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Life & Work with Cristal Meza

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristal Meza.

Hi Cristal, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
After overcoming many adversities in my life with the help of others, I developed a passion of volunteering. I began my volunteer work at 15 years old. By 18, I completed 1,800 volunteer hours, receiving my first presidential award. During my volunteer work, I was introduced to the concept of pageantry to help pay for college and be introduced to opportunities.

At 18 years old, I stepped on my first pageant stage. I quickly learned that I did not fit the “pageant mold” the world at the time was looking for. I was heavy set, from a single-parent home, raised in poverty, and wearing dresses from Ross while I stood next to thousand-dollar gowns. My mission of volunteer work quickly changed to a mission of inclusion and representation. I needed to continue my pageant journey to show young girls who are growing up like me that they can stand on the biggest stages and wear the beautiful gowns regardless of where they came from. I competed in dozens of pageants telling my story. I was different, and life for me was different. I worked multiple jobs to compete in pageants which wasn’t what most had to do. It was hard to stand on that stage to tell your life story over and over and to walk away without winning. Winning was the end goal to show the younger girls that they can do it too and as embarrassing and rough as it is to sometimes talk about our adversities, it also makes us who we are.

Over the last ten years, I have continued my pageant journey. Competing in over 30 pageants around California and on June 4th, 2022 I made it to the biggest stage of my life… the Mrs. Globe Stage. Women from all over the world flew in to walk across the Mrs. Globe stage.. and after 10 years of fighting for my chance at representation, I was one of them. I won a contest to represent the State of California and compete for the title of Mrs. Curve’ U.SofA 2022. After a week-long competition, I walked in the door as Mrs. Curve’ California and walked out as Mrs. Curve’ USofA. Next June, I will be on stage again representing the United States of America as a first-generation Latina who has been fighting for the last ten years for this moment. We WON. Every little girl who was raised in poverty, single-parent homes, and first generations won. We are not the statistics the world set for us, we can go after the biggest of dreams and we can achieve anything.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I was born in East Los Angeles to a teenage mother. Having to raise me, my mother dropped out of high school. Hardship started in the early years of my life. My mother worked multiple jobs to provide for my brother and I. It was places like the Boys and Girls Club that helped us stay safe and provide childcare for my mother while she worked. Finical hardship, homelessness, and social environments are things we had to overcome. Life was difficult in many ways for my family, but with love and willpower for a better life, we made it through. I was the first to graduate high school in my family and go to collage. Later in life, I also had to learn how to heal and address my struggles with mental health that later came from my life challenges I had to overcome. Overall, life was not easy being a first-generation Latina, but I stand today proud. I never stopped and will never stop the fight.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
I am not what I have gone through, it is who I am becoming.

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Image Credits

Code Creatives (Blue Dress) Enfinal (Graduation photos)

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