Why I Decided Not To Do Miss Teenage Canada

For me, this past year has been a year of trying new things. I’ve finally acted on things i’ve been intending to do for a while. I had an interview at a plus size modelling agency, I went through to school rounds for RockTalks with my speech “Origins Of A Theatre Nerd”, and what I’m writing about today: I applied for Miss Teenage Canada.

I found Miss Teenage Canada from a Facebook ad. Something about me is that I’m a very “seize the day” type of person, so naturally I applied. I didn’t hear anything for weeks so I assumed that nothing would come out of it until one day I opened my voicemails and there was a message from the head of the program, Michelle. She said she would love to have me fill out their official application form that went into more detail, the only hook: submitting the form itself was $45. I still paid the fee, submitted the form and waited. It took a while however it made sense as they were having their provincial rounds in different provinces. After a long wait, I finally got the email saying Michelle would like to interview me over Skype.

I counted down the days to my interview: TWO MORE DAYS-Nervousness, excitement, unknowingness. ONE MORE DAY- more excitement, self-assurance that I could speak confidently enough, bracing myself for possible rejection. THREE MORE HOURS- “What to wear, what to wear???”

Then it came: The interview.

I sat up confidently as my phone began buzzing. We had a polite greeting as Michelle readied her binder after finishing interviewing her applicant prior. After our “hello”s she told me to turn off my camera as it improved the sound quality. As she began asking me questions I reminded myself of what I had been going over in my head; slower talking, perky persona, confidence, and standing by my responses. The questions were as to be expected: what my passions were, my favourite extracurriculars, what charities interested me, and why I felt I would be a good choice. I explained to her that I wanted to shake up the system a bit and be an example to the young “fat” girls who felt like they can’t do this sort of thing.

The next morning I got the email, the one that determined whether or not I would be on that stage on March 10th. I opened it. Upon reading the large words at the beginning of the email I nearly threw my phone with excitement; “CONGRATULATIONS, You have been selected as a finalist!”

I couldn’t contain myself, I screamed and immediately called my Dad to tell him the news. After calming down, I watched the video they provided from their YouTube channel. In the midst of my excitement I didn’t realize how different what it was now showing was to what it had advertised. When I was in the application process they had told me that it was a very empowering program where teenage girls can make friends and get a foot in the door to the modelling industry. What they showed in the video was an extremely “looks” focused array of events. There wasn’t even a single on-stage interview for the girls participating. They never once mentioned in the application forms that there would be a swimsuit portion and in the video there were dozens and dozens of tall, skinny girls, some as young as 13, walking down a catwalk in string bikinis and stilettos.

They then went on to talk about the goals of the pageant. They didn’t talk about the girls or their accomplishments and opportunities, they reflected only on the “stuff” they would give you and what “big names” would attend.

Another thing that really bothered me was that they had hundreds of girls, each of them wearing a number. It could just be pageant culture but I found that numbering people, many of whom were doing it not for the pageant but for the opportunities that came out of it, were simply seen as a figure or a number on a list. After that I decided the entire thing gave me a bad gut feeling.

I later talked to someone who had worked for the pageant as well as girls who had participated. They had said that the security was so bad that people would come into the changing room and take photos. Another thing these people would tell me is that due to the fact that I don’t have the “Barbie Doll” look I wouldn’t even be considered to go past the provincial round. They would gladly take my money but not even give me a shot.

After collecting enough information, I came to the executive decision that participating was not a good idea. And those are only A FEW reasons why I am not doing, nor recommend doing, the Miss Teenage Canada pageant.

3 thoughts on “Why I Decided Not To Do Miss Teenage Canada

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