I was privileged to interview the lovely ambassador for Christ and pageant princess, Victoria J. Mangham.
Victoria is young lady I admire for her poise, faith in Christ, and positive example she lives out for other women. It just seemed right that Victoria would be the first young woman chosen to be cast in the ‘Real Life Model Me Girl’ spotlight.
Victoria’s tweets via @MissTori_J come highly recommended because they are positively joyful.
Check out the full interview transcript below.
Interview with Victoria J. Mangham
Model Me Girl: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Victoria: My name is Victoria J. Mangham and [at the time of this interview] I am currently 20 years old. I love God, fashion, blogging, and sharing my love for Christ. I have a shoe addiction, and I love to shop. I have been a pageant girl for the past ten years and am currently 2012 Miss Michigan under the National American Miss pageant system and 2012 National Sparkle Success under the Sparkle Success pageant system. I am a pageant coach, and have a HUGE love for volunteerism. I am also a strong believer that you are able to do ALL things through Christ.
Model Me Girl:Will you tell us more about you being an aspiring designer?
Victoria: I am an aspiring fashion designer, focusing on footwear, although I am going to school to become a fashion merchandiser! I would love to launch my own shoe collection in the future.
Model Me Girl:What makes you a Real Life Model Me Girl?
Victoria:First and foremost, I love Jesus with my everything, as I owe Him my life. I begin each day asking God to guide and protect me, as all I want to do is model HIM. It means so much, that when people encounter me, they know Christ IS my life. Most people are so obsessed with TALKING the WALK, but not worrying about WALKING the TALK. It’s so important to actually live out the Word of God in this crazy World, and not becoming caught up with worldly ways. Jesus paid the price, they didn’t. So, what makes me a Real Life Model Me Girl? I live out the Word and encourage others DAILY to do the same. Living for the Kingdom is NOT easy, but it’s more than worth it. I mean, God is MORE than worth it, right? It just makes sense.
Model Me Girl:What’s your favorite Bible verse? Why?
Victoria:My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which states, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Sometimes, things go a lot differently than we plan for them to go, but we MUST trust God and KNOW without a doubt, that He knows what is best for us. I struggled to understand this some time back, but as I delved into the Word more, my faith grew and it increased like never before. I finally understood that if I have faith in God, then that meant that I trusted Him. Yes, even through the storm.
Model Me Girl:How do you inspire other girls and women to cultivate their inner beauty and live for Christ?
Victoria:“Living for Christ is not easy, but it’s not only possible, it’s worth it.” This is a constant quote I tell the girls of my praise dance ministry at my church. I tell them that they are beautiful and amazing no matter what, and they do not need another human to tell them that to ensure it. I share my real life examples of living for Christ in a dying world to give them encouragement. I will be 21 at the end of this year, so they look at it as, “If SHE can live SAVED at such an important age, I can too. If SHE can live in THIS WORLD, but not be of THIS WORLD, I can too.” I believe its important to be a positive example to the younger generation and show them that it is possible to live for the Kingdom and still have fun…the SAVED way.
Model Me Girl:Who inspires you? How?
Victoria:My mother inspires me to be who I am today. Even as a small child, she always told me that I could be whatever I wanted; that with Christ, I am able. Needless to say, I kept these words with me all my life. Just remembering how hard she worked to make sure my brother and I were well taken care of, made me want to make something of my life, so that I would be able to take care of her in her senior years. My mother is my motivation to be a better ME.
Model Me Girl:How did you first get involved with pageantry?
Victoria:I have been asked this question a million times before, and the answer is quite simple: I have no clue. Growing up, I was never into pageants, but an opportunity came up with National American Miss, when I was about 11 years old. My mother and I decided to try it, and I have been hooked ever since! Pageants rock! My mom NEVER pushed me to do them, she always made sure that I was happy and actually had the drive to compete. Little did we know, that first pageant ignited a fire in my heart for the pageantry world. In addition to my current titles I have already mentioned, I have also won other titles locally, statewide, and nationally. All glory belongs to God.
