‘Twas but a dream or it felt like it as I stood backstage and I heard the name Trisha Poona being called out, as one of the Top 25 finalists, by the gorgeous Cindy Nell Roberts. I was the third name to be called out but standing there, holding the hands of my fellow beautiful contestants and now friends, it felt like a lifetime. I can’t even begin to tell you how overwhelmed I was. Now I know how those women felt on all those beauty pageants I watched as a little girl.
Looking back the few days before and leading up to this moment, I was surprisingly calm despite what I was about to encompass. In order to qualify for the finals we were to be judged on swimwear, poise, grace and confidence. But most of the marks were based on our interviews with a strong and accomplished panel of judges. I don’t know if it comes with age or because of all the broccoli and protein Vishal punished me with as pay back for when he was on his challenges, but I felt for the first time in my life so comfortable in my own skin. My challenge was to constantly remind myself to walk with my shoulders back, try not to stumble in my heels, place one foot in front of the other and not walk like a duck which I’m told I do. Oh and on top of all those things, remember my name! Looking at all those girls in their beautiful swimsuits, I actually felt more sorry for the judges. How on earth do you choose from these amazing woman who have worked so hard in these last two months, the transformation amongst some were astounding.
But really it was the interviews that determined our fate. Girls either walked out of the room with smiles on their faces or tears in their eyes. It felt like the most important interview you ever had, because it was not just about what skills you can offer but who you are as a person. What have you accomplished in your life and what will you still accomplish. Every women there wanted this opportunity so badly. It was so inspiring to see and be around these determined women.
The night of the CANSA gala, the air was electric. Beautiful women paraded around in ball gowns by famous designers. Family and friends stood around drinking champagne and having canapés as they mingled with other guests. The room was breathtaking with peacock themed decor. Just being there at that moment, taking in the sights around me made me feel so happy that I had had the privelidge of being apart of something so magnificent. So crazy to think, that this time last year, or even 3 months ago I was so comfortable in my life of family and home that I would never have gotten to experience something as grand as this, a once in a lifetime opportunity, had I not sent in my application. Being in that moment, made all those long days worth it. During the course of the night the contestants were introduced and we got an opportunity to model our exquisite ball gowns. There was a stunning fashion show by Joseff Ribkoff and Nine West and we were entertained by the sexy Muses who were sensational. We were spoiled with scrumptious food so much so that I was rather sluggish by 11:30 when the moment of truth was to be revealed. But that feeling of fullness was replaced by butterflies as I made my way backstage for the revealing of the finalists.
It is only in that precise moment that you realize how important this is and how much you want it. And honestly, I don’t just want this for myself but for all those amazing young girls and women out there, who like me, never thought this moment was possible because of all the obstacles we face along the way.
Look out for my next blog as I share some of my painfully scarring obstacles that I experienced and how I overcame them…sharing is caring…ciao for now x