What can be said about Beauty Pageants? Nowadays, many of them seem to lose their luster and glamour. Today, young women want to be more than just a beautiful face and instead of following some unattainable gold standard they want to show off their individual beauty. Nuestra Belleza Latina, a reality television beauty pageant broadcasted on Univision, also ditched the gold standard of beauty and invited young women to come out and show off what really makes woman beautiful.
This year’s competition did not disqualify curves and even if just for that it empowered contestants and gave a reason to dream to many young girls at home. Nancy Alejandre, 3rd finalist of Nuestra Belleza Latina and Chicago native, also, used to think that beauty pageants were probably not for her, but an audition for Nuestra Belleza Latina gave her wings and taught her to dream big because she proved to herself, that dreams do come true.
Ms. Alejandre is from Chicago, but she is very proud of her Mexican heritage. Her mother is from Durango, Mexico and her father is from Michoacán, Mexico. She attended High School in Pilsen, IL and she graduated from Northern Illinois University with a major in Journalism and minor in Spanish. After graduation she tried hard find a job in the journalism field but could not. She ended up working at a bank, but never gave up on searching her dream job in her field of study. Nuestra Belleza Latina could give an aspiring journalist like Nancy Alejandre a chance because the winner of this contest gets a television presenting contract that would last a year. It, also, didn’t hurt that Ms. Alejandre had dreamed for some time now to be part of this prestigious competition.
“[Since] 2007 the first audition [for Nuestra Belleza Latina] when Alejandra Espinoza won, I thought one day I’ll go and make it,” Nancy Alejandre said.
She explained this year’s competition was very special and important to her because this year Nuestra Belleza Latina, “was looking for talent, not just a pretty face,” she explained.
“Before [one] had to have the perfect body. This year it was not about age or body type, but what you can bring to the table to be a TV host,” Ms. Nancy Alejandre added with notes of pride in her voice.
Her decision to participate in this competition came with a cost. In order to pursue her dream, she had to make a hard decision of ending her relationship with her boyfriend.
”It was a personal decision,” she talked more about the decision. “I wanted to focus on myself. Do it myself. He did not support my goals. [This was] a decision I had to take in order to pursue my goals.”
After getting out of this relationship that was not working for her anymore, she realized that she can achieve anything she put her mind to.
“Only person I need approval from is myself,” Nancy Alejandre said proudly.
And so, she went to audition and was chosen to go to Miami, FL to be part of the Nuestra Belleza Latina competition. She was there for 8 weeks and was eliminated in the semifinal. She might have started a little slow and at the beginning was not doing well during the challenges, but as time progressed she learned and grew and with a strong determination reached the semifinals. It was not an easy task because spending weeks away from friends and family can be exhausting, as well as living with strangers in one house, learning how they are and how to communicate with them can really take a toll on a person. Nancy Alejandre endured because the whole experience was great and the friendships she made during the competition could last a lifetime.
Ms. Alejandre strongly believes that whatever one’s dreams is, one can certainly achieve it.
“Believe in yourself. Work hard,” she advised all the young girls who are thinking of trying out for Nuestra Belleza Latina.
She encouraged young women like herself to go out there and audition for this competition because, “you don’t know how far you can get. Try and at the end of the day, no one can take it away from you.”
Now that Ms. Alejandre’s persistence paid off and she had a chance to compete at Nuestra Belleza Latina, she has other dreams she wants to make happen. She is not giving up on her dream job in journalism, and she keeps on looking and trying. There is a blog and a youtube channel about style that is being discussed as well.
“I am unstoppable,” Ms. Nancy Alejandre laughed.
While her determination helps her to keep on pushing and working hard, she also, wanted to let everyone who supported her and voted for her know that she is very grateful for their support and she will keep on pushing as far as she can get in life and make all her supporters proud of her.
Years ago, a beauty pageant might have been unattainable for many young women, but nowadays having curves does not disqualify you, because every woman is beautiful in her own way and highlighting her individual beauty and talent might be a future for beauty pageants.
Nancy Alejandre –
- 3rd Finalist of Nuestra Belleza Latina.
- Chicago native of Mexican Heritage.
- Northern Illinois University graduate with major in Journalism and minor in Spanish
- Loves to read, exercise in gym, eat healthy, do hot yoga and mediate
- “If you can dream it, you can achieve it,” “Everything I want, I can achieve,” “The only person I need approval from is myself.”