LABRADOR CITY, N.L. — When she heads to Orlando, Florida in July to compete for the title of Mrs. Galaxy International, Jacqueline Rae Rideout of Labrador City will walk across the stage as Mrs. Canada Galaxy.
For the 22-year-old married mother of two young children, pageantry is an opportunity to have her voice heard on issues that are important to her.
“I’m a strong advocate for women empowerment and mental health. I believe, no matter who you are or what you do, you should have the ability to accomplish your dreams,” the 22-year-old said.
The pageant is a personal development opportunity for women, she said, and focuses on beauty, style and cultural appreciation.
The pageant also helps delegates gain confidence and provides them with an opportunity to advance their personal and career goals, Rideout said, while acting as a role model in their communities.
In addition to the Mrs. division, Rideout said, there are other divisions in the pageant including a Miss and a Teen division.
“I feel like every woman of any age, size or ethical background should have the opportunity to make a difference or do whatever they love,” she said. “I feel nothing should hold you back, whether you are married or you have kids – you should be able to fulfill your vision.”
The pageant takes place over five days and includes everything from photo shoots, to interviews in front of a panel of judges to speeches and presentations.
An entrepreneur and aesthetician, Rideout is no stranger to the stage.
She has modelled in the Donnabella Charity Fashion Show in Montreal and has competed in several pageants over the years.
In February, she placed fifth in the Mrs. Canada Globe Pageant held in Regina, Sask. At that pageant, Rideout won the Delegate’s Choice Award. The other delegates in the pageant vote for the award winner – the woman they would choose to win the crown.
Sharing her voice
Because she’s dealt with her own mental health issues in the past, Rideout said it’s important to her to advocate for others.
“If I win this title, I can give a bigger voice to mental health,” she said.
While being a mother is her number one priority, Rideout said, she doesn’t believe women should have to give up everything they love because they have children.
Putting herself out there has given Rideout self-confidence that bodes her well in every area of her life.
“I feel like this (pageantry) door has led me down a path of happiness and if I can help other women see that they are worthy of the things they dream about and are passionate about, that will spark more growth and women empowerment,” she said.
In her quest to bring home the title of Mrs. Galaxy International, Rideout has set up an online fundraising initiative, which can be reached here, and has sent letters to local businesses seeking sponsorship. She can be contacted at 709 280-1327 or by e-mail at email@example.com.