Before the world came to a halt, self-love and self-care was usually something that people sacrificed in order to focus more on earning money or taking care of people who depend on them. But one silver lining of this quarantine is that now society as a whole can assess and re-evaluate how they want to live their lives and treat themselves.

So I am taking the initiative to share with all my blog followers 5 great self-care exercises!

Tip 1: Writing Lines & Face Mask!

Writing lines is a very soothing technique where you write a positive affirmation again and again until you simply don’t feel like writing anymore. Lately I’ve been writing “everything always works out in my favour” to remind myself that even if things may not work out the way I’d hoped, it will all still for the best in the end.

Tip 2: EFT Tapping

Tapping therapy is based on Chinese medicine, where acupuncture uses needles to apply pressure to pressure points in the face. EFT Tapping instead uses fingertip tapping on these pressure points in order to relieve anxiety and stress. I made a video on instagram demonstrating! @katherine.missmontreal2020

Tip 3: Focus Wheel

You write something that you want to be true (I chose “I am an amazing fundraiser”) in the centre of the wheel, then write down a true statement about yourself/your life in each slot that proves the statement that you wrote is already true!

Tip 4: Revision

At the end of each day, review it. Every interaction, every event, every meeting! Now, for any part of your day that you wish would have been different, simply imagine that your preferred outcome is what really happened instead. If your boss said something that discouraged you, imagine instead that he said everything you would have wanted to hear. Doesn’t that feel much better? 🙂 The things that we imagine, the way that we feel, whether we call it our “energy” or “vibe” affects what you attract in the outside world. Visualize success!

Tip 5: Just have fun with new makeup looks!

I never really wear much makeup, so I decided to express self-love by using my creativity to create looks with makeup. Just have fun! It all washes off, anyways 🙂

Your Loving Rose,

Katherine Leblanc, Miss Montreal

 

Written by: Katherine
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I was browsing the web today, as I have been doing so much during quarantine, and one user on a discussion board that I visit had made a post that made the tired, played-out claim: “Prostitution Should Be Legal”.

His points were as follows: the government shouldn’t tell people what to do with their bodies, the women enjoy it, legalization would protect sex workers from pimps/bad clients, and prostitution is a valid profession.

My mission is to eradicate human trafficking in Canada, forever. Sometimes people assume that I am supportive of prostitution as long as it’s not forced, but I am here to tell you that ALL prostitution is forced.

I will dismantle each myth about legalization one by one.

First Myth Busted: “the government shouldn’t tell people what to do with their bodies”. Where do we draw the line? We don’t allow people to rent themselves out as human punching bags, we don’t allow people to sell their organs, we don’t allow people to sell themselves into slavery. All of those examples including prostitution are violations with extensive power differentials. I can reluctantly agree to get beat up in exchange for not being homeless. Is it not assault?

Economic coercion is still coercion. If a woman has no other option to support herself and/or her kids other than “consenting” to sex with somebody she does not want to have sex with, that is not consent at all. Prostitution is assault under the guise of a financial transaction; the money received after the act is merely reparations for the assault that just occurred.

2nd Myth Busted: “The women enjoy it”. There is no woman who exists, who has ever existed, who enjoys being penetrated by a multitude of strangers each night, for free or for pay. If women enjoy this so much, then why is there not also a huge market of boys and men being sold for women’s consumption? The only way for prostitutes to find clients at all is by pretending to like it; the realities prostitutes experience are omitted from their advertising. No one’s going to get interest from clients if they honestly detail things like single motherhood, chronic illness, precarious social housing, insecure immigration status, an abusive childhood or drug addiction.

3rd Myth Busted: “Legalization would protect prostitutes from pimps and bad clients” There is no such thing as a “good” client. Regardless of how respectful and non-violent a client is, the point is that the prostitute does not want to have sex with him. This idea of prostitutes celebrating legalization, skipping in the street because they are so happy to be able to openly have sex with strangers many times a night is a complete fantasy. They want a real way out. There is no prostitute who would not immediately leave for similar pay if given the choice. A 2003 study first published in the scientific Journal of Trauma Practice found that 89 percent of women in prostitution in the USA want to escape it.

People make the argument that nobody wants to work anyways, that a janitor does not want to clean toilets, but the difference is that the janitor’s body autonomy is not being violated. When a janitor is having a bad day and doesn’t want to go to work but needs to to make ends meet, going to work is a drag and he might have to clean up some vile messes, only some of which he’ll even remember. A prostitute in the same predicament is being raped repeatedly because she can’t afford not to be. Those are lifelong scars.

