Save Your Skin Foundation is proud to congratulate our inspiring friend Aman Merdha, for her successful participation in the 2019 Miss BC Pageant at the beginning of July. Aman had approached us in the spring with an idea for a partnership, and we quickly grew to love her enthusiasm for skin patient advocacy, personal growth, and sharing her energy with her community and her province. Aman undertook many responsibilities as part of competing in this pageant, including raising sun safety awareness and planning ideas for how she could help others love the skin they are in, and she was crowned Miss Lower Mainland 2019-2020! Congratulations Aman!
To fulfill the role that goes with this title, Aman has to plan events and activities that uphold the values on which she built her platform, and one way she will do this is by working with SYSF to raise awareness about sun safety with youth in various BC schools. Part of her journey is also the opportunity to participate in the Miss Canada Pageant in March of 2020. We look forward to supporting Aman in all of her endeavours – stay tuned for updates.
To learn about Aman’s experience at the Miss BC Pageant in her own words, please read her guest blog below.
Guest blog, by Aman Merdha, Miss Lower Mainland 2019-20
I never envisioned myself standing up on a stage, and being able to communicate my passion with hundreds of people. It is so mind boggling to me to think that going into the Miss BC Pageant, I felt anxious, nervous, quite honestly, unworthy of being there. As the weekend was coming to an end, I found myself feeling very emotional, not only because I was given the privilege of being Miss Lower Mainland 2019-2020, but also because of the sense of pride I felt for all of us.
When we all first arrived on Saturday morning, I truly didn’t know what to think. Everyone looked so beautiful, and I felt very nervous to approach anybody. One of the first people I approached was Charlotte. She was so kind and friendly, and minutes later I found myself laughing among a group of women I barely knew.
The Miss BC Pageant focuses on sharing our stories, and empowering each other through those stories. One of the very first things we did was share our Heart and Soul with one another. Many women opened up about their experiences with a variety of issues women face today, and I was moved to tears. Once we had all shared our stories, and confided in one another, I felt as if I had known these women much longer than just an hour.
The rest of the day flew by, and I found myself arriving the next day with a much lighter heart. I did not wear any makeup, and I truly felt like myself. This was one of those moments where I realized how comfortable I felt in my own skin, and how accepting and loving everybody was. I found myself supporting and encouraging these women, and I felt empowered by each of them. All of them were so different, and had such different platforms, but they all radiated the same positive energy, and wanted to create change.
I felt relieved, and this feeling of relief, believe it or not, did not fade when I met the judges for my private interview. The interview was so friendly, and light hearted. I talked a lot about what Save Your Skin Foundations message meant to me, and found myself engaging with everyone, even after the interview, as if they were one of my closest friends. Any interaction I had, I made sure to spread melanoma awareness, and even offered sunscreen samples, to further educate them regarding this matter.
Rehearsals were an actual struggle since I cannot dance for the life of me, and found myself feeling pretty upset about not being able to keep up with everyone else. I felt as if I had done my absolute best this weekend, and I was not going to let this dance number ruin my confidence. In order to combat these negative thoughts, I took some time away from the group, and reminded myself that I was worthy of attending this pageant, and I was not going to let this break me down. I got up, and I continued to dance. I never actually ended up learning the dance properly, but hey, at least I tried.
I came back on Monday feeling very happy, but also very sad. I did not want the pageant to end. The Miss BC Pageant gave me the opportunity to not only share my platform with a large quantity of people, but they also helped me claw out of my shell. I would never have been able to engage with so many people all at once before this pageant. It truly helped me better my communication skills.
During the actual finale, I felt very confident in myself, and it felt as if I was just hanging out with a group of friends. Everyone in the audience was so supportive of everyone. I remember standing on stage,and feeling so proud of everyone. Once they began calling names, I felt so happy for each and every woman who was receiving the recognition they deserved, and mid way through, lone behold, they called my name to be part of the top fifteen contestants that were going to be considered for provincial titles.
I remember standing backstage, and I was feeling very nervous, so I kept shaking my hands out constantly. Once I was on stage, and was asked a question, the words just started to flow out of my mouth. I wasn’t thinking about what I was saying, yet when I finished talking and looked up at the judges and the audience, the one thing that went through my head was “look at you.”
I never would have been able to talk to so many people before this pageant. All the people I was so lucky to meet, and all the workshops I was so grateful to participate in, had paid off. It was in that moment when I realized that no matter the outcome, I had won something. I was walking away with the experience of a lifetime, and basically a better version of me. I realized what I was capable of, and made a promise to myself to keep working on a better me.
Without Save Your Skin Foundation, I would not have met these amazing women, and I would not have been able to spread their message on a provincial platform. They were the ones who believed in me before I believed in myself. I do not have words to explain how much this experience has changed me as an individual, and it has also opened so many doors for me in the last little bit. I cannot wait to continue fundraising and supporting Save Your Skin Foundation at the Miss Canada Pageant as well.
For more information please visit www.missbc.ca