my influence to raise awareness for the impact horses have on people, both mentally and physically, in the form of equine therapy (also known as equine-assisted therapy). Since Miss World Canada’s official charity is the Children’s Wish Foundation, I want to help people, specifically children, with disabilities find healing through the miraculous impact of equine therapy. I am thrilled to be able to do so at the national level in Toronto this summer, and I can’t wait to see what new and amazing experiences I will have the privilege of being a part of!

Thank you for reading, and I hope to update you all again soon!

Love, Alicia

Follow me on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicia.enns.54

https://www.facebook.com/missmanitobaworld2019/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/missmanitobaworld2019/

https://www.instagram.com/aliciaenns/

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/aliciaenns444

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