Legalization of prostitution would also legalize pimping. Suddenly, pimps are simply “managers”. It creates a safe haven for criminals who traffic people into prostitution.

4th Myth Busted: “Prostitution is a valid profession just like any other job.” I would invite anybody who holds this sentiment to advise their daughters to become prostitutes, or tell their wives to pick up a shift at the now-legal local brothel when the family is tight for cash. Make no mistake, people only say this when the women who are affected are women that they don’t care about. Should we allow brothels to attend high-school career days? Why not, it’s just honest physical work like anything else, right? Should we give training to young girls on the most pleasurable techniques? After all, young girls are the most in-demand, so this would just be good business. Saying this is just a job is describing very breezily the reality of having sex multiple times a night by men that nobody else wants to have sex with. People argue that it is a free choice but the people with the fewest choices are the ones who end up having to do it. 

In Conclusion: If the government approves turning women’s bodies into a product and that selling sex is the same thing as selling any commodity, you are telling men that they are entitled to sex no matter how the woman feels about it, and it is their right to receive it. It sends the message that sex isn’t a big deal for women, and if a woman says no, she is only doing it to spite you. Male on female rape levels in Canada are already staggeringly high. You cannot tell men that have grown up with women being for sale like meat in the market that they should totally respect it when a woman says no because she doesn’t feel attraction. If the government says that women can get penetrated by dozens of strange men every day and it would be an absolutely normal working day, then why is that particular woman saying “NO” to ME?! It also supports the practice that men do not have to be appealing people in order to get sex, it doesn’t matter how lecherous, misogynistic, or unhygienic he is, he can simply pay for a prostitute.

Prostitution is everywhere. The solution is not to put a government stamp of approval on this violation of human rights. The solution is more access to education and jobs for girls, elevate the status of women in society, and send out messages from the media of self-esteem and self-love. 

Consent is not for sale.

From Your Strong Rose,

Katherine Leblanc, Miss Montreal

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As a delegate for Miss World Canada, I am a role model. You don’t have to pretend that you come from a great background in order to become a woman of great value.  I have to be honest and transparent; I want every girl who comes from a place like mine to know that she can still have a happy, fulfilling life.

I would like to tell you about my childhood. 

My parents are wealthy, but made the choice to raise us in a falling-apart, filthy house with cheap, mismatched furniture thrown together with no thought behind it. The house cost less than my father’s annual salary, yet the children were deprived. Growing up with nothing even though there should have been plenty of money to live a secure, stress-free childhood completely destroyed my self-worth. There is definitely a stigma that only low-income families can neglect their children, but these things happen in all tax brackets. Neglect is not about having resources, it’s about having priorities that are above your children’s wellbeing; everything was for their own personal retirements. 

We all had pretty bad childhoods, but I had it the worst because I was labeled the “troublemaker” (its common for these types of family units to single out one child as the pariah) and I was forced to take Ritalin and Prozac at only 13 years old.

Any expense was seen as frivolous, so we never really had any birthday celebrations, no vacations, no pretty dresses or jewelry, and no outings to restaurants or activities, despite having wealth. I believed that I did not deserve anything. This came from an ignorant and warped viewpoint about life that my parents extended to themselves as well as their children; their marriage itself began this way; no proposal, no wedding ceremony, no rings, just a paper from the courthouse.

Cold, practical, joyless. 

My brother, sister and I had almost no socialization with other children or extended family, or even each other. I can count on one hand how many conversations my siblings and I have shared, and to this day, I don’t know much about them besides where they live now. But with the way they treated me, I don’t want to know them. Family dinners, home-cooked meals, and games were unheard of in our household. My mother was too depressed to spend much energy cultivating a family bond, and my father was too wrapped up in himself, and had his own issues with depression. I was so severely neglected that I didn’t even know how to tie my hair into a ponytail until well into my teens when a girl at school showed me. School itself was also torturous because undergarments for my developing body were seen as another unnecessary expense, so I faced constant harassment about my body. At home, my mother didn’t see any value in cooking for us, and even if she wanted to, the dining room table was always piled high with random, dusty junk anyways.

As I grew older, I could sense that this living situation was not normal, especially given my parents’ prestigious job titles; and began asking for a better quality of life, but I was shamed for being ungrateful. I would spend huge swaths of time as a child and teenager left completely alone in my room with only peeling paint and rotting floorboards around me. Reading was my escape.

