The Miss Black USA Pageant was started to provide educational opportunities to outstanding young women of color, and to develop the “whole woman mind, body, and spirit.” The pageant celebrates scholastic achievement, and believes that education is the key to lifelong success and empowerment. Here at CHS we have had the pleasure with working with delegate Iajni Fen (Miss Black Orlando) several years ago when she modeled our hair products. Now we are supporting her in her endeavor to become the next Miss Black USA!
1. What led you to become Miss Black Orlando?
This year the Miss Black USA organization allowed for both state and local title holders to compete in the Miss Black USA competition, in its efforts to spread the word about the pageant. I came across the information about the MBUSA pageant and did my research on how to apply. I submitted a bio about my accomplishments and myself within my community. I was then selected to represent Orlando, FL in the 2015 pageant.
I have always dreamed about being in pageant. However, I could not find the time or resources to do them. Upon stumbling across this pageant, I felt that the timing was right. I also felt that this pageant was more than just the average pageant. It’s a sisterhood; we encourage and empower each other. It’s also a scholarship pageant, which could help further my education goals.
2. What does being Miss Black Orlando involve?
Being Miss Black Orlando involves serving my community in a positive way. It involves opportunities to giving back, volunteer, to educate individuals on my platform, public speaking, to inspire others, and to set a positive example for my community and I strive to do all of these every day of my life.
3. Tell us your hair journey.
Since my younger years until now, I have always has soft/puffy/thick hair that does not stand a chance with the humidity. You could always find my hair in either braids growing up, or in a nice ponytail. I was always able to maintain my hair by learning how to prevent frizzy hair. This also helped my hair look thinner than it actually was.
4. What sort of solutions did you seek out?
I attempted to get a perm to make my hair straight when I got into high school. This did result in my hair being straight, but it also did cause my hair to be unhealthy. I eventually cut off all my perm hair and started natural again.
5. What would you say to those who look at you as an example and for inspiration who are struggling with embracing their hair?
I would say that you need to learn to be happy with your hair and find ways to make it works for you. If I could go back to my natural hair before the perm I would. Everything about my hair was perfect, I just needed to figure out how do make my hair work for me. Now that I have, I wish I could have my old hair back. I’m working on getting my hair back to the way it use to be.
6. If you could go back to any decade and rock any kind of hair/hairstyle from any famous artist or celebrity who would you choose?
If I could go back in time and wear any kind of hair style, it would have to be hair crimps. I use to love that hair style but my hair is too thick and frizzy to hold in that hair style.
7. How do you feel about your hair today?
Today I am at a good place with my hair. I treat it much better than I used too. Products such as the Curl Keeper Original help with keeping my hair styles perfect!
8. For young women who are aspiring to do what you are doing, do have any words of encouragement/ wisdom you’d like to offer?
Yes. I would encourage anyone out there aspiring to do what I do, to just go for it. In the past, I would always go the safe route, never taking the risk to see if I can actually do what I dream to do. Once I started taking the risk, believing in myself and my passion, everything started to fall into place. I created my own path.
The Miss Black USA Pageant is a community driven organization and is committed to addressing health and education, two leading social issues in the African American community. The winners of the official “Miss Black USA” state pageants will use her civic platform to promote awareness of these issues during her reign.
We wish Iajni all the best in the race and for those of you who would like to support her please visit this link http://gofundme.com/missblackorlando15