Chapter 6 : Meeting all the girls for the first time and a visit to the cosmetic surgeons
It all started when I received a text from Dato' Anna telling me that one of our main sponsors wanted to meet all the girls at her Wellness Center in Bangsar.
I was both excited and nervous about the meet up. It would be the first time that I am meeting all the girls. During the official photo shoot I only met 8 of the girls.
I wore light makeup because I remembered Dato' telling me that she liked it that I did not wear that much make up during our first interview. I had on a simple spaghetti stripe , jeans and a scarf. I wore nude kitten heels that day which I regretted. With my height being my most obvious disadvantage, I soon realized that wearing kitten heels made me the shortest girl there. Even the girls shorter than me had on sky high heels! I remember during our group photo, being called out by the photographer many times because I was being blocked by the other girls. Dato' then would say out "Sabrina, didn't you wear high heels?" And I would go "Yeah, but they are the short ones, Sorry!". I would say, no matter what height you are, always come in HIGH heels.
If you're thinking about joining pageants, you need to remember that you need to be on point 24/7. Meeting sponsors are really important because if they like you from the start, you get an advantage. Also, the pageant Director, Dato always has her eyes on you, Honestly, and this is speaking from my point of view, other people might disagree with me, I really felt like I was on Dato's good side during the photo shoot. I could tell she was impressed with me and that I could be one of the picks. (When I say picks, I am referring to the first interview we had where I recall her saying "If I want you to win, I can make you win. I hold most of the voting power") . However on the day of the visit, I began to see that she was not as interested about me as before. I am not putting any blame or hate towards Dato'. I can see where she is coming from as well. She needs to pick the girl that would be the best representative of Malaysia. Her name is on the line as well. She is also being judged by the public along with the girls. And if she sees a girl at an obvious disadvantage already, for maybe being short, then she needs to move on to the next girl.
As we all know, height is a big plus point for pageants. Throughout my pageant week (which I will speak about in the next few posts) I realized the shorter girls in the pageants always made it a point to wear extra higher heels as well as either tie their hair up in a big bun or tease it for more volume to elongate their body. Dato' Anna also advised me to avoid wearing heels that resembled boots because they would 'cut' your legs. I also learned from my time with Miss Universe Malaysia to avoid heels with a closed toe. That also gave the perception of shorter legs. I am 165cm, and although that may be a little over the average Malaysian, it is still considered short in pageants.
I arrived at the venue on time only to find that most of the girls had already reached. I was told that I needed to register. At registration, I saw a really tall girl who looked a little lost/bored (but still managed to look amazingly beautiful). I got to know her and she was Bob! Bob was so easy to talk to and extremely down to earth. I don't know why, but talking to her reminded me of talking to my friends in Taylor's. Throughout the event, Bob and I exchanged whispers of funny remarks and funny glances. I knew that Bob and I could see eye to eye and she was going to be a good friend throughout pageant camp.
Some of the girls waiting for their turns.
Back L to R : Su Sien, Bob, Rebecca, Yen Qi and Ruth
Front L to R : Lisa and Tracey
I was then ushered upstairs to get my face checked. There was a long line as they only had one station set to carry out the face scan and readings. Each girl would first need to have their face 'read' by a machine and then they would have a one-on-one consultation. I waited for a good hour or so before my turn. (I'm so glad they provided food!)
While in line, I made friends with a petite girl that looked like a Barbie Doll. Her name is Mabel and she and me shared the same kind of sense of humor. We exchanged many stories. She told me about her days when she was flying for Singapore Airlines and I told her about stories about DOM's (Dirty Old Men).
With Mabel, the human barbie doll
While waiting in line, I also got acquainted with the rest of the girls. I found out that very well spoken Lisa worked in Sngapore which meant that she had to fly over to KL every time there was a Miss World Malaysia event. I learnt that Su Siean and VD were classmates in the past. And I met Ruth again , a fellow contestant that was in Miss Universe Malaysia with me the year before. I met Rebecca who shares the same faith as me so I found it very easy to converse with her. I was sure that she was going to be a good friend after the pageant. I got to know Dhivya who I thought was very elegant and lady like.
