Euphelia is an Economics Major at the University of Toronto, Banker by day, Radio host by night. She is passionate about ethical, vegan living and Loves yoga, piano, and aerial aerobics. She was a finalist for Miss Worlds Canada 2020 and will be competing in the title of Miss Canada 2021 in June!
Listen to her interview here:
Alice: Great. Well, hello and welcome, Euphelia. I am so excited to have you on the podcast today. Thank you so much for joining us.
Euphelia: Yeah. Thank you for having me, Alice. I am excited to be here.
Alice: Yeah. And so we kind of start off with something like rather easier questions. Something like, kind of fun ones. So if you could choose your favorite word out of the dictionary, what would it be?
Euphelia: I think, my favorite word out of the dictionary would be, “resilience”, because right now I think we’re living in a time where resilience is more important than ever. Only with that trait, can we get through today and become a better version of the world or ourselves in the future.
Alice: That is really wonderful. I think I need a lot more of that, “resilience.”
Euphelia: Yeah. Do not we all?
Alice: It has been a tough year. Yeah. Speaking of that, what have you been up to in quarantine? Have you watched any fun TV?
Euphelia: Yeah. I think I have obviously been like a lot of other people who have been binging on Netflix. I have been really enjoying documentaries on Netflix. I think they are really well-made. One of the shows I have been watching is called The Social Dilemma. It is a documentary, and it narrates how social media shapes us these days. It made me more aware of the decisions I made, let’s say going on Twitter, Facebook, all these things that, you know, cause major events this year, right? And I believe, be even more prevalent in our lives in the coming years, and how these platforms can shape how we think. I highly recommend that to everyone who is interested in social media or that has been on social media for a really long time.
Alice: Wow. That is so interesting. I have heard it is really good and very interesting. And as a social media manager as a job, I am a little nervous to watch it to be quite honest.
Euphelia: Right, right. I think it doesn’t matter which side of social media you are on, whether you are the consumer or you are the one making the products. That It is generally nice to have a holistic view of it, to get, “I get it.”, to know everyone’s story.
Alice: Yeah. Now that makes sense. And can you talk a little bit about your story? So, what have you been up to during quarantine? You told me before this, that you are living in Vancouver right now? What have you been up to?
Euphelia: In the beginning, not so much. I live in Toronto. I went to school in Toronto. I have done my internships in Toronto. So I am very familiar with Toronto. And coming back home for the first time as an adult, so after adulthood I would say, it is a little bit strange. I am living with my parents right now. I have kind of developed a coexisting or a co-living schedule with my parents that I really enjoy, and the dynamic that I have never had before when I was a kid. So I think spending more time with family is definitely one thing I have been doing.
Alice: That is great. Yeah. I was doing the same thing in California with my parents, living with them for the first time as an adult. It was actually really nice to be with them because I feel like we don’t ever have this time with them, and so the pandemic has kind of forced us to all be together which is kind of wonderful in a strange time of year.
Euphelia: Exactly, yeah, I agree.
Alice: Yeah. Can you tell me what is your favorite part about Vancouver, where you grew up?
Euphelia: I think the best part of Vancouver has got to be nature. Vancouver is pretty well-known for its mountains, it is close by to the ocean. So, activities like hiking, going to the beach, whether it is skiing or winter sports, summer sports. If you like to be outdoors, then Vancouver is the place for you.
Alice: Oh, that is amazing. And how is it different than Toronto? I know Toronto’s like such a big city.
Euphelia: Right, right, yeah. I think a major difference is, is that Vancouver is a lot– In terms of nightlife, it is a little bit less than that of Toronto’s, but in terms of nature and activities, it is a little bit better. So, I guess you could think of it as a Canadian version of New York City and LA or, actually, not really LA, LA is pretty fun too. So maybe somewhere like, I don’t know, like San Francisco or San Diego. But Vancouver is definitely a bit more mellow. It is toned-down. It is great for retirement. If you are a young person like me, you probably would get bored in a month or so. Yeah.
Alice: Wow. And you mentioned before this, that you are going to be a part of Miss Canada for the next year. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Euphelia: Yeah, yeah. I am super excited. Miss Canada 2021 is coming up. So, we did the finalist collections last year in 2020, I believe even before the pandemic. It was supposed to happen in March of this year, so 2021, which is next month. However, due to the pandemic, I think situations in Montreal which is the location of the host event at is not doing too great currently. So they decided to push it back, to I believe June or July. It is a four-day event for the finalists. I feel, in terms of logistics, I think it is difficult for everyone. It is difficult for the candidates and it is difficult for the host. Just being able to have an event– Just being able to have Miss Canada 2021 is already a blessing to me. So, I am super excited. We have a Facebook private chat, in which all the girls are super friendly. We have new meetings every week. They sent us Christmas letters, New Year’s letters which makes me feel super loved. So overall, it is a great tight community.
