Their faces said it all.
A combination of smiles, laughter and even some tears showed the surprise that Christine Jamieson (Mission), Taylor Aller (Surrey) and Michelle Admodi (Vancouver) felt when they were announced the winners of the Miss BC, Mrs. BC and Miss Teen BC titles, respectively.
The ladies were chosen out of nearly 50 who entered the 16th annual competition, which took place at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley on July 2. Black Press was media sponsor of the event.
How did it feel to win?
“A little bit surreal,” beamed Aller, “but also really exciting because there’s a lot of work that I want to do in the community so I’m really excited to get new platforms to be able to do the work I’m already doing but now I have more opportunity to continue that.
“So it feels really good, and I’m really hungry — for more, and for food,” she laughed.
Aller was also honoured with the Miss Congeniality award, as chosen by her fellow competitors.
Aller’s “not your typical pageant girl,” according to her bio.
“I’ve never been in one in my life, hardly wear makeup on my good days, and act as a body positivity advocate in my communities,” Aller wrote in her biography. “I’ve overcome so many hurdles with my body, my health, and my self-esteem and the idea of a ‘beauty pageant’ is something that I would never do. But yet, here I am competing!”
Aller said she “firmly believes appearances do not matter,” so she spends much of her time volunteering to spread that message.
“I see this pageant as another platform to share it, too,” she added. “Cause let’s get real here. We’ve all struggled with body image, self-esteem.
“If I can take part in Mrs. BC by showing up the way I do everyday, no fancy hair or makeup and a huge smile, to spread that message further, maybe even inspire others to do the same, I’m in,” she added.
Aller wasn’t the only winner from Surrey.
Cheryl Schindler (Surrey) was named Mrs. Charity BC after raising more than $11,000 for the pageant’s partner charity, Cops for Cancer. To date, contestants have raised close to $400,000.
Natasha Chadney (Langley) took the title of Miss Fraser Valley, Shawdi Safari (Burnaby) is Miss Greater Vancouver, Pavneet Dhanoa (Surrey) is Miss Lower Mainland, Hannah Oliner (Fort St. James) is Miss Northern BC, Alexandra Klock (Courtenay) is Miss Vancouver Island, Jenn Sheffield (Victoria) is Mrs. Vancouver Island, Stephanie Solem (Surrey) is Mrs. Greater Vancouver, Tina Young (Surrey) is Miss Teen Lower Mainland, Priyaali Kanti (Kelowna) is Miss Teen Interior and Khushi Bimbrawh (Surrey) is Miss Teen Greater Vancouver.
Unlike traditional pageants, Miss BC does not focus on physical beauty — there are no age, weight or height restrictions to enter.
Contestants are encouraged to give back to their communities through volunteer work, and to be role models for young people.
The participants travelled from all corners of the province to take part in the event, and each have their own inspiring stories.
See more at surreynowleader.com.