Kenya Moore is taking to her Bravo Blog to discuss this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Kenya explains how she and Cynthia Bailey mended their friendship, and how they got past their issues. Kenya also shares her personal experience with pageants and congratulates Cynthia on her new venture. Kenya explains why she believes pageants are good for young women and explains the controversy many people see on television from watching shows like Honey Boo Boo.
Kenya writes, “The beautiful thing about life is that it is constantly evolving. To evolve means to grow and progress beyond your comfort zone. After my breast cancer scare I see things in a whole new light. I believe you can only be content if you live life as you see fit and make no apologies for it. I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.
When Cynthia and I settled our differences in Anguilla I wanted to move on and past our misunderstanding and so did she. I also had to accept my own culpability that led to the falling out or minimally understand her point of view. Although we both threw quick jabs at each other, we never hit below the belt. We fought fair. Once we had our say, we could move on. Cynthia and I are just letting our guards down, but the more I get to know her, the more I realize how much we have in common. Having said that, I’m not a jealous or envious person, I truly want to see other women succeed, especially those who try to uplift other young women. When I learned of Cynthia’s pageant, I just wanted to help. Whether she decided to allow me to participate or not, I was fine with her decision either way. My paramount concern was to support Cynthia for a wonderful cause.
Young women need all the help they can to find their way in the world. They may come from various backgrounds, perfect homes or broken homes, but they all deserve a chance to thrive and be the best person they can be, and pageants can be the platform with which they can exceed. Often times, troubled girls need an outlet. I grew up in the inner city of Detroit that some might even call the ghetto. My loving grandmother did everything in her power to keep me off the streets and out of trouble. When I received a flyer from a friend advertising a pageant for girls ages 13-17 I couldn’t wait to sign up. My friends and I were all pretty excited and had our own reasons for entering. For me, it was a way of escaping my dangerous and often perilous environment.
I entered my first talent pageant (Little Miss Black Star) at the age of 14 years old. For the talent portion of the competition I danced to Marvin Gaye’s His Eye is on the Sparrow. We had an evening gown competition where we were judged on poise and grace and interviews as well. I eventually walked away with the 1st runner-up prize. It was one of the best and most positive experiences of my life. At Cynthia’s pageant, I could see the hope and faith in the young girls’ eyes, and it warmed my heart to know that I too have been in that position. That night could be the start of something truly fabulous for them.
We all have seen Honey Boo Boo and exploitative child pageants that seem to sexualize innocent little girls, but this clearly was not the case. Whether or not you agree with talent pageants or beauty pageants (or none at all), it is my sincere belief that ones of this nature empower young women to be courageous, outspoken, articulate, philanthropic, selfless, kind, and to promote leadership, to name just a few positive attributes.
Although many of you sent positive messages via Twitter and Facebook, there are still those who will thrive on negativism or resort to unwarranted personal attacks in an attempt to diminish the good we convey with this worldwide stage. We will continue to pray for you all that your perspective may change to acceptance and tolerance. Having said that, it was Cynthia’s night and she pulled it off. I’m grateful that she allowed me to be a part of it. Sure, there were a few stumbles and hiccups along the way, but I applaud her for her efforts. She crowned several amazing winners and everyone was very proud. Go, Cynthia!
Ironically, it was 20 years to the month when I was crowned the 2nd Black Miss USA. It feels great to know I’ve opened some doors for other women to walk through the way my predecessors have for me. That’s a beautiful thing! It’s a good look to all the aspiring young ladies who rule the world. In the words of Beyoncé and (Keyoncé) they were all Gone With The Wind Fabulous!”
Photo Credit: Bravo
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