“It is a blessing to be able to awaken women to their inner potential so they can start creating and living a life of their dreams.”
“I personally love the beauty queens who are a woman on a mission who is ready to change the world, with or without the crown.”
“I had no idea a that time that 4-5 years later I would be calling myself ‘The Pageant Gal’ or ‘Ms and Miss Canada’. I have travelled my country and parts of the world thanks to pageantry, and now I have been able to connect with women all around the world so they can do the same.”
“I’d say to any young person that if you aren’t happy with where you are at and you know you can be doing something different in your life then you need to explore those options.”
“I wake up each day grateful for the community and support system that I have created to allow me to reach out to these women. I am eternally blessed to know that they choose to come to me for advice and guidance.”
It is an honor to present from Windsor – Ontario, Canada the beautiful Maria Giorlando, Pageant Coach, Speaker, Nurse, Model, Royal International Ms Canada 2021 – Miss Canada 2018 – Miss Tecumseh 2016.
Maria is our Guest of Honor at Perumira’s 7th Anniversary.
Welcome Maria Giorlando!!!
1.- Maria, you were born in Canada, What do you like about your hometown? What are your hobbies? What makes you laugh a lot or does it give you a lot of joy?
I was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. I loved growing up in a border city across from Detroit, Michigan. Not only did I get to experience the Canadian and American cultures, but we have the most beautiful skyline view on our waterfront.
Here I started playing soccer at the age of five and continue to do so twenty years later. My dad got me and my siblings playing when we were younger and would coach our soccer teams. I still enjoy playing with my women’s or co-ed team to stay active and embrace the sport. I forget about everything else going on for the day and focus on the goal at hand which brings me great joy.
2.- Are you Pageant + Confidence Coach? Why did you decide to embrace this profession? What do you like most about your profession?
I began pageant coaching almost three years ago when a friend of mine asked me to help her prepare for a national pageant. This one incident has now turned into a full passion and profession of mine. I began to realize that when I took away the aspect of pageantry the main this, I was helping women develop was their internal confidence and identity. By doing this work first I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the way my clients prepare and perform at their pageants, but also in their daily lives.
It is a blessing to be able to awaken women to their inner potential so they can start creating and living a life of their dreams. I tell my clients I will teach them to live like a queen both on and off the pageant stage, and that is a crown that no one will be able to take away from you. At the end of the day, not all my clients may win their pageant, but they will tell you that their life has been forever changed or enhanced in some way. That is what I am most grateful for.
3.- Model – Royal International Ms Canada 2021 – Miss Canada 2018 – Miss Tecumseh 2016. When do you decide to take your first steps in beauty pageants? What feeling do you have achieving your dreams, your passions and being a recognized woman today?
I was 21 years old and I had a realization about the way I was, or rather wasn’t, living my life. I knew I had a bigger purpose, passion, and path to fulfill that I currently wasn’t embarking upon. I began on my journey of self discovery for three months before finding the application for my very first pageant. One phone call to the director and I was in. I knew nothing of the pageant world. All I knew was that I wanted to meet some new friends, get involved in my community, and of course I wanted to wear the glamorous gowns.
I had no idea a that time that 4-5 years later I would be calling myself ‘The Pageant Gal’ or ‘Ms and Miss Canada’. I have travelled my country and parts of the world thanks to pageantry, and now I have been able to connect with women all around the world so they can do the same. The minute I woke up to living my life on purpose, the universe met me in ways I never could have expected. I am eternally grateful for the successes and recognition I have received, but the true value and beauty is in how I use these experiences and lessons to help others do the same.
4.- What is the main virtue that any woman must have to be an beauty queen?
Every woman and pageant titleholder must have a compassionate heart. As a contestant you focus on preparing yourself to lead up to the competition. As a titleholder the focus is not solely on you, but what you can do for those around you. You will meet individuals from all walks of life and is it essential to be compassionate and present in each interaction you have.
To these individuals you are the queen of the world. It can be easy to get caught up in the sparkles, photoshoots, and fame so to speak. The real blessing of being a titleholder is finding the words you can use to have an impact on those around you. I personally love the beauty queens who are a woman on a mission who is ready to change the world, with or without the crown.
5.- Are you aware of being an influential woman for many girls who want to be beauty queen? How important is it to you to be an idol for many girls and teenagers?
I am aware of this and it is something I carry with a great sense of pride and responsibility. When I started in this industry, I was given a lot of conflicting information about how to prepare, what to do, how to act, and the ways I should present myself. I had no credentials to be a beauty queen, a model, or a role model for other women to do these things. I had to sort through all of the misinformation and poor mindsets that I encountered to determine my own language and meaning of the pageant world. I know that the experiences I have had can be essential in saving lots of young women and girls the avoidable headaches and pain points. If the lessons I learned can be used to help the women around me on their journey then I will keep doing what I can to connect with these women and guide them on their path.
