Thursday, April 18, 2024

Crystal’s Big thrill


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For a few minutes after Crystal Boyce woke up on Monday morning, she forgot she had won the Miss Big & Beautiful pageant hours earlier.

The Chalky Mount, St Andrew resident told WEEKEND BUZZ that after getting home from St Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School at 3 a.m. she knew she had to wake up in time to catch the 6 a.m. Bridgetown-bound bus so she did not get much sleep.

“I got up so tired because I had to go to work but then it was, ‘I won. I win the competition’. I got up and looked at my crown and said, ‘This is mine’, I was just so fussy. I said, ‘I cannot believe I won this’,” she recalled with a broad smile.

Sitting in the foyer of Carlisle House, The City, the customer service representative in the card services department at First Citizens Bank was still basking in the victory.

Three days after beating out seven other contestants to win the title and a treasure trove of prizes, Crystal said she was still receiving congratulatory greetings and encouraging words from friends, co-workers, and strangers, something she is trying to get accustomed to.

The 26-year-old was quietly optimistic she would win the pageant a friend encouraged her to enter, and it was hard for her not to be caught up in her sponsor Judy Boyce’s enthusiasm and

belief in her as well as that of her supporters.

Not only did Kenju’s supply her outfits for the pageant, but she and Boyce co-wrote her skit and rehearsed with her on Mondays and Tuesdays after work to ensure she was ready for the big night.

“It was not that bad juggling work and rehearsals because work finishes at 4:30 [p.m.] and after I would go to rehearsals sometimes until eight to nine o’clock. Then the salon changed ownership and it closed at 7 p.m. I used to go home very, very tired and when I got there it would be like, ‘all right’. I love to watch [TV] series and right now I am so backed up, I now have to catch up,” she said smiling.

The St Michael School alumna said when she was a child she used to hear, ‘You’re so fat’ and it was only after she went to study accounting and French for business and tourism at the Barbados Community College and read for her bachelor’s degree in accounting at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies that she was told ‘You’re pretty”.

Her advice for full-figured teens and women suffering from low self-esteem is to understand that not everyone can be the same size and shape.

“First of all, you have to love yourself. Look in the mirror and love the person you are. Say to yourself every day, ‘I am beautiful’, and you will believe it. Try not to let others pull you down, try not to let what others say to you make you feel bad. Hang around people who would boost your self-esteem and not people who would keep dragging you down.”

Although she was comfortable on stage during the show she said she was nervous when she awoke on Sunday morning.

“The morning I got up I was shaking and shaking. Before I went on stage to do anything, my hand was shaking so bad a woman had to hold my [left] hand to stop it from shaking – it was shaking so bad . . . . When I got on the stage the nervousness stopped and I just did what I had to do,” she said.

“For lingerie especially, I always used to get quarrelled with [over] this. ‘Crystal, you’re not sexy enough; do something more’. I don’t know what happened when I went on stage, I just got in the mood and did it.

“Tonia [Husbands, pageant director] would always say, ‘Crystal you’re walking too fast’. Everything for me was too fast – talking too fast, music was playing and I just darting. Sunday night I was so shocked, I said: ‘I’m doing all of this for trut?’ I was going back into the changing room and saying: ‘Yes, yes, yes. I did it, I did it.”

She said she cried backstage after having to repeat her answer after the judges did not hear all of it.

When she is not at work or watching one of her favourite shows, you might find her doing hair, nails or make-up or she will hang out with her friends who she said like being around her because “it is jokes”.

For those big, beautiful and bold women thinking of entering the pageant, Crystal’s advice was simple: Be prepared to work hard and be dedicated.

“If you want to enter, make sure that you have the mindset for it because you will encounter a lot of challenges. I would also encourage them to find a good sponsor. My sponsor is the bomb. She made sure I had everything.

“If you don’t have a good sponsor, you have to save money. You just cannot get up and say, ‘I’m going into this pageant’ because if you want to do your best you have to save money,” she said and noted some of the material for her gown cost $125 a yard.

As time passes, Crystal looks at one of laminated copies of the review carried in the DAILY NATION and reminds herself, “I did that. I won.” (GBM)


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