Model Me Girl:What do you find most challenging about pageantry?
Victoria:Now, if I were asked this about 3 years ago, I would say interview, but now that I have more confidence in myself and more experience in the field, it’s honestly my favorite part of any pageant. It is said that the winner is chosen during interview because the judges are able to interact with each contestant and find out more about her as an individual.
As of now, the most challenging part of pageantry is being able to stand in 6-inch stilettos for hours on end without falling out. Sounds funny, but it’s so true! When it comes to pageants, I made myself a personal rule of NEVER wearing flat shoes, nothing but heels. Why? Well, high-heeled shoes give ladies amazing posture and they also make short women, like myself (I’m 5’3”), awesome height! And what’s more? They look great with just about any outfit!
Now, please don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I find pageants not at all challenging, because they are, but I have found that when you focus on the negative, your performance mirrors [the negative]. If you concentrate on having a good time and doing your absolute best in the process, even if you do not walk away with the crown, you still have built memories that will last a lifetime. I tell the girls that I coach for various pageants, this same thing.
Model Me Girl:Can you tell us a little about your blog?
Victoria:My blog…well, it originally was to be posts about fashion and must-have items, but now I’ve decided to expand and discuss an array of topics. I do not have a set schedule on when I write a post, so its pretty much whenever I have the time to sit down and flow, although I try to submit a discussion once a month.
The name of my blog is “The Power of Your Dreams” because I want individuals to understand that their dreams are powerful and with the right amount of will power, belief in God, and a lot of faith, they can accomplish those dreams. No matter the topic, it all points back to this mentality. There are so many young people in this world who BELIEVE that they can’t go the distance because someone TOLD them just that. I aim to encourage those people. My focus is uplifting those who have been beaten down emotionally, spiritually, and maybe even physically.
I have such a big heart; I actually feel what they feel. For example, in one of my posts, I speak on bullying. Well, believe it or not, I was bullied at a young age so I know for a fact how it feels to have someone constantly putting you down. I want to use my various testimonies to help, uplift, and encourage others while they are in their storms.
Model Me Girl:What motivated you to start blogging?
Victoria:I have ALWAYS had a desire to write, a fire in my spirit to explain how I feel either on paper or through dance. Although I use my twitter account to minister and encourage others, I still felt as if I needed another outlet. That outlet? Blogging.
Model Me Girl:You talked about bullying in one of your posts. How are you working to continue to “unveil this top issue,” and what advice would you give to a girl or young woman who is being bullied?
Victoria:Bullying will always be one of the top issues I plan to expand on throughout my life. As my current platform is anti-bullying, I have been visiting various schools and speaking on the issue. In addition to sharing my own story, I share stories of those who have lost their lives due to bullying. You would be surprised how many young people are taking their own lives because it gets to be too much persecution against them. I want to be THEIR voice, assuring them that they ARE worth it. The opinions of this world mean NOTHING; the only word that matters is that of Christ and strength can be found in the Lord for ANY situation, no matter how tough. At the conclusion of each presentation, I have them all sign a vow that simply states that they will never engage in bullying and if they see it happening, they will report it to the proper authorities.
Model Me Girl:Can you share a style secret or beauty tip with our readers?
Victoria:Well ladies! I had a constant problem of wanting to tuck in my shirts and blouses into my skirts or pants, but always worrying about seeing the end of garment underneath the skirt or pant and it was hassle having to continuously tuck the shirt back in! The solution? All you need are an old pair of stockings and a pair of scissors! I always tend to keep my stockings that have runs or rips in them for whatever odd reason, so I took a pair, cut off the legs to make a pair of shorts. I put that on under my pants or skirt and tuck the shirt into the top of the stocking. BOOM, no more issues!
I hope you are encouraged after reading this interview with Victoria J. Mangham. It’s true, ladies—Being saved and living for Jesus Christ is the fabulous life!