Welcome back, and today I’ll be taking you through one of my connection initiatives at the beginning of the pandemic.
With the total lack of public events and opportunities, I, like many of my pageant sisters, turned to social media. I wanted to find a way to bring people together, and thus was born my weekly Instagram Live series, QuaranTEA TIME!
I started reaching out to my friends to see what kind of content they would like. They suggested a mix of fun and serious topics. I approached several experts in various fields to come on as guests, and I was surprised by the positive responses!
I was pretty nervous before my first stream on April 3, but I was also really excited. A friend and master crafter, Ilyssa Tobenstein, came on to chat about DIY ideas and demonstrated a few projects. It went really smoothly, and I couldn’t have been happier!
In the following weeks, I got the chance to interview several other amazing role models, including the founders of Costume Change Co., a group that promotes environmentally sustainable ways of living. One week, I had a discussion on teenage mental health with a fellow MTC delegate, Emily Bliss. We talked about self-care, diet culture, society’s hustle mentality, and so many more interesting topics. It was also my absolute honour to interview Jenna Free from The Body Love Society, a major North American company that teaches the philosophy of “un-dieting” and promotes food and body freedom.
Some weeks, I chose to broadcast alone. These shows were always exciting because I improvised some of my content based on live feedback from my listeners. For example, one of my episodes started as a lesson on tying a tie, but it quickly turned into an interactive discussion on gendered clothing in 2020. It was awesome. Another time, I did a live Q&A about me and my pageant journey, and it was fun to react to questions as they came in. My favourite solo episode was definitely cookie-baking. I wanted to participate in the final day of Canada Positivity Week, and the challenge was making and sharing a recipe! I’m also known for being a bit of a klutz in the kitchen, so I loved letting my viewers give me tips as I baked (and the results were awesome!)
Overall, I’m really grateful and humbled to have access to these resources. I’m definitely impressed by today’s technology. I was able to talk to amazing people and reach so many listeners from different parts of the continent. Some weeks, we had internet difficulties, but for the most part, the web was on our side. Without this platform, I might not have been able to spread my message of hope and positivity as far as I was able to. It’s really important to stay connected during periods of isolation, and I’m happy that I was able to find a way to make people smile, even for just a few minutes at a time. I haven’t hosted a QuaranTEA TIME in a little while, but who knows?! Maybe a new theme will come up soon! Stay tuned!