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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Bald beauty queen's story of liberation
Sandra Dubose to host seminar book signing
 
Published Wednesday, September 11, 2013 2:00 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

clientuploads/v38n13photos/Sandra-Dubose-Headshot-300.jpg
PHOTO/SANDRADUBOSE.COM
Sandra Dubose made history in 2011 when she was crowned as North Carolina's first bald beauty queen. Dubose said her journey to self acceptance began long before she lost her hair.

When Sandra Dubose entered the Mrs. Black North Carolina pageant in 2011 without a wig to hide her baldness, she had no idea how it would end.

“I was thinking, I’m totally uncomfortable and I must be crazy to do this,” she said. “But I thought that it was important because I realized that it was bigger than me, and that I was a leader in this underdog category and representing women who had self-image issues.”

Although she won the competition, she said winning not her initial goal.

“It wasn’t about the crown,” said Dubose. “It was about the message and knowing that my two daughters and the other women that would be present or would hear about it would know that I had the audacity to have the courage and the guts to stand up there and say ‘I don’t care if I’m bald and you shouldn’t either because I’m just as worthy as anyone else.’”

She hadn’t always been so courageous. Dubose lost her hair at age 25 due to the autoimmune disease Alopecia Areata. She spent several years hiding under a wig. No matter how hot or itchy it became, she wouldn’t so much as walk to her car without it.

“I was very, very afraid and very insecure,” she said. “It took me some time to get comfortable in my own skin and build up my self esteem to the point where I was ready to say that I’m not going to care so much about what other people are thinking, especially when I don’t even know these people that I’m so concerned about.”

She said moving beyond that fear and learning to embrace herself was a liberating moment.

Dubose will share the lessons she learned on her journey from fear to liberation during an appearance at the Southern Women’s Home Show, which will be held Sept. 19-22 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Dubose is conducting a seminar Sept. 21 at 2:30 p.m. She will also sign copies of her book “My Crown and Glory: It’s not about the Hair.”

Dubose decided to pen a memoir a year after she became the state’s first bald beauty queen because so many people believed the misconception that her journey to build healthy self-esteem began with hair loss.

“I had a lot of obstacles that I had to overcome, such as childhood molestation, clinical depression, thoughts of suicide and being in an abusive relationship as a teenager,” she said. “There were so many paths I had to go down. Me losing my hair was the end of the story. I had been fighting this battle of loving myself for many years.”

In the book, Dubose discusses six main principles to help women liberate themselves from fear to freedom. However, she said it all comes down to “owning your power” and realizing that you have the power to choose differently.

“That’s the bottom line,” she said. “In our life, we have a choice. Yes, there are things that happen to us. Whether we are being abused or bad things happen like we have an illness and have no control over it, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you start. It matters how you finish.

“We all have that opportunity to shift our perspective and own the power that we have. We have to evaluate what story we are telling ourselves. Are we sitting in the victim seat and thinking woe is me for the rest of our life? Well, that’s a choice. We all have the power to choose differently… When we change our minds, we change our lives.”

Dubose will be joined at The Southern Women’s Show by nearly 300 exhibiting companies showcasing and sampling food, kitchen wares, wine and the latest beauty and fashion trends.

The show has been one of the Charlotte area’s signature events for more than three decades. This is the first year it will be held Uptown.

As the name implies, the entire show puts a Southern twist on everything – particularly the food exhibitions. There will be a celebration of Tar Heel cookery at the “Got to Be N.C. Pavilion,” featuring members of Goodness Grows, a state program promoting local growers and companies that produce N.C. agricultural products.

Tish Atkins, who has been the show manager for 16 years, said organizers are pulling out all the stops to give attendees the best in food and fitness, drink and décor, health and beauty, home and garden and so much more all under one roof.

“If you want a full makeover for fall, you can get that at the Southern Women’s Show,” she said. “If you just want a quick update – a new lipstick shade, for instance, you can get that too. There is truly something for every woman here.”

She adds that many attendees, including many mothers and daughters, have made the show an annual tradition.

“Year after year, show guests love getting the big picture,” she said. “But they also love getting individual and customized attention.”

For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, visit SouthernShows.com.

Comments

Sandra is an awesome inspirational and motivating speaker with a captivating message. Sandra was the highlight at my 50th birthday celebration as she was the keynote during the weekend closing activity "porch talk." There wasn't a dry eye as tears of joy and happiness were released by those in attendance. I highly recommend her book as an individual or book club reading..."My Crown and Glory" Its not about the Hair. I look forward to attending the show and supporting Sandra.
Posted on September 12, 2013
 

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