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My photographer and I took a trip a little bit more outdoors-like than I’m used to in my heels. The two of us went out to one of my towns biggest attractions, The Markham Fair.
The Markham Fair is the largest fair in Canada, so it was sort of cool this time to be a part of it, instead of a bystander. What I got to do was roam around the lot, in and out of the buildings, and pretty much be like one of the Disney Princess characters in the theme parks for a day. Lots of little girls, (and sometimes even some boys!) were really excited to see me, and often I let them try on my crown, and definitely ask as many questions as their minds could find. My personal favourite question of the day was whether or not princesses could say the word underwear, to which I answered back by stuttering out the word, pretending it was impossible.
This was one of my many stops indoors throughout the day ( it got very warm in the sun!), and I happened to stumble upon a man who works with a charity everyone in Markham should know. It’s called Sledging and what it is, is sitting down onto a metal rail sled and propelling yourself on the ice. You propel yourself using short hockey sticks with picks on the ends of them. Sledges are used so that girls and boys who are disabled can play hockey as well. The man beside me in the picture runs the Markham Sledging rink, and any Sunday morning you feel up to it, he welcomes you to go down and try it for yourself!
Dr. Natalie Archer is a dentist from Toronto. She believes strongly in family, education, and hard work.
Dr. Natalie Archer believes that a true career comes from hard work perseverance, and luck. She believes that all women should get an education, because that is one thing that no person can ever take away from you, and all women should be able to stand on their own two feet.
She gave us all four pieces of advice for our lives, which I will share with you:
-Make calculated business risks
-make your family life strong, because 38% of women are the breadwinners in their families and their husbands will sometimes feel un-needed.
-make having children a priority. Dr. Archer believes that it is very important to have children when you can, and not to wait until you are 35+.
-Don’t get caught up in a business that is an ‘Old Boy’s Club’. You will end up in an area that is slightly sexist, and old school.
Melani Chong was originally an athlete. She played as many sports as she could, and never dreamed of being a model, never even thought of it. One day, her father asked her if she would like to go to an open call for Ford Models, which she declined to. In the end, her father tricked her into going, and no surprise she made it. However, even at the top of her modeling game she didn’t feel satisfied with what she was doing.
And so, she became a stylist. She was a stylist for a short while, and then she had her first child, which threw her for a loop. Once you have a child, it is extremely hard to get that tiny figure back, so what was she going to do? And so, Soya Boutique was born.
Soya boutique is a completely natural skin care line. She had to go to school for a few years to completely develop her line, but in the end it was worth it. Melani truly believes in ‘beauty in simplicity’.
Melani’s favourite quote is ‘Wisest is he who knows what he does not know.’ She believes this helped her all throughout her lifetime, especially when jumping into a world of fashion knowing she knew nothing.
Katrina Hadden has been tall since she was younger, just like I have been. Her and I also share in the fact that growing up we were given many cruel nicknames from classmates, whether they were completely fitting or not.
Katrina showed them what she was made of differently than me though- she threw her heart and soul into basketball. Her dream was to be on the WNBA, and nothing was going to get in her way.
Injuries have a way of stopping dreams, however. Katrina threw out her knee in her grade twelve year. She was left with nothing that she knew, nothing she knew she was good at. What was Katrina if she couldn’t be a basketball player any more?
Katrina decided that she should try for modelling. She was a size twelve, distinctly in-between the categories models generally fall under. At first, she couldn’t get many jobs, and sometimes when she would get plus size jobs she would have to wear padding to make herself seem lake a larger woman.
Katrina decided enough was enough, and started to try to loose weight to become a smaller model. This lead to an eating disorder. However, Katrina got out of that stage of her life and moved forward to better things, starting with becoming a trainer to help women accept who they are.
It was then that she decided she had to switch agencies. She went to the agency Ben Barry, who specializes in taking in girls of different shapes, sizes, and races. She then pitched her idea of having an in-between sized model, so that she didn’t have to lose or gain weight, and Ben Barry was all for it. Katrina started to feel at home, and finally got the confidence she needed to become a successfully size twelve model, creating a new pathway for girls to follow in. As a size twelve model she was asked to be a part of Toronto’s Fashion week, where she walked the runway in a gown made especially for her.
Katrina gave us this advice to leave with;
-Take care of your body and your health
– Always have a way to forget (ex. be able to dance and forget the world, sing, play a sport, etc.)
-Always have an attitude of gratitude; never take things you are given for grated, remember to thank those who helped you
-Live with forgiveness for those who hurt you.
Alexandra Orlando is an Olympic rhythmic gymnast. It was Alexandra’s dream to be an Olympian, even when she was a child. It was Alexandra’s one and only goal- to get there. So she worked, and she worked hard. She did gymnastics on her weekends, after school, in the mornings. She ate, slept, and breathed her dream, because there was no way she wasn’t going to get there.
However, the first time she went to worlds, she did not make it by .10 of a point. Alexandra was devastated. When she went home she didn’t do anything, she just stayed in her room, until one day her parents decided enough was enough. They asked her why she was upset, and she just said, ‘because I lost’. Her Mom then asked her if that meant she didn’t like gymnastics any more, and that is when she realized, her dream wasn’t just about the goal, but the journey to get there. It was the moments in the gym that really counted, not the moment on the podium.
