Interview with Rhiannon Johnson – Miss Caribbean U.K. finalist
Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to talk about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog. It’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens.
What made you enter pageants?
Growing up I actually used to watch a show called Toddlers & Tiaras. On the network TLC. And used to think those kids are so brave to compete in such grand competitions. Years went on and I started to realise what have I done in my life that is worth remembering. So, I decided since I have just turned 21, it is time to live my life to the fullest with no regrets. And what perfect opportunity than to compete in a pageant. Something that not only challenges me to be the best I can be but also builds confidence and lifelong friendships.
What made you decide to compete in Miss Caribbean U.K. for your first ever pageant ?
I decided to compete in the Miss Caribbean Uk as I felt the pageant not only helps create awareness of the beautiful islands, but I would be able to relate with girls just like me. Girls with backgrounds of the same culture. It gives me the opportunity to represent Grenada, somewhere I like to call home. And what better way to do it than in a competition supporting the Caribbean!
What is your pageant platform and why ?
My platform is to shed light on women in the built environment, dealing with mental health issues. I chose to focus on this subject, as I have once dealt with these struggles. I am currently studying Interior Architecture and Venue Design. During my years at university, it was so easy to fall into depression. I felt alone being that the course was majority male students. I felt my voice was not heard, that my mental state was not important enough. And typically, in our culture we tend not to speak on mental health. I will be using this opportunity to work with charities and support women who are/have had to deal with this. I am also currently a campaigner for Mind Uk and aid the work of OLDP – a charity that support women in the built environment.
How does it feel to be a pageant queen ?
My inner child is jumping for joy right now! Years of watching Disney princesses finally paid off haha. But It honestly feels so surreal. I never imagined myself at 21 doing anything like this. To be given this opportunity to speak on something your very passionate about, is a blessing in itself. The bonus is that you get to wear really gorgeous outfits whilst doing it 😊
What are your hobbies when you are not promoting your pageant system ?
My hobbies include participating in sporting events such as athletics and gymnastics. I love gardening and completing diy projects. For example, during this lockdown I decided to redecorate my entire room from scratch. And I love to bake, since a young age. It has really kept me occupied since we are not able to leave the house lol.
What is your dream title?
My dream would be to hold the title of Miss Caribbean Uk 2020. But as far as future plans, I am taking baby steps lol I am loving living in the moment!
If you were to win Miss Caribbean U.K. what would it mean to you?
It would mean a great deal to me. If I won, it would show that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Even if I were not to win, I would be glad I took part and taking that leap of faith is all you need to succeed in anything. ‘Life is a journey, not a destination.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What have you been doing in the run up of Miss Caribbean U.K. ?
It sounds obvious but the main task I have been doing is finding the right gown for me. I am a bit of a perfectionist! I have also been walking around my house in heels with books on my head! No lie haha. I saw it on my old barbie princess DVD when I was younger and thought that would be a great way to fix my posture. And I have also been working closely with my charities and finding new ways to promote the cause.
Who do you look up to in the pageant community?
In the pageant community I definitely do look up to Toni-Ann Singh, Miss Jamaica who won Miss World in 2019. And Jennifer Hosten who won Miss World in 1970, representing Grenada! Becoming the first woman to win from her country.
What round are you most looking forward to at the final ?
From observing the previous years of Miss Caribbean Uk. It looks like the carnival round will be my all-time favourite. I never pass up an opportunity to dance!
What do you friends and family think of you being a pageant queen?
My family and friends were very supportive when I told them. Some were even shocked and thought I was joking lol. My mom in particular however was very proud that I decided to do something out of the ordinary.
What is the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens?
To enjoy the moment. From someone on the outside looking into the world of pageantry. The first initial thought is that you have to win, that everything is just a competition. I even used to think like that. But once you start to let go of that mentality, you find yourself having more fun and learning new experiences.
How has the lockdown due to COVID19 effected your pageant journey?
The lockdown has definitely made tasks difficult. I am having to do everything online. Whether it is for university or buying items to prepare for the final. However, I have realised with everyone indoors, it gives me the opportunity to connect with people and raise more awareness to the pageant and the charities I support.
What makes a good pageant role model?
A good pageant role model is someone that remains dedicated and hardworking. Someone that has faith and belief in themselves. Which in turn will show onto their peers and people that look up to them. To always stick to their values, whilst remembering to be kind and loving.
How are you preparing to deal with pageant nerves ?
To deal with nerves in general I always tell myself it is only for a couple of minutes. Nothing lasts forever. In this case for the pageant, you are not alone. Every girl has to do the same thing as you. Relax. Take in deep breaths. And always do the best you can!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions for my pageant lockdown blog. I wish you all the best in your first ever pageant ! Please keep me informed. Much love, Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.