She’s young. She’s beautiful. And she’s living with short bowel syndrome, or SBS.
Shante Smith was born with SBS, a disease that renders it difficult for the body to absorb and use nutrients. But it hasn’t stopped Miss Smith from growing into an extraordinary woman.
The National Miss Amazing Pageant is a pageant put on for women living with disabilities–women from all over the country come to compete and let their light shine.Because, the thing is… women with disabilities should not be identified by their disability. Outside of their disease, illness, or ailment, they have skills, personality, and potential. They are the same as every other woman, only living with something that makes life a little more challenging. If anything, they are stronger than the average woman, because they know what it means to fight and survive.
Shante Smith jumped on the opportunity to participate in the Miss Amazing pageant and, after answering interview questions, participating in a talent portion, and strutting the stage in her evening dress, she took home the crown for National Miss Amazing Junior Miss Queen. Decked in diamonds and sash, she is the very definition of regal, and you’d never guess she’s been living with a rare disease her entire life.
Miss Shante is also incredibly humble. When her name was called to receive her prize, she was in total disbelief, turning to the contestants to see if she had even heard the announcer right.
I don’t have children yet, but as I look toward my future of raising a family, I hope to raise my daughter(s) to have a disposition–equal parts gentle, kind, and confident–just like Shante. Disability or not, I will teach them to see, not only themselves as beautiful, but also every woman who walks this Earth with them.