Beauty & The Beast, Shark Tank, and Black Coffee

As many of you all know, I was bullied all throughout elementary and middle school. Constantly mocked about my weight and appearance, I had a very low self confidence. I tried to blend into the background so that I could dodge any incoming jokes. Going to school was a nightmare and I did all I could to hide anything that would give other students a reason to make fun of me. My favorite red hoodie got pushed to the back of the closet and I started straightening my naturally curly hair. I would have done anything to be thin enough for other’s approval.

Ever since I was a little girl, my family and I have gone to Disney for Christmas. I always loved Mickey Mouse, but when I was growing up… it was not “cool” to like animated characters. Instead of sharing my love for the Mouse with classmates, I hid it. I would go to Disney with my family but stopped wearing my Mickey shirts to school and decided not to share my exciting adventures.

When I got to high school, many wanted me to go into the science field and become a marine biologist. I wasn’t opposed to this idea - mostly because I thought it’d be fun to play with whales and dolphins. For two years, I tried to convince myself that I liked science. When I received a failing grade, I left the science magnet school I was in and took it as God’s sign that He had something else for me.

Before Starbucks was cool, I would drink coffee with my dad everyday. It was something we always shared and it was special between us. He took his with creme and sugar and I loved mine black. Of course… hanging out with your Dad isn’t “cool” when you’re a teenager. I began doing Starbucks dates with my friends and drinking lattes because it sounded “cooler.”

At 24… I look back and praise God for the journey He has taken me on. The challenges and bullying I faced shaped me into who I am. I tried to change who I was for so long, but through my eating disorder I realized that my worth is in Christ alone. Your worth doesn’t come from being “cool” or pursuing what others want you to. My life has taken a total 180 since my days before my eating disorder. I’m now a confident young woman who vibrantly loves Beauty & the Beast, being an entrepreneur, and drinking black coffee.

Life’s battles shaped me into who I am. They made me a confident warrior. 

When it comes to Internationals 2017, I encourage you to be true to who you are. Don’t change yourself for a pageant. Remain true to your heart and character. There is no mold for Miss International, you create her within yourself.

To any girl out there who think that changing who you are is worth the approval of others… it’s not. Be who you are, unapologetically. Love what you want. Pursue your dreams. Drink the coffee.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016


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