By Laxmi Chyrmang | Shillong | December 4, 2019:

She’s a woman, she’s a wife, she’s a mother and she is a “Beauty Queen”; Yes, meet Mrs. Marjorie Noreen Dunai, the winner of the Mrs. Shillong beauty pageant 2019.

A big stage and a big moment indeed for Marjorie, the beauty queen who carried the crown home. (In the pic below, Marjorie was seen posing along with Mrs Apoorva D. Gunanka and Mrs Smti Isapaia Shullai, who were declared as the 1st runners and the 2nd runners up respectively.)

She was recently crowned Mrs Shillong at a beauty pageant held during the Cherry Blossom Festival held in Shillong last month.

A smile on her face says it all; Marjorie, a mother of two, accepts and believes in herself even as she takes on a challenge to prove to the world that if anyone sets their mind on anything, nothing can stop them.

A platform like this reminds us about the beauties of mothers. Being a mother is not an easy job. There is a preconceived notion that once, you’re a mother, your physical beauty gradually fades but Marjorie proved it all wrong.

Mrs Shillong is a platform for all mothers to flaunt their beauty and showcase their talents. After all, it is a competition that changes the way you think about yourself. Beauty pageant is more than just business; rather it opens a whole lot of opportunities. Apart from crown and cash, it is an opportunity that opens a thousand doors. This is one of the global events that empower a woman, encourage her to spread her wings and fly to new heights. It has now become a tradition and it is one of the respected professions where a woman’s voice is heard and listened to in the society.

Here’s an interview with Mrs. Marjorie Noreen Dunai from Shillong

#1. Can you tell us something about yourself?

I am Marjorie Noreen Dunai, a proud mother of two beautiful children, blessed with a loving and very supportive husband.

Besides my daily work as a mother, as a wife and a government employee (The Meghalaya legislative Assembly), I also love to sing and dance.

I also love to keep myself fit, so I like to work out daily as I believe it not only helps in keeping me physically fit but also improves my mental well being.

As the saying goes “Swasth raho Mast raho “Stay healthy Stay happy “

#2. What prompted you to enter the contest ?

I entered the competition for 2 reasons, one professional and another personal.

Professionally, I’ve always wanted to enter into the modelling business, though earlier the opportunity didn’t quite come by at the right time.

Personally, I felt like I needed a new challenge in my life after raising my children through their most tender years. I also wanted to make them proud of their mother. This competition offered me the perfect opportunity for this.

Furthermore, it was an opportunity for me to overcome my biggest personal fear of public speaking. After all, the only way to conquer your fears is to face them.

Marjorie Dunai after being crowned Mrs Shillong 2019

#3. Your views on women empowerment ?

I think the term “women empowerment” has been bandied around for the last 2 decades without its real meaning being understood. Women empowerment actually means enhancing women’s ability to change structures and ideologies that subordinate us. While women in Meghalaya, seem to be doing relatively better than elsewhere in the country especially economically, but going by this definition, we still have some way to go. For eg, women are still looked upon as the weaker sex (Ka thei shibor), we don’t have a voice in traditional Khasi Panchayat i.e. the Durbar shnong, our household work are neither acknowledged nor paid for. In the field of family planning, Meghalaya’s high total fertility rate suggests women, particularly in rural areas, have no say in deciding the number of children they want to have.

Coming to the whole country, there are still many challenges women face. Adverse sex ratios, persisting incidences of female foeticides, unequal pay, unabating incidences of rape, higher school drop outs, lower literacy rates, higher cases of malnutrition and consequently higher under 5 mortality rates among girls. Unless we address these problems head on and give all women the ability to overcome them, women empowerment will remain a distant dream.

Having said that there is hope that we are on the right track. Women are making progress and have broken the glass ceiling in many fields such as the armed forces. The government has launched some schemes such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao which will no doubt help. But most importantly, for women empowerment, we need men to be actively involved and support our causes like for eg. the UN HeforShe campaign for gender equality.

#4. What are your goals as a model now?

  1. To win a national competition and add to the laurels already brought to our state by those that came before me.
  2. To make modelling more popular amongst our girls who are amongst the most beautiful ladies out there.
  3. Modelling is also a means for me to achieve higher end i.e. to use it as a platform to help those that need our help. We humans are, after all, social animals who need each other.
  4. To be an inspiration to other mothers who wish to take up modelling as a profession.

#5. What would you like to say to all the mothers out there who are also aspiring to be like you?

Motherhood is God’s gift to us women. Embrace it with all your heart and soul and give your best for your children. But if you are also passionate about other things in life, never hesitate or doubt yourself to go for it.

Like a cherry blossom which blooms late in the year, it’s never too late in life to bloom and shine. With love and support of your dear ones, you can achieve anything if you believe in yourself. Thank you.

To all the mothers out there, this is an outstanding platform for you, come and explore yourself in the next season and find out your hidden talent, in fact it is a one time and a life changing opportunity.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years ~~ Audrey Hepburn



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