Tonight I got a comment on my facebook pertaining to why I do pageants and the conversation is posted below. I love hearing different viewpoints and am so glad my friend brought it up! I think its fantastic we have public forums to discuss things so we can all better understand each other and where we all are coming from! If any of you ever have any questions feel free to facebook me or find me on twitter.
I have found filling my life with diverse, seemingly unrelated goals has developed me a unique individual. I am blessed I have had the athletic ability to pursue volleyball at a high level nationally and internationally. I am blessed to be a full enough package to have competed in the toughest state pageant in the USA and been relatively successful. I am blessed to have had the ambition, compassion and global prespective to start an international charitable non profit organization. I am further and finally blessed to have the ability to devote myself to a career in health as I pursue goals to one day become a doctor.
I love hearing input from people who just know me as a volleyball player, or just a student, or just pageant girl etc because I love letting people know there is so much more to me and there can be so much more to anyone if you set a goal and put your mind to it!
(background: she's a good friend from back when I used to play volleyball for UCLA)
My friend: Nana, You"re so much more than Miss USA! Really, I'm sorry but is that what you want out-of life? Your're so much more..
Me: hi! I understand where you are coming from. I think there are alot of stereotypes about pageants out there that are just not true. I have learned, grown and developed more as a person than I did playing volleyball and as you know with volleyball I grew and matured a whole lot! It takes so much to become and be a titleholder, but unfortunately there are stereotypes about pageants that dont allow people to truly understand how positively impactful competing can be for a woman. I have met the smartest, most confident, ambitious women competing vs. any other part of my life.
It takes a lot to aspire to something much bigger than yourself and to add you do it in front of millions of people around the world. That is what it is to want to become a miss usa, developing yourself to something way bigger than you can imagine while having to sometimes withstand intense setback, negativity and criticism... it is in a nutshell the American dream.
This is not the ONLY thing I want out of my life, there are many parts to me and I seek a balance everyday to fulfill each aspiration. I want to be a doctor, I want to develop my non profit even further, I want to have a family etc this is just a chapter in my life just like playing volleyball was.
Its hard for people from each phase of my life to understand the other. For example, I know its hard for alot of volleyball people to understand my desire to compete for pageants or to understand my desire to seek higher education, but there's also more to life than just pursuing a sport too. I think now adays, especially for women, there's more to life than just being one thing. We have become 'renaissance women' seeking careers and goals and not just staying home..I think thats something special that should be celebrated no matter what form its in.
I have found athletics and pageantry to have more in common with each other than expected and its sad alot of people judge one and the other. All I can say is I love surprising people and I love having the unique opportunity to have more to my name than just a volleyball player or just a student or just a humanitarian or just a pageant girl. I hope that clears things.