Having that ten seconds on stage where you walk down the runway in the most beautiful dress you could ever imagine and having all the lights and cameras on you is almost every five year old girls dream! It’s one of those moments you imagine would just absolutely leave you out of breath, and feeling like you were the most beautiful girl in the world! Well let me tell you, my five year old imagination was without a doubt very accurate on this one. Walking down the runway at the Miss Teen Ontario World 2013 pageant was the most thrilling, confidence-boosting, fairytale moment I have ever experienced! It wasn’t all fun and games getting there I can assure you that; it takes a lot of practice to get that walk down in your heels that seem 20 inches high at the end of the night, or to walk down the runway with a bathing suit on in front of a huge crowd! However, when the night is done the only thing you wanna do, is do it all again! 

The best part about this pageant however is that it isn’t the stereotypical idea of a pageant. I will tell you right now it is the farthest thing from ‘Toddlers and Tiaras!’ Miss Teen Canada gives young girls the opportunity to make that difference in the world that they feel needs to occur. When I first came upon this pageant,  I had read about all the girls dreams and platforms, and all the amazing things that Miss Teen Canada World delegates had done with their title. It was so inspiring to see that girls just like you and I were out in the world making that difference that we all dream about. Right there I knew, my five year old dream had just gotten twenty times better.

Once I had been chosen to compete at the Miss Teen Ontario World Pageant, that was when the tough part came; I had to choose a platform. For some, this task is quite possibly the easiest part of this journey; for me, not so much. Perhaps it is because our world isn’t exactly the most peaceful, love-filled place, and has many issues to be resolved. Different ideas of issues that I wish our world could resolve and that i wish I could make a difference about were easy to come up with. Choosing one? That was difficult! When you are ready to take that big step in your life and make a big difference it isn’t going to be easy, and is going to be a lot of non stop hard work. However, when you are passionate about something the work load seems to not even cross your mind when you think of the end result. That is what got me to a final decision. I decided that the difference I wanted to make was going to be something that had affected myself and the people I love. Something that I felt passionate about, and knew that I could begin to make differences starting in my own community.

Self-image. It was ‘the’ platform for me. In my application form there were two slots which each contained a question. First question was, ‘What is your platform?’ Second was, ‘Why did you choose this platform?’ The questions hadn’t stumped me one bit; the fact that there was only a few row of lines underneath them sure did though! I am a talker if you haven’t noticed yet by my long posts, and this was not going to be easy. Now that I have all this free space though, I am not limiting myself on a word maximum!

When someone asks me about my platform I usually sum it up like the following:

“I would like to encourage girls to become more confident in themselves and love who they are! I want to encourage the importance of inner beauty rather than outer beauty, and allow girls to see how wonderful and unique each and every one of us are!”

This little blurb has been attached to me ever since the pageant, and I tell everyone who I can about it! It is a quick way to get my message across to people which is the first step for any type of change to occur! If I’m lucky the person has time to let me go into details about it, and I get the chance to tell them my story and why I chose this as my platform.

I feel that in our society, all pressure is being placed on the outer beauty of individuals; with magazine, movies, and the people who surround us. Where does the importance of inner beauty come into place though? It seems as if it doesn’t have a place! I would love to teach girls that inner beauty is what truly comprises a young woman, and what will represent her as a person. When individuals place their time and thoughts into their outer appearance it takes over the life and can lead to horrible things. A big cause of issues such as eating disorders and even suicide, have been girls who have low self-esteem and feel that that is their only way to be ‘normal’ in the society’s eyes. I, would like to change this! I know one person can’t change the world, but they can start, and every little bit counts! My goal is to get girls to become more confident in themselves and realize we are all different and unique in our own way. The moment we all accept our unique attributes is the moment where we all start raising our self-esteem! That has been the biggest thing I have learned with in the last year, and it has shaped me to be who I am today. I am no Victoria Secret Model, and I certainly don’t have pearly-white straight teeth like all magazine models, but guess what? Who actually does!? Everyone is different and have those special characteristics about them that make them who they are. So form here on out, that is what I am trying to do; point out and help girls see these attributes. I can’t make this change by myself; I need all of you, each and every girl to help me! whether it  be by raising your self esteem or helping someone else, any little bit counts!

Ever since I was little I always wanted to do something great; at the time being able to do a cartwheel would have satisfied me! Now I realize though I am capable of so much, and through this pageant it has opened up my eyes to my capability and to all the opportunities out there! I hope that all of you get to experience something like this in your life, and that your five year old dream comes true as well!

Hannah Cassidy


Miss Teen Bruce County World 2013


Written by: Hannah Cassidy Tagged with:,

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