Without further ado…
What do load shedding, the internet, and a beauty queen, have in common: a winning poll, you might not guess. Looking at the latest unofficial updates from Miss Earth polls I am stunned and amazed: stunned that amidst electricity rationing and internet penetration of only 29% the Nepalis have come in droves to support online their home candidate, and moreover that the candidate is a young 22-year-old young woman with a tiara, a shining smile, and a heart as big as the soaring hills of the Himalayas.
I first met Prinsha Shrestha during the coronation dinner for Miss Nepal 2014. I had lined up to help myself to the delicious food when the 6-year-old daughter managed to get away and when I went after her to retrieve her she was holding the hand of one of the winners. “Mama, do you know that this girl never sat down and stood the whole time on high heels. She talked to everyone, mama, and did not get anything to eat. Mama, can she come to our house, pleaaaase” my little Sophie pleaded. In the coming weeks, “that girl,” along with her two sister beauty queens, would come to us many times as I became their mentor and Prinsha became my daughter’s idol.
I have told Prinsha that I would save my praises for when she lands in the Philippines. At times, I would have a feeling that in class I was a hybrid between Cruella Deville and a blue alien from Avatar, introducing concept after concept, format after format, expecting her to perform gracefully and confidently, and then repeat things that she had done well again for further reinforcement.
One of the qualities that still amazes me about Prinsha is her ability to endure criticism, looking for the grain of constructiveness in a barrage of expectations I would hurl her way, and come seemingly unscathed at the other end after I have exhausted all I had to say “to make things better.” I desperately tried to convince her that she needs more “alone” time in order to improve her concentration, failing myself to realize, and now in retrospect, that she gets her vitality from the things she does not only WITH others but FOR others: from supporting a marathon benefitting cancer patients to teaching Nepali women self defense moves.
I have long stopped being impressed with intelligence in its conventional sense because my humble experience as a human being has taught me that it is not smart people that this world is lacking but moral people, engaged in the welfare of others rather than concerned with their own interest. Having known Prinsha for over six months, I, along with many who know her, can attest to the fact that she is one of those people. I am also pleased that she represents Nepal at Miss Earth Pageant 2014, a forum that emphasizes both social engagement and intelligence, where I am sure she shines brightly.
As of today, several major commercial organizations have come in support of the women from their country and therefore have brought them a landslide of votes. Vote for our contestant, they say. Yet all these entities have failed to tell me why, exactly that should be the case? Has their candidate held the hand of a trafficking victim giving her hope, has she excelled in skills and knowledge, and has she served others endlessly. Because Prinsha Shrestha has done all of these things, and I, along with countless others whose only voting power is at the tips of their fingers, are telling you so.
Dear well wishers and supporters of Prinsha (for she calls you that, and not fans). The Beauty for a Cause prize is not Prisha’s opportunity to shine but YOURS. Yours to prove to the rest of the world that just because a talented woman comes from a small, developing country does not mean that she does not stand a chance against places with big sashes, big populations, and mighty supporters. But more importantly that the Nepalis and those outside Nepal who support Prinsha value and celebrate a new type of femininity, one full of grace and finesse, coupled with competence, confidence, and string character. And you can do that by:
Sharing Prinsha’s profile on your page: https://ph.celebrity.yahoo.com/news/miss-earth-2014–miss-nepal-prinsha-shrestha-161224443.html
2. Adding @YahooPH #MissEarth2014 in the title
Every vote counts whether you wish to share her profile once or hundreds of times. It means that you support not just a fellow Nepali but one that is capable of impressing anyone on behalf of the beautiful land of the Himalayas. As an Outsider living in Nepal, one day I will leave this beautiful land, and within a few years there would hardly be a memory of me and my family. But there will always be a picture of a girl with a tiara who is growing into becoming a leader, a mentor, an intellectual, and a human resource ready to improve the lives of others in a country that desperately needs such acts. I support not only this particular person but this type of person for the benefit if all. Do you?