Aimee is a unicorn. A mythical, magical human being of a creature who should not exist and yet does. She is not the first Miss Heiva San Diego and certainly not the last..But Aimee is different.
About 8 years ago I decided that I wanted to create a beauty pageant for young blooming girls who embraced the Tahitian culture and the Pacific Islander community. There’s not just one type of person who goes for things like this. The Pageant type? I mean.. Girls who like dressing up, getting there makeup done, and WINNING! Does that really make them all about the pageantry? No. I say that because I ran in a pageant and at the same time I was a manager at Autozone, knew how to change my own oil, and drove a Kawasaki Motorcycle. Was I a pageant girl? Not the usual, but that didn’t stop me from winning. Maybe the dividing factor lies in the vision of seeing yourself with that crown and the elevation which comes with it whether it be prestige, a scholarship, or the networking. Maybe the imagination is the dividing factor for those who run for titles and those who say things like ” Oh no, that is sooo not me. I could never be someone like that” As if a pageant Queen were part Pariah. They’re not. They do it because they have a certain belief in themselves whether they want to play the cunning and confident or the sweetly humbled. Manifestation baby. Of course not everyone wins(which KILLS me!), and I always walk away with my heart in the grips of these darling beauties with perfect manicured nails. It’s not that I necessarily think that every one of them should have won…because if I’m to be honest there are some that are better for the role as an advocate for the islands than others. What gets me everytime is when I see how much they want that title, how much preparation they put into their cultural costumes, the love and assurance I see in their families eyes as they suffocate their beloved with words of assurance. Some years, there are girls who won the crown who nobody expected…
ENTER AIMEE. She distanced herself from me more than the other contestants I would say or maybe I distanced myself from her? She was kind, but she wasn’t overly kind. She was always aware of her surrounding, independent in her own right, and yet everywhere she went her mother followed(Not a fussy I’m your mother and you will WIN damnit! but more of a mother and daughter two -is-better-than-one package deal. Their bond was their strength). I like to talk with the girls to get to know them because I want to assure them that they will be fine no matter the outcome. They need that assurance sometimes because walking into a room of contestants getting ready to be interviewed is like walking into a force field of nerves. You can feel it, almost taste it in the air. So I made my rounds and aimee was the last one, sitting on the ground daintily playing with a necklace and getting her affairs in perfect order.
She smiled at me and I had to blink at the brightness of her perfectly shaped teeth, how vivid her bright her lips stood against her pale ivory skin, and how lovely she could make the word “Hi.” sound. hmm.. An event/pageant coordinator will succeed if you can correctly read other people. You have to understand how they feel; if they’re enjoying themselves, if they’re anger, sad..you name it. When you figure that out it’s easy to smooth things out or change factors to make those who might be sad happy(Although sometimes no matter what you do some people are just fine with being stuck in their own miseries). So I tried to read Aimee. She smiled at me and her radiance left me at a disadvantage. I looked up at her mother who was flashing me an equally expensive million dollar smile. Who are these people and how can they be so cool, calm, and collective? Especially when some of the other contestants look like they’re about to be thrown into the fire. I could tell from the way she walked, how when she was surrounded by others she had an air of confidence, as if she was the true competitor and they the spectators ( she probably had no idea either), and at the same time she expected nothing. If she would have lost the title, no tears would have left her eyes. New things would come, different opportunities, but she would not be affected by any of it. Aimee just had that persona that no matter where she went in life her blue prints were signed by God carving out a true path in success. I didn’t know of this at the time of course. If I’m to be honest with myself I think I tried to steer clear of her because her aura shook me. I was unsure how to proceed with someone who needed no proceeding. This girl didn’t need me! We needed her.
The pageant passed on and there were more than a few girls who ROCKED it from the get go. But there were two girls who everyone had their eyes on, and Aimee was one of them. I was mingling with the audience when they called her name out. That smile was like the first ray of sun after a thousand days in darkness. Brilliant is an understatement. Her family calling out her name and crying definitely set the tone. How much happiness lay in that moment I will never be able to measure but I’m sure it could be felt all the way from Mexico, the land where Miss Aimee had come. Because of the distance that lay between us I didn’t know what to expect from her as the new Miss Heiva San Diego title holder, but I will ALWAYS had an open mind when working with people. And I found out what’s it like working with Aimee soon enough.
Aimee; winner, beautiful in pictures and even more stunning in person, going to school to pursue higher education, organizing food and clothing runs to people who are in need in Mexico, never far from her family who adores her like the princess she is, a friend to everyone, always willing to help, has never once said no to any of my request as a advocate to the culture, has never once said no when I needed her the most. I know. I am really tooting this girls horn, but I just can’t help it. Like I said before, to succeed you have to be able to read other people, and when I read Aimee her syllables are loveliness, her verbs are marked with the inks of greatness, her every word is placed in perfect precision so that the whole of this young girl will only rise, rise, rise, Somehow changing things so that the Heiva San Diego is no longer helping her to go forward, but instead the girl herself is helping us to go forward. That’s the kind of advocate I had been looking for all along. The kind of person that I didn’t think existed because people had their own agendas, wants, and needs and were only willing to go as far as they deemed.
But unicorns really do exist. Their skin glows even in the shadows. Even when the winds pick up there is never a hair out of place. When they walk into a room: Magic. And the most magical part about them: the core of their being, a heart uninfluenced and inflamed in beauty.
If you ever see a unicorn you better take a picture because they are making moves.