Tishina’s eyes on the Miss Universe Prize

Tishina’s eyes on the Miss Universe Prize

Representing Canada at the May 14 pageant

Rosie Awori (LJI)

“Finally, the universe is giving value to black skin,” this was part of an Instagram post from Leila Lopes a former Miss Angola who bagged the title of Miss Universe in 2011.
Pageantry has come a long way since the crowing of beauties such as Janelle Commissiong and Wendy Fitzwilliam from Trinidad and Tobago, Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana paved the way for the likes of Jamaican Canadian Tishina Thompson to dream of getting the coveted crown of Miss Universe.
Tishina who is Jamaican heritage was born in Montreal into a family of community activists. Her grandmother, the late Valery Shakes and aunt Gail Shakes were active members of the Jamaica Association of Montreal and the Jamaican Canadian Community Women’s League of Montreal.
She moved to Toronto in 2014 to pursue a journalism degree in. During my studies as I strived towards success, something inside me pushed me to follow another dream of mine, which was to compete in Pageant. I come before you as the former Miss North Toronto World 2019-2020. This year, 2022, I have been chosen to compete for the prestigious title of Miss Universe Canada 2022, which will be held in early May 2022.
She recently met virtually with the CONTACT to talk about her passion for pageantry and her hopes for the future.

What sparked your interest in pageantry?

I think it was the way that it changes your life. I saw the glitz and the glamour, and I thought this was so beautiful to me. Also, it wasn’t, who I was. I was just a regular student at first, I thought this could never be me. And I took a chance and when I got there. Everything changed. It wasn’t just about, the glitz and the glamour that I would see on TV. I got to meet these amazing women from all walks of life that have been through so many amazing things.

I started pageantry in 2019 with the platform of trying to make sure every Canadian has a meal at their table. So being a part of pageantry has changed my life. Not just learning to walk and talk but learning to connect with people. I love volunteering. That’s something that I personally love to do because I love giving back with something that means a lot to my heart. And when you get on that stage you get to bring awareness to something that you’re passionate about. You know, so it’s not just a little thing like you’re doing your community.

What would you like your Miss Universe title to represent for Black people and young people across Canada?

As a black woman, you know I understand, all our triumphs of what this feels like to win these things. I know what it feels like when we lose things and so. I want to be that winner for them, cause, when I feel like I can connect with so many different people. I’ve had my ups. I’ve had my downs and I’m trying every single day to be more unapologetic about them, and by doing so, I also want to grow. So, by seeing you do better, I want them everyone to see that we can all do better. Sharing people’s stories being a part of my community, making a change and I want to show that you don’t have to be a certain kind of way to be special. Something you know you can be any kind of woman and do your thing and be remarkable at it. I was someone who didn’t think that I could be a pageant person. And then I became miss North Toronto, 2019, during my first competition.

I want young women and young people to look at me and people to see themselves because I am you and you are me. And together we can just achieve so much. You don’t have to be there for that. You can be you and you is perfect just the way you are.

Do you think pageants have become more inclusive over the years?

I really do think so. Not so long ago we had the first trans gender competitor. I grew up watching some pageant winners on TV, everyone was so beautiful. And I got to see, you know, women of different heights of different shapes and now here I am competing.

How do you find a balance between maintaining natural beauty and trying to align to universal standards?

That is where I am right now cause I’m going for very natural look for the first time I’m trying to go with my natural hair texture. I’m trying to get the very, very glamorous, but I want people to see me this time, not something that I’ve created.

What do you want other young girls to take from your presence in this competition?

Confidence. I want them to take confidence. I want them because you know, I’m a fun, loving girl. I love to laugh. I love to dance. I may not be the stereotypical pageant girl, but I want those to see me. They think she’s fine. She’s beautiful. I can do what she does. She makes it look so awesome. She makes it look so good. I want them to see themselves in me. I want them to feel confident.

Miss Universe Canada 2022 is all set to be held in the city of Toronto,
Ontario on May 14 at 8:00 pm