I could go on about many other experiences similar to this, and I wish that I could tell you that these experiences emboldened me and made me a tougher little girl, but they did not. This treatment only broke down my self-esteem even more, and made me an even better target for bullies. But the area that I was forced to live in was so run-down that it was not simple bullies that I was surrounded by; it was drug dealers/users, woman-beaters, and scammers. 

Because self-love was something that was never instilled in me, through my life-long journey of self-improvement, I am getting better every day, even on the days that I struggle. Being involved in pageantry has opened my eyes to a world of opportunity, when before I was trapped in a world of scarcity.  I am still standing because I have had faith in myself. I was forced to learn to rely only on myself, and to be self-sufficient, which I am grateful for. Pageantry has changed my life. I want every girl who dreams of a better life to know that it is possible, and you ARE worth it!

Your Optimistic Rose,

Katherine

Written by: Katherine
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Did you know that April 3rd was national Find A Rainbow day? Well, that’s exactly what I did; I put on my boots and went rainbow hunting in my neighbourhood!

In Québec, drawings of rainbows have sprung up in windows everywhere; why?

The COVID-19 pandemic has confined most of the population indoors, and people are leaving out pictures of rainbows to cheer up those who are suffering in isolation and as a way to connect with each other. Some of them say “ca va bien aller” which is French for “everything is going to be okay”

This is already a common trend in Europe; an area of the world that Québec has always shared a special connection with. Deep down, we have European hearts

These are some of the rainbows I found around my neighbourhood. When you are feeling down, always look for the rainbow…

Written by: Katherine
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My name is Katherine Rose, and I am from Montreal!

I am currently in Beauty School studying to become a medical aesthetician. It often amuses the hairdressers that we share the campus with to tease us as “pimple poppers”, but I promise there is much more to it than that! I am learning so much about how our body and skin works, from the top layer of the dermis to the deepest cavities of the heart. The skin is our largest organ, so us professionals have to know all about it from head to toe and front to back! We are going to be playing with lasers and needles for our whole careers, so we better know our stuff.

I am also going to train in laser tattoo removal, to help survivors of human trafficking reclaim their bodies.

We also study makeup techniques, massage movements (Yes, some days I go to school just to be massaged all day. It’s really hard.) I could go on and on!

But I’m sure what you’re really wondering is; how did I get here?

Allow me to start from the beginning; as a young girl, school was always very difficult for me because I would spend all my time daydreaming of faraway places, craving adventures, fantasizing about places that I have never seen and people that I have never met, and hoarding every Harry Potter-esque book that I could get my little hands on.

My need to roam led me to study Hotel Management in college, where I met all types of people from all types of backgrounds, studying anything you could imagine alongside me. Near the end of my course, I accepted an internship to work at a 5 star hotel in Bangkok, Thailand called Lebua (home to the Sky Bar, which made a cameo in the movie The Hangover 2, and a Michelin-starred restaurant).

The Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok into the Gulf of Thailand

I will never forget the warmth and honesty of the Thai people. I once left my MacBook in a taxi and when I realized what had happened, I just wanted to break down and cry. As in, literally sit on the sidewalk and weep. But the taxi driver, riding up to me like a hero cowboy in the sunset, came back and returned it to me. I tried to give him money for his selfless act, but he refused. 

Now, back to the hotel aspect; once I was in the thick of things, serving a massive hotel and thousands of room guests and restaurant diners, I had to be honest with myself. 

Did I really have a passion for the hotel industry? Or did I just want to travel?

Pretty soon after this honest conversation with myself, I was on a plane back to Canada. I made the silent promise to Thailand that I would return one day, for the right reasons.

I also want to bring awareness to my platform, human trafficking, and make a career in public speaking where I educate the public about this horrible crime.

During my free time, you will find me at the archery shooting range, where I am now skilled enough that my trainer no longer feels the need to duck under a table and cower whenever I pick up the bow, practicing my singing (my style is pop and Ariana Grande is my queen) and going to the gym. I also still daydream about faraway places all the time…some things never change.

I’m honoured to be a Delegate for Miss World Canada 2020, 2020 is the beginning of a new decade, and this year belongs to us! I was born to be Miss World, to help protect all the children of the world from human trafficking, to inspire the voiceless, and to spread love and courage everywhere I go.

Your New Rose,

Katherine Leblanc, Miss Montreal

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