I started the New Chapter of my life, as a mother– in a Beauty Pageant contest, for married women. Right after my baby’s first birthday, which is not quite a seemingly maternal instinct to begin with. I do not suppose it was a misadventure, either. But let us say, that it was a calling of my life… Despite the misproportion of my right leg– which I always hope that you would not notice, but only to be realized, later. As long as I could walk, I will not see it as a hindrance. And now, it is time to walk the talk… To conquer this greatest insecurity, which I have the prevalent habit, of hiding.
So, the rumor has it. I have this so-called muscle atrophy– a loss of muscle tissue due to injury. An unfortunate incident happened 17-years-ago, during secondary school; which I, however, do not wish to disclose– to avoid any blame-hood. I decided, it was not blameworthy, even if I could; and took it as a profound turning point-of-my-life, instead. If you were to ask me, I could not remember how I endured it, but that endurance alone, has shield me through these days.
The image of a chunk of blood that spurted out from the lower calf of my right leg, was still vivid in my mind… I could not believe what I saw– it was rather, fresh. A red blood cell, Erythrocytes, which looks akin to that of a chicken heart– It sure made me cringed just to recall it. At times, I could find myself fighting back those hot tears, for the heavy emotion involved– to say the least. It could have never happened, but nothing can change it. Most importantly now, my children will not have to experience it.
The hardship that it had bequeath me with strength and tolerance, to face every menace and ugly sides of human beings. The peer pressure of adolescent years, and being downright ridiculed. Some, would mocked at how I walked. Some, would rather save their pride than walking along with a handicapped friend. Alas, that was my journey of regaining my muscle strength, and balance back at walking; where there would be a twitch in-between walks. I was literally dragging my fortunate leg along people’s passing gazed. And, it was not– a desirable sight for any growing up girl, at their peak of emotional and physical transition…
I could have been an avid sportsperson that I used to be in school, prior to the incident. I remembered, gaining medals in every race that I ran. Sometimes, I even forget that I possessed one– until my healthier left leg, which is apparently more muscular in mass, started to complain of her hard labor supporting its right, till today. Even then, I still possessed that same determination and will, of a sportsperson. Due to the incapability, I divert my course of extra curricular activity from sports, to Art. The canvas that resurfaced my courage, and found my voice.
Pageant teach the exact same skills that sports do: goal setting,
“can do” attitude and performance under pressure.
But in pageants you wear much better shoes!”
My husband, then boyfriend, did not seem to take notice of my ‘little secret’ right from the beginning of our courtship as then, colleagues. I probably wanted to test the water, as if it was not apparent enough, so to make known to him. It turned out that, he is not apologetic about it. I then knew, that this love is ‘madness’, and not superficial. To think that, even in a supposedly mature adulthood relationship– friends can be nice, and arbitrarily used your very flaw to ridicule you, at the same time. But, this is the imminent hard fact that, I will carry on.
“The sign of a true queen is that
she holds respect for others,
as highly as her crown.”
So, how can I ignored the fact that I am handicapped, and still had the cheek to join Beauty Pageant contest, knowing that this field caters for Ultimate Perfection?
It is simply because, I am not a superficial person. Not– entirely.
All women, are beautiful in her own birthright. While Beauty Pageant is a platform to celebrate it, and to extend the fact in that respect, for a greater purpose that either stop with a crown, or bring you further. To understand what Beauty Pageant is all about, is to experience it; and inadvertently, I had rediscovered my long lost ambition. Apparently, not being a symbol of beauty. You will know it later, as you read on.
Look for the beauty in others to find the beauty in yourself.
Yes, with inadequate information and judging solely– by beauty and glamour alone, you will only see superficiality, all you want. Economically, a product sells better and quicker through advertising, so does beauty. A brand, needs to derive a logo to be outstanding, so does the myriad of personalities. In politic, or perhaps in a business presentation, you would not want to appear smart, but came across as unintelligible. You would not want to hold an important speech in a negligent fashion, either. Beauty Pageant translate both presence and purpose.
And, it all boils down to individuality, with inspiring stories to tell. Apparently, during my prejudging day, as a Finalist– I had then, no real inspiring stories to share, (while still hiding my ‘little secret’ in my long, sparkly gown or placing my best foot forward in a short-cocktail dress) other than my 5-years stint of career life in the affluent, expat-land of Dubai. Plus, having achieved the ‘Best Student in Art’ in GCSE ‘O’ level, it was only timely for me to revive that passion. Yes, my long lost ambition– and this time, with Charity in mind. Mostly, during the prejudging interview, I focused on what I can do and achieve, should I reign the title… Little did I realize, it had– since then, became a personal conviction brought to another level.
Every building, has its own precondition and function; and if it has good and strong foundation, it will be built to last. Beauty Pageant organisation act as a prestigious agent, other than beauty marketing as it deemed fit– for aspiring women, in their various forms and beauty– to inspire, to continue their passion, to be an ambassador in what they believe in most, and other many possibilities that we– as a career woman, or full-time mother, could achieve. If not, MORE.
Beauty is using the power of confidence
to help others grow their own.
Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life,
because you become what you believe.
Due to my vision and performance, I was awarded the title of “Mrs Singapore Goodwill” while my dedicated husband who has always believe in me, was awarded as “Most Supportive Husband”. I had, also, continued my pageant-hood journey as a representative of Singapore, in an Asia International level.
I then thought, I had –overcome– myself, since Hey! I am a breakthrough Finalist; a continuous struggle, without falling. Even danced myself away to win the ‘Best Performance’, in a trio-dance theme. Alas, nothing is more liberating– than self-acceptance. Hence, the Power To Share.
Embrace our imperfection with pride. As, it is the only favor that we can do to our-self. In this light, we all need that occasional reminder of who we are, what we love, and what we love to be doing. WE ALL have an important role to play, with or without joining a Beauty Pageant contest.
– Believe in your journey–
Nuraiza Knuettel (Mrs Singapore Goodwill / Mrs Asia International Kebaya Queen) has lived in Dubai, Germany, and in London at present. Having joining the prestigious ‘Beauty with a Heart’ consolidated Beauty Pageant contest in Singapore 2013, she was aspired to continue her passion, being the Top Student in Art, so as to establish ‘Forthebord’ by 2016– an avenue to showcase her distinct artwork and art therapy program. Her aim is to ‘Build-a-Shelter’ campaign for the homeless and refugees, with other boards of local and international charity. Together with her German Architect husband, she is a mother of two adorable daughters; aged 3, and 9-months.