Personality power! | Daily News

Personality power!

The notion of a beauty pageant often evokes imagery of young and beautiful women competing for the crown. Although these women are required to be many things such as intelligent, elegant and talented, there is one indispensable requisite that comes before everything: they have to be unmarried.

The modern society is inherently biased against married women. This is especially apparent in the beauty pageant industry. However, this stereotype may not last long if women like Chandi Aluvihara Delwala have their way.

“We all know the stigma: the beautiful women with rock solid body who struts her stuff in a bikini; practically a goddess in an evening gown; swear the makeup is tattooed on the face and must have performed some voodoo magic to get the hair that high. And when it comes to those on stage questions, the answers that cross everyone’s mind is ‘World peace’. Outer appearance drives the pageant stigma and, unfortunately, doesn’t allow society to view pageants for the true beauty they are. If beauty pageants were solely about everything listed above, then they wouldn’t be called a beauty pageant, they would be called a ‘pretty pageant.’ Pageants for married women have opened up opportunities to showcase their personality not only domestically but also in a global level. it is a platform for power and sensuality. She goes through the humdrum of life suppressing what they truly are, and these platforms help us breakaway into showcasing our strengths and passion. Hence, we need more married women to start believing the real changes they make, as their beauty is not just skin deep. She is a woman with courage, strength, self-love, power, deeper sense of understanding and walk down that stage wearing her stretch-marks as a tattoo of womanhood,” Chandi opines.

She was crowned as Mrs Sri Lanka International in 2016 and went on to make it to the top 10 at the Mrs International pageant held in Florida, USA. She was presented with the titles ‘Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights’ 2016 and the ‘Global Goodwill Ambassador’ 2018 - Global Humanitarian Foundation.

“Soon after the pageant, I took on many interesting roles which I have completed successfully. One was representing Sri Lanka as a goodwill ambassador during my time. I had the opportunity to visit Thailand under the invitation of the Prince of Thailand to conduct a programme to uplift the lives of street children - a successful project which is still running and has made a significant impact on eradicating the life of crime and child prostitution. A parallel initiative was taken in Sri Lanka, where they were taken under a government support programme which provided them with food, shelter, medical support, clothing, and most importantly skills development training most suited to their liking so they could look forward to a better life in the grown up years ahead. Similarly, once I set my sights on work for my country, I undertook to conduct and develop several workshops and seminars as pilot projects in conjunction with leading professionals here in Sri Lanka to Enhance and support Women’s rights, Women empowerment, Prevention of child abuse, Prevention of sexual harassment and abuse, Rehabilitation of prisons inmates, Training people in the government sector in good etiquette, Power of discipline, Professionalism and code of conduct at work, the importance and how to follow Protocols,” she elaborated.

For Chandi challenges are the spice of life. She enjoys understanding them and working how to overcome them.

“That is a red thread throughout my life. Challenges boarder the outer edges of our life and hence excites me, it makes me feel happy, eager and enthusiastic,” she chimed adding that being a mother is the biggest challenge she had faced in life.

“Only a mother can be a mother. Motherhood challenged me to be a better person, every day. Nurturing a life into the world and protecting them, guiding them to become the best version of who they are without pre-set rules and guidance is a challenge we all mothers go through. It is an uncharted path. If motherhood is supposed to be easy, it wouldn’t have started with labour,” she expressed.

She related that she would not make any adjustments to her life even if she was given the opportunity to change anything she desired.

“What I am, where I am and who I am today is everything that happened in the journey of life through thick and thin. I don’t have dreams. I am unapologetically ambitious. When I achieve one, I find another. The easy way to do this is to cut down on negative people, make every step fun and while doing that live in the moment,” she said.

Born and raised in Kandy, Chandi schooled at Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy. Later she flew abroad for higher studies and employment. She lives in Colombo now.

“I am surrounded by the most amazing people called ‘family’. My late grandfather Richard L B Aluwihare had a major impact in molding me to who I am today. My parents are the two most loving and understanding parents anyone could ever have. I believe I have my mother’s strength in personality. My sister and brother-in-law have been pillars of strength. My one and only son constantly motivates me to set goals and achieve them.

My partner is the wind beneath my wings. He is my mentor. He keeps me grounded, motivated and cares deeply for my happiness. He makes me believes in myself at every moment, through the smooth or turbulent. He is my anchor!” she enthused.

She advises women to have at least a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of continues sleep each day and to always moisturize their skin.

“Use extra virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer for your body. It really helps to retain youthfulness. Remember that beauty is also from inside. Eat healthy, hydrate and find your mojo,” she advised.

She is working as a freelance writer, and being a selective brand Ambassador these days.

“I think I have carried my responsibilities which came along with Mrs. Sri Lanka International with utmost dignity. It helped me to build my self-confidence and empowerment by being in the spotlight. A pageant winner becomes a public personality hence comes the responsibilities. This obviously opened a new chapter in my life, reviving the different aspects of both glamour industry and social services. As an individual I have reached great heights in life which also created different paths to reach out to less fortunate children which I passionately embraced. Using my voice and the strength of the crown to create the difference I craved is the utmost achievement. I would like to be remembered as a woman who stood by her principles some day,” she revealed.

Her thoughts are with all those who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.

“The pandemic has led to sweeping changes and disruption in nearly every aspect of daily life. With mandates and guidelines changing all the time, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by our own anxieties. It is important to practice empathy during this time, not only for others but for yourself as well. Listen to others, engage in acts of service, observe the empathetic actions of others, and imagine yourself in other person’s situation. The way the virus is spreading, we would not know when there will be an ambulance, in front of everybody’s door. We are all in this together! Let us spread love and be more empathetic towards the situation,” she concluded.