Interview with Colleen Rennie by Hanan Awwad
She has the looks and the brains. The tall slim with a porcelain complexion and rosy cheeks, Colleen Rennie, knows how to capture your attention. Once she starts talking about the causes she supports, you cannot stop admiring her courage.
Corporita Magazine Editor-in-Chief met Colleen Rennie – Miss Universe Canada 2016 Delegate – and advocate for mental health and many other causes in her event “A Day in the Land of Oz”, Colleen raised awareness and money for the Canadian Mental Health Association with Sabaina Malik (#BossBabe) and Paulie Obryne, CEO, and Founder of I’m 1 in 5.
Q. Colleen, let’s start with beauty; what made you apply for the pageant?
When I was about eight years old, I saw the movie Beautiful featuring Minnie Driver, which came out in 2000, for the first time. In this film, Driver’s character Mona tenaciously works towards the title of “Miss American Miss,” from childhood into adulthood. Along the way, the audience gets to witness the number of sacrifices a beauty queen has to make day to day in an attempt to win the one and only crown. Not to ruin any surprises, but Mona ends up giving up her daughter to her best friend as back in the day, competing for a title meant that you had to be of certain qualification beginning with your citizenship and marital status. Ironically, in the past couple of years, I’ve had to make some personal sacrifices and compromises of my own, and sometimes not by choice. This competition in my eyes gave me an opportunity to put those sacrifices and comprises into action and utilize them towards a greater good.
For my younger self and my story. I believe I have a unique, but individual, story to tell and share with so many others who, similar to myself, have struggled in silence with a learning disability amongst mental health concerns other concurrent concerns I have learned through my journey and experience how quickly fear can hold you back from what you want to do in life, as it held me back from many childhood experiences, or interfered rather. Yet, rather than choosing a sports field, I selected a platform where the possibility of using my voice for a change was possible, but more importantly where I could embrace the challenge for that younger version of myself who did not believe in herself; not in her beauty, her ability, her competence or her capability in demonstrating just how confident she is because she is authentically herself.
Rather than wearing t-shirts over my bathing suits, I was in 5-inch heels and a bikini attempting to use a scarf/sarong to add some flirtation to my bikini cat- walk. However, if you’re me — what you think looks glamorous and beautiful tends to turn out unsuccessful. Picture this: you walk out with the scarf, and you’re rocking forward ready to use a trick and whip it down using one hand; instead it sticks to your stomach causing you to look down, which is the # 1 rule of what not to do. But that’s me! That’s humility and speaks to the whole “mental acceptance” of jeopardizing your values by actually walking on a stage in a bright pink bikini, sparkly high heels and non-stop smiling. In other words, this is not something I aspire to do in my future or have actively sought out for years, but more a cave of opportunity that came across. As author Joseph Campbell once said, “In the cave you fear, lies the treasure you seek” so I took a risk and the self-growth, people I met and overall experience was incredible. I came out Miss Congeniality 2016 and that just made every bit worth it.
Originally posted 2016-06-03 05:13:09.