I had the opportunity to recently interview Otaymah. I appreciate her sharing her story. I hope you will enjoy this interview!
You won the title of American Royal Beauties National Excellence Ms. What does this entail ?
Winning the title of American Royal Beauties (ARB) National Excellence Ms entails humbly serving the community and the world at-large for the period of one year. Being a national queen means that I can reach out to the nation, doing work within my platform of female empowerment and upliftment, and help girls and women to feel and be their best.
What does it feel like to be a beauty queen and wear a crown?
It is rather difficult to put into words how being a beauty queen feels. There is nothing like standing on a huge stage, after pouring your heart, body, soul, and work into something, then hearing your name being called, and all of your efforts coming into fruition. An interesting thing happens once that crown is placed on your head: your whole life changes. From the moment that shining emblem is deposited your work as a queen begins. At this moment what you do with the crown becomes the focus. It's one thing to win a crown, it is an entirely different matter to be a queen of excellence... Being a beauty queen is like a living, breathing dream. A dream so exciting that you don't want it to ever end.
What qualities of a queen do you believe you have always had in you?
I believe I've always had diligence, sincerity, and kindness with me. I'm that person who really gets into whatever she is doing. The one that logs in uber long hours to make sure something is correct, or gets finished. I'm the one asking a ton of questions [and probably driving the pageant director crazy] in an effort to be my absolute best at all times, and help others be their best. I am also the woman striving to help others, because I love people. We each of us needs the other. One act of random kindness could change a person's whole life. You never know what a person is facing or dealing with at any given time.
Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?
How has competing in pageants shaped you to be the person you are today?
Girl oh girl, Pageantry has totally changed my entire world! Initially winning a pageant was my focus when I began the journey. Once I actually happened upon the path of pageantry I saw what it was really about: Y-O-U! Pageantry isn't about the crown at all, it's about becoming a better person; the best version of yourself. Pageantry is about really seeing what is within you. It's about being honest with you and being diligent enough, and open and honest with yourself, to make positive changes.
How would you inspire those who are deemed not beautiful or not perfectly shaped?
There is so much discipline involved in the world of pageants. There is hard work, dedication, and sometimes a total restructuring of who you thought you were. You can find your purpose through pageant work, as well as your passion(s). Via Pageantry I've learned exactly who I am, and I'm utilizing the skills I've learned of being able to definitively state who I am, knowing what I stand for, knowing my likes and dislikes, helping others, every single day.
Beauty is not about perfection, neither is shape, it's about individuality. We each of us has something that makes us beautiful. Each and every person in this world is special and has a unique purpose. Strive to find and be that purpose! When you get caught up in beauty and perfection you get into how others view you, and that can be a slippery slope. Everyone and their views changes at every moment in life. It's best to be happy with oneself, that way you can have satisfaction and happiness at all times, and not based upon anything or anybody else.