by MIKE CHAIKEN
Shamila Beslow had been modeling since she was in her teens. But an illness that left her temporarily paralyzed inspired the 40-year-old to try her hand at a new adventure.
Shamila came down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Given the diagnosis, she said she wanted to try something new.
That something became pageantry.
Shamila said she chose to compete in the Mrs. Globe pageant system.
“Their friendly demeanor was really appreciated,” said Shamila. “In comparison to some of the other pageant organizations I interacted with, the Mrs. Globe pageant director completed my initial interview and explained everything to me. It was very personable”
As a larger woman when she began to explore pageantry, Shamila appreciated the diversity of the Mrs. Globe system. “There was a division for everyone,” she said.
Shamila said she didn’t think she’d win. But she did. And she is the Mrs. East Globe 2022. ”It still feels surreal.”
As the titleholder, Shamila said she’s using her own personal experience as a platform.
“(My) platform is Guillain-Barre Syndrome,” said Shamila. “(I) was diagnosed with this condition on Jan 31, 2019. (I) decided to use her personal journey with GBS… (to bring) awareness to the syndrome and (to advocate) for further research.”
The Virginia resident said, “There are few people who are aware of this sickness and how it affects one’s health. Vaccinations are one of the most common causes cited. GBS has no regard for age and can strike at any time in one’s life. There is also no cure.”
She added, “Living with this syndrome every day is filled with uncertainties. Uncertain if I will go paralyzed again, uncertain if I will die.”
Shamila said “Even the medical community has misconceptions about this intractable ailment that can flare up at any time.”
As she continues her journey as a titleholder and someone who is fighting GBS, Shamila said her personal philosophy is “Live your life for this second because you can’t see in the future; the future is only a second away.”
Photographer: Phlean Marc
Hair/ Make-up: Lala Amore Beauty
Image Consultant: Tia Nicole