6.- What was your feeling the first time you modeled in front of a video camera? What did you feel the first time at a beauty pageant?
I want to say the first time in front of a camera or video camera was at my second local pageant, Miss Tecumseh 2016. We were given official headshots and the pageant was going to be filmed. All I knew about headshots was to smile and to wear a colour that was bright and complimented my skin. I chose a $20 lacey-peach top from Winner’s and didn’t think much else of it. I think we took about 15 photos and I chose the one where I liked my smile the best. I wasn’t necessarily picky with the process because I thought whichever photo I picked probably didn’t matter because I wasn’t the most photogenic anyways.
I loved knowing that the pageant would be recorded so I could watch it back after. It can sometimes be uncomfortable to watch ourselves on camera but I looked forward to seeing my performance. I am especially grateful now that I have the video because this was the first pageant I won, along with the Miss Photogenic award! I never would have expected this before, but this award taught me that I have something within me to be able to present myself in a pleasant way on camera. I have grown immensely from this time but it is special to look back and see how my modelling skills have improved over the years.
7.- What do you think about the power of social networks today?
Social media has incredible power and potential in our world and in our lives. 90% of everyone around you always has their phone on them or is engaged on some form of social platform. This is the way of our world and it isn’t going away anytime soon, if ever. I think it is incredibly important that we use social media in a way to connect, network, and share our stories and platform with others. This goes for pageantry as well. Others want to see the behind the scenes of pageant preparation because they want to know how you got from where you are to being the titleholder.
Of course there is a negative side of social media, but this comes from the people behind the screens. We need to learn that anyone who chooses to put harmful, false, or derogatory information and comments online is struggling internally with their confidence, identity, and purpose. The unfollow, mute, and block buttons were created for this reason. Don’t let the no-name accounts that you never knew steal your power or energy, use the buttons to their full advance when you need to protect your mindset.
8.- Whats your favorite social network?
Some of my favourite platforms are Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. I am @mariagiorlandotm on all of them.
9.- What would you advise young people who have talent but do not dare to take the next step? What would you advise parents who do not support their children’s talents?
Everyone becomes ready to take their next steps at their own time. However, we know that greatness, potential, and success usually come to those who are willing to take action and step outside of their comfort zone. I am no one to tell anyone what they should or should not be doing. I’d say to any young person that if you aren’t happy with where you are at and you know you can be doing something different in your life then you need to explore those options. It’s not going to hurt me or your friends if you live a life that doesn’t bring you joy or fulfillment, it is ultimately going to impact you. If you’re looking for more out of your life, then start to look around at what that might be. Take in what serves you and leave the rest.
I understand that parents grow up in a different time and generation than their children will. This lack of perspective can cause a power struggle on both ends. If you get into arguments because you don’t understand your child’s passion, then they will eventually start to build up a resentment. They see it as you not supporting them on something that brings them life and makes them more of who they are. I think it’s important for the parents to look at the bigger picture. If your child is happy, doing well in their life, and not hurting anybody then it seems like something you can try to see the silver lining with.
10.- Worldwide, women have acquired a greater role even though there are societies where they are still abused. What is your opinion of the role of women in the future in these societies?
Women have come such a long way with representation and equality in our societies. It can be difficult to imagine the struggles that women face in other countries because Canada has afforded me the ability to pursue any dream or passion that I have had. It is essential that we continue to speak with the policymakers and changemakers in businesses, organizations, and governments to allow women the same opportunities as men in all countries.
We have seen many examples of women who have been exceptional leaders for their countries and communities. Imagine what we could do if every young girl knew that she could attain the opportunities to be one of these influential and impactful women one day?
11.- Maria, what is your motivation and what do you feel grateful for every day?
My greatest sense of motivation comes from the women in the world who sit in their room, tear themselves down, and live life thinking that they do not deserve more for themselves. When I think of these women, I am reminded of a teenage version of myself who did not think she was beautiful or worthy enough to live a life of meaning and purpose. I know that each day I am not working to reach out to these women is a day I am not serving my greater purpose. This is why I choose to compete in pageants and why I coach because I strive to reach these women with my personal experience and the lessons I have learned.
I wake up each day grateful for the community and support system that I have created to allow me to reach out to these women. I am eternally blessed to know that they choose to come to me for advice and guidance.
12.- Maria What countries do you know? What other countries would you like to know and which places do you recommend to visit from Canada?
I have been to 16 countries, some including Canada, The United States, Philippines, France, Spain, and Italy. It would be a dream come true to visit either Egypt or South Africa. I have met some lovely women in these areas I would love to reconnect with and I’d love to be immersed in their rich culture and traditions from which I have learned about.
Interview conducted by Jaime William Mostacero Baca with Maria Giorlando – Canada
Maria Giorlando Contact: Instagram – Email
Interview authorized in writing by Instagram – Email: Maria Giorlando – Perumira – Jaime William
All Rights Reserved in the name of Maria Giorlando – Perumira – Jaime William