M: John, 26, has this dilemma. He has been encouraged to join pageants and this is the last year. He likes it but what will his friends say? How will he explain it to them? He doesn’t have to. If they are his friends, then they would most probably know by now what he likes or does not like, his interests and inclinations. I’m actually wondering who has been encouraging him to join pageants. If he has to come out because of that pageant, then that’s another story. It’s not just about the pageant but about something more.
DJ: I did my research and there is indeed an emerging trend of male pageants in recent years. Now if John wants to join one, why not? No need to worry about what his friends, or anyone for that matter, will say. It’s legal. He’s of legal age. Now if it makes him happier, if it’s what his heart desires, if it’s his dream, why fear? It’s his life anyway. And he will be young just once. I suggest that he might as well do what he dreams of doing, tick this off his list and move on to the next. In fact, pursuing this dream will likely develop his courage even further, thus fueling him even more to achieve many other successes in life.
M: Personally, I see nothing wrong with pageants, be it for females or males. A beauty pageant traditionally focused on physical attributes of the contestants but they have evolved into something that incorporates personality traits, intelligence and talent. Pageants also serve a purpose or advocacy. For example, Miss Earth, an annual international environmental-themed beauty pageant promotes not only environmental awareness but also promotes specific projects that address issues concerning the environment and other global issues.
DJ: Besides, by doing what he truly wants instead of having to conform to what others want from him, he can also be an inspiration for others to follow their dreams. In a world that pushes for conformance, it helps to have more role models on risk taking, on stepping out of one’s comfort zone and the trust where the power of a dream will take us. Great achievers like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Andres Bonifacio or Injap Sia have a pattern of independence that made them make their mark. John is asking about a male pageant but this might just open more doors for him, realizing that it’s ultimately he, not his friends or anyone for that matter, who determines what he can and cannot do.
M: We’ve always had people come up with a New Year’s resolution. They want to accomplish great things, do something major, major and at the beginning commit to do whatever it is that they resolve to do. But many fizzle out even before they start. If John has been encouraged to join pageants, and he knows that this year is the last year that he can make it, why not go for it? It will not be his friends’ regret but his. And if they are truly his friends, they will understand and support him if he joins a pageant and finally admits that he likes pageants. So, John, grab this chance! Seize the day! Seize the crown!
DJ: Go for it, John! When we pursue a dream, we are connecting to our inner being. It’s like giving ourselves permission to be happy. We become more vibrant, alive and hopeful for a better future. This is just the beginning. No doubt more lines of boundaries in front of John will fade, increasing his confidence in himself and in the world, trusting that all things are indeed possible to those who believe!
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on January 21, 2018.
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