MISS RAQUEL :: Celebrate And Demonstrate

By on June 27, 2012

= "Miss Raquel Pride 2012 TheGayGuideNetwork.com"BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE :: Whether you read this before or after Pride, Miss Raquel’s story – the first time she’s told it – on being herself without judgement following a decade on the beauty pageant circuit, will resonate.

Toronto Pride is my favourite festival and I feel really aligned with this year’s theme, Celebrate and Demonstrate. I feel empowered; I can truly be myself without judgment.

I feel this way because when I look at these words and what they mean, I, for once in my life feel I’ve reached a pinnacle where I can be myself instead of being my own worst enemy.

Back in the day I entered the world of beauty pageants. Not quite the Toddlers and Tiaras kind, but I did start at the age of 16 where I entered my first pageant, Miss Teen Toronto. I won Miss Photogenic (I still have the statue). Not bad for a first timer, yet not great since my dad was a professional fashion/commercial photographer who then pushed me to do photo shoots with top photographers, and entered me into the malicious world of modelling.

I ended up doing many pageants including Miss Toronto, Miss CHIN, Miss Hawaiian Tropic, Miss Bikini Toronto, Miss Speedorama; you name the pageant I was in it. I appeared in front of thousands wearing cocktail dresses and bikinis. I was on covers of various newspapers, in calendars, videos, and even a Toronto Sunshine Girl. I did fashion shows where I wore lingerie; for one company I was even an exclusive lingerie/bikini model.

I quit in my mid-twenties., I realized it wasn’t doing me well emotionally and in the end I wasn’t tall enough, skinny enough and I have hips and breasts which never don’t do well in the modelling world.

I’m not happy with my body and how I look, never have been. I know it sounds strange that I ended up in beauty competitions given this, but in reality that industry attracts unconfident people such as myself and it preys on insecure souls like me.

From my dad pushing me to be “like a model” and being surrounded by six-foot supermodels, to later being in the harsh entertainment industry, I ended up suffering from anorexia. I only ate here and there, which caused me to gain weight,  which let to me trying any diet pill or drug to get thin. I couldn’t win.

Even to this day, if I was 98lbs or say 200lbs I’ll always look fat to me. I’m not allowed to own a scale – doctor’s orders. And when I see one in someone’s washroom it takes everything I can muster to not step on it. Regardless of the result it will ruin my day.

But as Pride 2012 nears I find my worries about my body faults fade (a bit). I have a stronger sense that I’m okay with what I look like – HOW – and it’s due to this year’s theme of Celebrate and Demonstrate. I feel more than ever the strength to be me; hips, fat back, large breasts and all; I am a natural woman and this should be celebrated. .

My sponsors for this year’s Pride understand how I want to look. Cinelli hair makes my hair look great. DUSK has dressed me suiting my curves, Stag Shop as always has supplied me with fun attractive costumes. My make-up artist, Olga Kirnos who painted me for six hours while I watched straight 70s -90s porn at Oasis Aqua Lounge where I shot my Pride flyer shot by Andre M always makes me feel beautiful, and Shaun Proulx Media / GGT allows me to express myself.

My current motto is “I’m perfectly imperfect”. Although I’m not 100% confident in how I look I’m learning to accept my body for what it is, to celebrate it.

This year I’m honoured to host my Big Gay 3-Day Pride Party

This year marks my fourth year hosting a major Pride stage. I’m thankful to TK and the Toronto Pride crew for having faith in me to handle such demanding gigs. I have to tell you – it feels great!

= "Miss Raquel Pride 2012 TheGayGuideNetwork.com"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *