Former Miss Singapore Universe Marion Nicole Teo claims she was not always beauty pageant material…
I have always kept short hair. Always wearing jeans and t-shirt…if you look at most of my photographs…I really looked like a boy! Plus all the sports I was playing!
Nevertheless, it seems that the former cross country runner discovered the more feminine side of herself when she emerged a beauty queen finalist in the 36th Miss Universe Pageant held in Singapore.
Today, Marion Nicole Teo still embodies the traits of a beauty queen- tall, poised, elegant and graceful. A professional image consultant and speaker, Marion is clearly immune to being at the center of attention. Sitting tall and confident in her seat while sipping champagne, looking at Marion, no one would ever guess the kind of adversities this woman had been through in her life.
When you look at me in the past, though I was very high-energy, and highly positive, I would say I was unrealistic because I kept saying that everything was great! Everything was perfect! I just wanted to blind myself from the bad things….
In 2008, Marion sank into a state of depression and experienced the rapid loss of her hair. She told me that she became completely unmotivated and unhappy.
I was in this negative emotional state, this physical state of losing energy and losing control and that is where I started to sink into a mull of depression…because physically my body took its toll, my immune system went haywire, my hair started dropping, I was losing weight like crazy, I was tired all the time…emotionally I was not motivated, I couldn’t even get myself into wanting to train or wanting to do anything. There was a double side of me. I was the happiest, friendliest person outside, but within me, I was feeling like crap. I was like a mask, and I was trying to hide the problems I was going through…
Amidst the darkness, Marion knew she had to confront her demons and face up to reality without the need to hide from society. It was through this dark and difficult time of her life that her book ‘Happy Once Again’ came to life, and she brought light back into her world.
When things happen, we shouldn’t really be looking for blame, we should be looking for solutions… how is it making me a better person…as difficult as it is, it is put in front of me and I am suppose to do something. I am either suppose to grow, or help somebody else grow…whatever it might be…
I asked Marion for her definition of an empowered woman, and what the term means to her. Here is what she had to say:
An empowered woman knows what she wants. She would go to try to get what she wants without hurting other people…she is able to give to other people as well as to herself…I think for a lot of women, they feel that it is their place to just keep giving but they forget about themselves…I think to be able to look after yourself and to give back to yourself, that is also important, because if you don’t give enough to yourself, you are going to run out of energy to want to help other people. So, know what you want, and go for it, but without hurting other people in the process. There is no need to play politics, be nasty or be bitchy…but go for what you want in the best way you know how, the best way you can.
Marion is currently a professional trainer and coach specializing in many areas that include Professional Image, Business Etiquette, Emotional Intelligence and the Enneagram. In her spare time, Marion works on her growing online business alongside her business partner.