When she went back to the gym to practice for the next worlds, no one but her family was supportive. They told her that it was past her prime, and it was time for her to step down. However, she did not, and she made it through nationals, and into the Olympics. Alexandra lives by the saying, ‘learn from winning, learn from losing’, which is perfect, because if she hadn’t learnt from her loss she would never have made her goal.
The reason I would do this kind of show is because it would let me work with creatures all the time, every day, but also it would let me work with people. When working with the people I would tell them my personal tricks to keeping your dog safe, happy, and of course not stealing your steak off the kitchen table.
I think it would be helpful to people, because I would give ways of training that anyone can do (an example is if your dog plays too rough with your child, teach the child to make a whimper like a dog, the dog will stop right away.) I find I do not like a lot of other trainers methods because they work for people, not animals. (For example, how would you like a collar that choked you when you went to smell something that looked completely delicious?)
I think I’d help a lot of people at home while I was helping the people on screen, and that’s why I think I really would love to do it. I think two sponsors that would work well with this would be Burman Books, and Mac Cosmetics. The reason I chose Burman books is because there are many books on dog training available, and it might help them if they help me, in the long run. I chose Mac Cosmetics because even if I was to get down and dirty with the pups, I still have to look good for the camera!
It is now my duty to tell all you lovely people of the place I would go on my dream vacation, but first I think I’ll tell you a bit about my previous travelling experiences.
I love travelling, and I have since I was a little kid. It is not so much seeing new places, but rather covering one-self in another’s culture, is what intrigues me most. I have been to many places in my life time, all the Caribbean Islands, practically all of Europe save for Spain, across Canada, and since my parents invested in an RV, across the United States. I’m sure I’m leaving many countries and probably continents out, but I can never remember all the places I’ve been, only my Mom does.
However, if I were to go to one place, I would go to Holland. I’ve been there before, and its not very sunny (which if you were to see my tan, you’d understand I love the sun), but of all the places in the world I have been Holland feels most like home to me.
My Grandmother lived in Holland growing up, before moving to Canada, but when moving she left a lot of family behind, which is just another reason for me to wish to go there. My family is an old name, and you can track it back generations, however every single trail will start you off from one point, and that point is Holland.
Rotterdam, to be exact now. My Grandmother’s Mom’s Sister, Tante Gertruda (Hair-tue-dah, except you make a guttural sound on hair) is the only living relative that is not married into the family left, and she is currently in her early 90’s. It’s hard to imagine that she is, because when you talk to her she truly is so full of life, but I would like to see her another time.
Here is an older photo of me and my Tante Gerr (Hair with the guttural sound, its shorter and everyone calls her that.) My hair is long here, so just ignore that part, but she herself hasn’t aged a day.
Self esteem is something that every person battles at one point. I personally have had very hard times in my life due to self esteem and bullying, so I thought I would use my title for good and hold a Self Esteem Workshop at my primary school.
I worked with students in grades 7-8, and first talked to them about the truth of peer pressure. Because peer pressure is not what I expected going into high school, it is not a group of people sitting around telling you you should try something. That is easy to turn down, and that is not what it is. Peer pressure comes from your friends, and it is not your friends saying, `you have to do it`, its your friends saying ,`its okay if you don`t, see you later.`Your friends leave you behind to go do whatever it is they are doing, and no one wants to be left alone. But you have to believe in yourself enough to know that you don`t have to do whatever it is they want you to do. Its okay if you do not. Its better if you do not.
And then I started with our sort-of-game. I gave everyone in the room a brightly coloured piece of paper, and explained what they were to do. They were to write on the sheet something that they really liked about the person to the right of them. It could be something they always wanted, or something that the person is good at. Just something nice to remember.
The point of this was to slightly derail the media`s work on the kids. The media tells us all the time we are not allowed to be proud of ourselves. It tells us that if we say we like how we look we`re full of ourselves, is tells us if we are proud of what we`ve accomplished we are putting other people down. This way, each person in the room had a paper written about them, saying what they should be proud of. something that lots of people wished they had.
I then took those sheets of paper and read them aloud to the class. There was laughter, smiles, and a lot of talking, and I am proud to say that every person in that classroom left knowing something good about themselves.
You can find more photos from the event at www.facebook.com/missteenmarkham2012
Mary Kay has a rule; faith first, family second, work third. And from the speeches I heard at their get together, and the way the crowd responded, every worker is thankful for the ability to be given that chance.
Mary Kay lets you be your own boss. It lets you go up in the business when you feel you are ready, or stay where you are if that`s what you want. It rewards you for a job well done and helps you do better for those you do not do well. And what is more, Mary Kay is for women.
Mary Kay helps women stand on their own two feet and have their own income. It lets mothers work from home so that their children are never far away, and socialites spend their days talking with ladies and making them feel beautiful.
I got to meet many people while I was there, two of which are the President of Mary Kay Canada, and the President of Mary Kay Asian Pacific. Here is a picture of the three of us, and if you would like to see more photos from the even you can find them at my facebook page www.facebook.com/missteenmarkham2012