Q&A w/ Michelle Garland, Miss Rio Grande 2016

 Hey, guys! Merzy here! So, this post is a special one! I'm bringing you guys an interview with a very close friend of mine! I'm...

Miss Rio Grande 2016
 Hey, guys! Merzy here! So, this post is a special one! I'm bringing you guys an interview with a very close friend of mine! I'm very excited for this so I hope you guys enjoy it! Let's get started then! I'll let her introduce herself:

"Hello! My name is Michelle Garland and I'm representing Río Grande in the most prestigious beauty pageant in PR, Miss Puerto Rico."

Q: First off, when/how did you decide to be a model?
A: The modeling industry isn't something I always dreamed of. When I was around 13 years old my mom wanted me to take modeling and refinement classes for my personal growth; I wasn't very excited about it, but I wanted to make her happy...I took the classes and I ended up liking them. It wasn't until 3 years later that I decided on my own to continue with the courses; I waited this long because I didn't really see potential in myself, but I gave it a try anyways. To my surprise, I was signed right away even though I had not even finished the courses. From that point onward, my life changed in a way I never thought possible.

Q: You 've done a lot of modelling jobs and you're amazing in every single one, so what made you decide to try this out? 
A: Modeling wasn't something I always dreamed of, but I ended up doing it and loving it, and the same happened with this. I never saw myself in a beauty pageant, but here I am and I like it more every day. I'm here now because multiple people approached me to tell me I should consider competing. I didn't know what to think at first, but then I thought about how someday I might regret not doing it...so here I am. 

Q: Tell us a little bit about the auditioning experince?
A: I entered directly because Rio Grande was an independent city. It would have been different if I wanted a "regional" city, where the candidates who want a certain town have to compete for it.

Q: How different is this job from you normal modelling ones you've done? 
A: This job is very different to what I'm used to in modeling. This is a full time job because you're a public figure, so you have to be careful about what you say, publish, dress, etc.. When modeling, you're a anonymous face; you're only recognized by those in the fashion industry. Both are totally different when it comes to the actual job. As a model, you need to be able o transform yourself into many things, depending on the vision of the designer, campaign, etc.; it's all about expressing yourself and selling without speaking. But when you're a "Miss", the only thing you have to focus on is yourself. Photoshoots in this job are all about smiles and expressing your own personality, you have to "sell" yourself to the public. Also, you need to be able to speak in public. Many people don't see how hard it really is until they are up on stage with thousands of people looking at their every move and listening to every single thing they say. It's a rush, to be honest...the key is to enjoy every second of it.

Q: What were people's reaction when you told them you were participating in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant? Especially, after Donald Trump comment and univision dropping the miss universe from air, has that changed your opinion on it?  
A: When I told my family and friends I was participating in Miss Puerto Rico, there were all sorts of reactions. Most of them were supportive with my decision, some of them even laughed with me because they never thought I'd actually do it. The Donald Trump incident has been quite controversial, specially for the people working inside the pageant. In my opinion, Mr. Trump's comments were out of place and he shouldn't be generalizing about latinos. Even though I disagree with Trump's allegations, I still think the latin community should participate in the pageant. As mentioned by the new president of the organization, Paula Shugart, "the pageant is about the contestants, not Donald Trump." Miss Universe is about empowering women all over the world, one man shouldn't be the cause for it to not happen. 

Q: What are some of the questions you've been asked the most lately? 
A: The questions I've been asked the most about lately are about my opinion on the Donald Trump incident and the legalization of gay marriage.

Q: Is there any preparation you've had to do for this competetition?  
A: Yes, all contestants must prepare physically, mentally, and intellectually. I love exercising and eating healthy so I don't have problems in that area. With the intellectual part, I've started reading more about everything; daily news, national and international problems, Puerto Rican history, etc. But of all three, I think the mental part is the one I've worked on the most. I'm aware it's going to be a lot of pressure since I'm also studying, so my agenda will be full 24/7. I also have to prepare to listen to criticism, mockery, and much more. People will always be watching my every move and, unfortunately, some of them will be looking for something to destroy my image with. It's a lot of pressure, but there's good and bad in everything. 

Q: When it's just you girls out there, is there any tension between you guys?  
A: Surprisingly, most of the girls are friendly. There is always a misconception about girls in beauty pageants being cold to one another, but this is not the case. Just a few ones are kind of shy, but there isn't anyone who thinks she's better than the rest. 

Q: Have you learned anything from this experince? If so, what?  
A: Yes, I have learned a lot about myself that I haven't given much thought about before, like identifying my true personality, how I treat myself, etc. I've also learned to trust myself more; I never believed I could speak in public without freezing and here I am doing it. There's still much more to learn and I couldn't be more excited about it.

And there you go~ I would like to thank Michelle for being a lovely human being and doing this Q/A with me! Please make sure to like her page & give her lots of support because she's a babe and I'm very proud of her! Also, while you're at it go over to my page and like it! What did you guys think? What's something you guys didn't think you'd love but ended up loving? I'll see you soon, babies!

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