The purpose of participating in a beauty pageant surpasses displaying your physical beauty. Everyone has their own definition of beauty. Deep within me, I fervently believe that everyone is created differently and we are all embedded with various characteristics that compose of our beauty. In present-day society, many are of the notion that only physical characteristics contribute to beauty. I find strength in participating in pageant shows because it allows me to know that I can do what I put my mind to. Pageants fuel me with confidence and create a platform for me to exhibit to younger girls in similar predicaments and backgrounds of my own that they are capable of achieving great things in life. As long as they display self-determination, nothing can work as an obstacle on their road to success.
Sebastina Boakye is the name, but most people know me as Sebby. Being born and raised in Accra, Ghana, I learned most of life’s lessons during my grooming period. At the age of three, I had a bone infection that affected my right arm and almost led to the loss of my arm. After several attempts to find a surgeon to offer a solution, we came across a foreign doctor who could operate on my arm. After staying in the hospital for a year and thinking my arm healed, upon my release I was followed with more complications. Due to this, I have already had three surgeries on the same arm with pending surgeries in the near future. Being teased my whole life growing up because of this, self-esteem became one of the biggest issues I had to battle. Despite the constant teasing and attempts to belittle me by my peers and elders, one thing my grandmother instilled in me was always to be a courageous and determined young woman. Maintaining this in the back of my head encouraged me to embody confidence. Not for sake alone, but to portray a better image for my younger sibling.
As a graduate from University at Buffalo with a degree in psychology, my future goal was to gain entry into medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon to aid in finding solutions to issues pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. I wanted to be able to help people with problems like mine. However, as our way is not always the will of God, I segued into another health sector as an intern and discerned that with the other passion, I can continually help people in my condition irrespective of venturing on to a medical route. I’m currently working on setting up an organization in Ghana called the “Wide Smile Foundation.”.The focus of this foundation is to promote awareness on how labeling can affect an individual in society and raise money for less privileged children who can not afford their surgeries. We will be commencing this foundation in Ghana, and hopefully, the brand will expand throughout other countries in Africa. I believe that nobody should have to experience what I went through especially in Ghana. By embracing all my flaws, I hope to serve as a source of empowerment to young girls everywhere. I desire to utilize my story and experiences to serve as a platform for building self-esteem and inspire confidence in girls.
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself” Coco Chanel.