I am not a fan of so-called beauty pageants but feel I must share the inspiring story of Miss Malaysia Universe 2009, Ms Joannabelle Ng Li Vun.
Last year, a horrible accident threatened to end Li Vun’s modelling and beauty queen career prematurely.
Li Vun had hoped to wow the judges with a daring fire-eating stunt in the talent segment of a beauty pageant. Despite thorough preparation and numerous practices, things went horribly wrong on that fateful day.
Li Vun’s hand slipped and accidentally set her face, neck and hands on fire. The quick thinking Li Vun rolled frantically on the floor to smother the fire before she passed out.
When Li Vun woke up in hospital, she found herself bundled up in bandages. Li Vun suffered second degree burns on her face, neck and hand. At the lowest point of her life, her boyfriend of 3 years abandoned her. This and the thought of disfigurement made her so depressed that she even thought of suicide.
Fortunately, Li Vun’s family rallied around her and boosted her fighting spirit. With her sheer determination to recover, Li Vun’s wounds healed so well that even her doctors were amazed.
One year on, though her face still bore the scars from her ordeal, Li Vun made her comeback at the 2009 Miss Malaysia Universe pageant. Much more than the tiara, Li Vun wanted to regain her confidence and get her life back.
Li Vun reached even higher than she ever did. She not only took the tiara, Li Vun also won the 'Miss Friendship' title and was named the “Audience's Favourite”.
Li Vun is living proof of the power of positive affirmation. She shared her secret enthusiastically:
“For this competition, I created a dream vision board where I pasted pictures of past Miss Malaysia and Miss Universe winners and looked at it everyday. As can you see, I won! It works, I tell you. You just have to believe in it.”
It’s said that the depth of one’s struggle determines the height of one’s success. For Li Vun who came back from the brink, we wish her the best at the Miss Universe pageant taking place in the Bahamas now.