It is so wonderful to see women with PCOS overcoming this syndrome and living the life of their dreams. I wanted to shine some light on Tanisha Frazier, Miss New York Plus USA. She will be competing in August and her platform is PCOS. I asked Tanisha a few questions about her experience with PCOS and I think you’ll find her answers inspiring. Good luck Tanisha!
Q: What is the Miss Plus USA Pageant?
A: The Miss Plus USA Pageant is is a national multiphase competition for unmarried women ages 20-30 and Teens ages 14-19 who wear a double-digit size. Our Mission is to provide a platform and opportunity for the average size woman through tasteful competition, requiring a healthy lifestyle, class, eloquence and volunteerism.
Q: What inspired you to compete?
A: I’ve been an aspiring model going on 5 years now. I never wanted to only model for the pretty pictures, I wanted to share my part in changing the way beauty is perceived. This pageant system inspired me to compete because the competition is about more than just pretty pictures and knowing how to pose. It provides a healthy, yet competitive environment and provides us a platform to reach the masses for a cause that we’re passionate about. Beauty and brains is important here not just size, proportion, and great pictures. Modeling is about the outside but this competition cares about the inside as well and I jumped at the opportunity.
Q: How were you diagnosed with PCOS?
A: I switched OBGYN’s because my existing one was very lax, didn’t do follow ups, etc. Around my second visit with my new OBGYN he noticed certain things so he asked me a number of questions concerning my weight, menstrual cycle, hair growth, checked my thyroid, my blood pressure, and also checked for diabetes. I wondered why he was doing all these things and he said he wanted to rule out the other conditions before coming to the conclusion that I had PCOS.
Q: How have you maintained a positive attitude about PCOS and use this diagnosis to go on to help spread awareness shine a light for others?
At first I let my diagnosis defeat me, but then I did my research and talked to my doctors. Over the years we’ve only tried two different methods to try to manage PCOS but I decided this year to take control. I had to change my mindset that in spite of my condition, I can still move forward and I have a right to chase after my dreams, and to be happy. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and conditions and my goal in life is to change the perception of beauty. This year will be different from the rest. I will take the prescribed meds for now but for a more permanent solution I have to make a lifestyle change. I’ve been on a journey of self-love, fitness, and health and I decided to share my story. By sharing my story about my condition I have received a number of messages from other women young and old who are struggling. They appreciate seeing someone out in the forefront about it. My skin isn’t perfect and neither is my body but I’m using these imperfections to show that beauty is perfection flawed; and it’s not our outward appearance or our countenance that makes us beautiful but it’s our flaws that make us beautiful.
Q: What advice to have for Divas who are struggling with the negatives of PCOS?
A: The first thing I want my PCOS Divas to know is that they are not alone. Your girlfriends, your sisters, or even your best friend may not know what you go through, but share the same tears, face the same fears, or have the same insecurities that we do. I want each and everyone of my PCOS Divas to know is that they are beautiful, they are whole, and they are healthy. My advice is to change the way you look at PCOS. You may have PCOS but PCOS doesn’t have you, so live life on purpose not by accident and do everything within your power to live that life filled with purpose. If you need to lose weight don’t start tomorrow, start right now. If you love carbs, research slow digesting carbs and try to choose a healthier alternative: if you love fried rice try the brown rice instead. Each step you take brings you closer to the top and just know that I’m right there with you just like you’re right here with me.
Q: What is your dream?
A: I hope to start a nonprofit organization that will help girls, teens, and women, both young and old, who have struggled with low self-esteem. Having struggled with low self-esteem myself, I want to help others overcome it as well. The organization will also cater to girls and women who are diagnosed with PCOS. The organization will provide support, counseling, and a list of other services like skin care, nutrition, and fertility options.