12 October 2012

Beauty Pageant, Take 2.

At the beginning of this year, I came up with an idea to take PPD awareness to what would be for me a new venue: compete in the Mrs. California America beauty pageant on a platform of PPD Awareness. Literally days after I posted about my decision, I found out I was pregnant. At that time, I felt like it wasn't the right time to enter the pageant because I didn't feel that pregnancy would be conducive to preparing and competing.

However, I've decided to move forwards with competing in 2013. Here's what I wrote earlier this year, and it all remains true.
I remember the first beauty pageant I ever watched. I was 9 years old and my parents had gone to Europe. My dad had a business trip to England and my mom went with him and they took some time to go sightseeing over the course of a couple of weeks after the work portion of the trip was over. My brother and I stayed with a family we knew from church. They had two little boys so I was pretty bored most of the time. One night, however, Miss Nancy had the tv on and the Miss America pageant was on. I was captivated. The glitter, the hair, everything... I held my breath hoping that Miss Georgia would win, but alas: it was not to be. Miss South Carolina won instead.

I still love to watch pageants but my focus has shifted from being solely on "Wow, what a pretty dress" to "What platforms are they promoting? What issues are they tackling?". Beauty pageant contestants have the opportunity to shed light on the issues that are important to them; a few recent Miss America platforms that stand out to me include Miss America 2000 (Heather French) speaking up about the plight of homeless veterans, Miss America 2005 (Deidre Downs) raising awareness about pediatric cancer, and Miss America 2011 (Teresa Scanlan) whose platform is Eating Disorders: A Generation At Risk.[1]

With this in mind, I've decided that it's time to take my advocacy for PPMD awareness and education in a new direction. If I can find sponsors to cover my fees, I will be entering the Mrs. California pageant (the state competition on the path to the nationally televised Mrs. America pageant). My goal is specifically to have a new and bigger venue in which to speak up about PPMD. I want to make people aware of the myths, combat the stigma, encourage people to speak up, and highlight the need for more facilities, clinics, and providers that specialize in treating/helping women and their families who are dealing with PPMD. I would especially love to get mental health professionals on board as sponsors.

So, that's my new project for the year. If anyone has any helpful advice or tips, I'd love to hear them. I'll keep you posted. :)

I'm looking forwards to this new goal and hope that entering the pageant will help educate more people about PostPartum Depression. :)


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