L-R: Olivia, Su Sien, Rebecca and Me
I also made friends with Cyrus, our official photographer. He gave me pointers on how to pose for pictures. He mentioned that the placement of my hands were very important. He said that my goal was to look graceful and something small like the placement of my fingers could make a big difference. He also mentioned that my arms should never be on the side as it makes the arms look fatter. Instead, placing your arms on the hips would be the standard pageant pose. He said along my journey with the pageant, he could give me pointers here and there of how to make my pictures better.
I have to repeat this again, in a pageant you need to be on point all the time. Every picture being taken of you needs to be a good picture. It is only through your pictures that the public gets to know you and you want / need to be in the public's good eyes. As much as I would like to tell you that beauty comes from within (and it really does!), it is rather obvious that you would need to please the eyes of the public first before they are even interested in finding out what is in your heart.
While the girls were waiting, Dato' Anna made an announcement to once again remind us that she was watching us. She said she had already started 'taking points' and that how we behaved was very important. She also highlighted to us the importance of us coming for all the events we were invited to. It portrayed how committed me were to the pageant. Dato' mini pep talk tensed up the aura of the room a bit. I could not help but wonder if all the girls were being as friendly because they genuinely wanted to get to know me or because we were being watched. Either way, I made some good friends that day.
Dato' Anna speaking to the girls
My turn to get my face scanned finally came. I had to position my face on a machine similar to the one you check your eye power with at opticians. Long story short, I was asked to sit through a consultation where I was told about the flaws of my face and how the sponsor's products and services could treat them. Honestly, I can't say that it was very enjoyable. I mean who likes to be sat down and told about their facial flaws? But it did bring to light a couple of important things like how much I needed to start wearing sunscreen on a daily basis. Did you know that your face needs protection from everyday ceiling lights to the screen lights of your laptop and phones?
Shanti getting her consulation
I was allowed to ask questions about my skin and how to take care of it after my consultation but it seemed like the answers to all my questions were directed back at the sponsors products. I mean there's nothing wrong with that, after all, they were the host of the event.
After our consultations, the girls were invited to have some one on one time with the sponsor. We waited outside her office for her to call us in. I was one of the last girls in line and by then, time was already running out. The first few girls got at least 5 minutes while the later girls got a minute or two. I guess it pays to be early.
When it was my turn, I walked in. We exchanged a few words and then Dato' Anna came into the office halfway stating that the conversation had to be cut short because there was not enough time. I did manage to introduce myself and talk a little about my background. The sponsor then read my file and gave me some advice on how to improve the condition of my face (uneven colors, pigmentation, pimples, etc). Before I left, she asked me "What do you not like about your body?". I was quite surprised. I was not sure if this was a test to see how self confident I was. I answered it very carefully saying that I wished I didn't have such chubby cheeks but there's a reason God made me that way.
Later as I was chatting with the girls, I realized all the girls were asked the same questions. Only one of them said that she loved her body and there was nothing wrong with it (such a brave thing to do... I don't think I would have the confidence to say that ). However, she was probed further and well the rest that went down is private. I'm only sharing my experience here, I don't want to step on anyone's' toes.
A group picture of the girls, the sponsor and Dato' Anna
After all the girls met with the sponsor, we were all brought to another room to be briefed. Once again Dato' Anna and the sponsor spoke to us. They informed us that if we did win Miss World Malaysia, we would have to undergo some cosmetic treatments. Dato' Anna said that we should not seemed surprised because all beauty queens undergo it. She said that we had to be up to international standards to compete with the other beauty queens around the world who has also undergone similar treatments.
In all, it was like an ordinary sponsored event. You go in, take pictures, get told about their products, go home with a little goodie bag , make pleasantries and go home.
Once I reached home, I received a text on my phone saying that whatever that was shared with us during the day was only advised and the the Miss World Malaysia was not to be held responsible for any actions we take in accordance to the advice given.
btw, while we were listening to Dato' Anna and the sponsor speak, our official social media partner took some really
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