This week’s edition of Feature Fridays is AWESOME! Once you start reading about “The Queen” you will instantly love her personality & her movement♥ Check it out….
Honey your face & curls have been all over the internet, the paper & everywhere in between. Please share yourself with the diary.
I am a dreamer, daughter, sister, wife, mentor, model, teacher, and advocate! I enjoy reading and writing (the English teacher in me) and blogging about whatever I deem fancy (mostly fashion and natural hair) and my community work. I am an award-winning community service leader who recently won the Mrs. International Beautiful 2012 title in my natural hair—a very proud moment for me. As a sexual abuse survivor and eye-witness to domestic violence in my family, I actively promote my platform, Stop the Silence! Sexual Abuse Education & Support, which presents a two-pronged approach: educating the public about the realities of sexual and domestic violence and supporting survivors through the recovery process. I have provided support locally and abroad, encouraging and teaching women and teen girls about feminine etiquette and positive self-esteem.
What turned you onto the pageant world?
I was frustrated when I began my journey of promoting awareness in my community. People did not want to talk about the issue, so they would avoid my booth at events or say something like, “Oh, we don’t need that.” Everyone knows someone affected by violence. So, I began talking to a friend about my frustrations. She suggested using pageantry as a “microphone”. When I began, I found it to be true: many approached me just to take a photo or greet me, but I would slide in that information on sexual and domestic violence at the same time. This cause will always be near and dear to my heart as a survivor, but now I feel that I focus more on the holistic woman feeling beautiful and believing in herself, which was why I excited competed at a national pageant with my natural hair… and won!
Congratulations to you on your recent title win! What is it like to win titles not only as a black woman but also as a natural hair gal? Upon your initial entry into the pageant world did you meet any resistance from those around you?
I will admit, Jamila, I was nervous! Since venturing in pageantry in 2008, I have always had long, wavy European wigs or tracks when competing. I enjoy pageantry so much and always wanted to stay on the “safe” side, which to me meant having the look that was traditional in pageantry. However, as I continued to fall in love with my hair, I started caring less and less about tradition and more about representing myself authentically. I did meet resistance… during an interview earlier this year, I was asked about competing with natural hair. When it was time for the hostess to allow questions and comments from callers someone asked me, “Do you really think you are going to win a national pageant with your hair natural?” I did not take offense because to many, this look in pageantry may be uncommon. My response to the caller was that I believe a person who is bald can win a national pageant if they exude complete and total confidence.
If I’m correct, pageantry ties into the community as well. What community missions are you involved in?
I advocate hard and heavy for victims of sexual and domestic violence. I also empower teen girls through encouragement, self-esteem workshops and teas. I am an ambassador for Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation, Inc., a spokesperson for Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc. and a member of the Black Doll Affair. I volunteer for various other organizations as well. By the way, October is domestic violence awareness month—don’t forget to wear purple!
What can we expect from the Queen in the future?
Before we close out, what advice would you pass along to other women interested in entering the pageant world?
In the words of Dee Marshall, keynote speaker for the Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation conference a few years ago, “Be you. Do you. Love you.” If you do these things, your confidence will radiate. No matter how you look, if you shine from the inside, others are bound to be blinded! Oh, and rock your natural hair—continue the movement!
Please make sure to check LaQuisha out at the following social media outlets:
Facebook/Tumblr: Corner Curl Girl
Fashion/Natural Hair Blog: ccurlgirl.blogspot.com
Community Service Blog: laquishahall.blogspot.com
I hope you enjoyed this week’s feature! Do you want to be next? Well e-mail (email@example.com) so we can chat!