Alice: Wow, that is amazing, Euphelia. Can you talk a little bit more about how you got started in the pageant world? And how did you come to be almost Miss Canada?
Euphelia: All right. Yeah. It is a long story. I actually started my pageant career not doing actual pageants but more of a singer. I really like these things. So I did a lot of singing auditions and [inaudible], where they hired me. Or I would just go to a friend’s concert or like a friend’s event and sing for them.3 I think if you go to these types of events, you will end up meeting a lot of past pageants, or a lot of, I guess Scouts. So, I think I was approached by one of the scouts for 2020. It was Miss World Canada, that was in 2020, which is a different pageant from Miss Canada. So I did that one in Ontario, I became a finalist for Miss World Canada Ontario which happened in 2020 despite social distancing was carried out.
I think once you start doing out pageants, you become a lot more comfortable with yourself. You realize that no one’s perfect, you don’t need to be a supermodel to compete in a pageant. It builds up your confidence and urges you to work on yourself, whether that is your talents, or professionally, or just in terms of body image, building a stronger you which are all very unrelated to being a supermodel. That is something that they’re looking for anyway. So I think that is a great motivation that kept me going into this pageant journey.
Alice: Wow, that is so interesting and so cool. Really, my knowledge of pageants comes from Miss Congeniality, which I love that movie, but probably not very accurate [laughs]. Talk a little bit about the four days of Miss Canada, and what those events sort of look like.
Euphelia: Yeah. So it has not happened yet. So we just have a tentative schedule. They place the girls in hotels, and we would– I guess each state has different events that we attend to, whether that is public speaking or they would like each other girls to have philanthropy, what they want to improve if you were Miss Canada, what would you want to do. So, mine is financial literacy.
I really am passionate about engaging more young adults, men, women in planning for their financial future. I don’t think they teach that at all if any in school these days. As we all know, the online trading scheme this year has been pretty crazy. I think that is a build-up of people my age in the early or late 20s, not having enough financial literacy and not being able to properly execute their desire to trade or their desire to handle their finances. And now blowing up on Robinhood, which is a platform that kind of makes has a very easy consumer interface for them to trade.
So now I believe that if the school system taught us more early on about financial literacy, then a lot of people would be making smarter financial decisions. So that is my philanthropic event. In terms of second, third days, I think networking. I also do believe that they have galas. We do shows so there are different three or four pieces of clothing, swimsuit, gowns, et cetera, where they judge us on different criteria. So that is a general breakdown.
Alice: Wow, that is awesome. And how did you start getting interested in finance and your philanthropic outlook?
Euphelia: Yeah. That is a great question because I do know that not many people actually talk about financial literacy in pageants. For me, I majored in economics and I really enjoyed my courses. I am actually studying for my CFA Level 1 upcoming this May. I also– All my internships were in finance. I work for some of the largest [inaudible] banks during the summers and my coops as well. So that is how I got into the industry.
Alice: Oh, that is awesome. That is definitely something that everyone needs help with. And like you were mentioning with the trading right now in Robinhood, it would be so helpful to have that financial literacy and so crazy that they don’t teach it in schools right now.
Euphelia: Yeah, absolutely.
Alice: Well, it sounds like you have an amazing platform that women really need to hear and everyone needs to really learn about. So, break a leg and good luck at Miss Canada.
Euphelia: Alright. Thank you so much. I will.
Alice: Yeah. And then, one thing that we always ask on the podcast is, “What is your definition of Womanhood?”.
Euphelia: My definition of womanhood, that again is a very good question. I think it is very difficult to answer. I really admire people who know exactly what their own definition of womanhood is because I believe that most women in this world actually do not have a very exact definition, such as myself included.
I think my definition of womanhood first got inspired, like many of us by our moms, how we watch our moms work, how we watched our moms know to cook, study, eat, et cetera. My mom is an amazing person. We came from an immigrant family. So I am Chinese and immigrated to Canada when I was in elementary school. So, back then my mom had to work two jobs to support our family. Now she’s in her 50s and still studying for a bachelor’s. Which I think is totally amazing on top of her two jobs, that is.
So my definition of womanhood was inspired by that, and it consists mostly of hard work, intelligence. I think that having a little bit of, I guess, emotional resonance or sensitivity and vulnerability is very important in our lives and being able to express ourselves. I don’t really like to stigmatize difficulty, because I think that is something that we all go through. So if we just filter ourselves so that we only show our highlight reels every day, like our social media pages, like our Instagram page, our Snapchat pages, then we kind of stigmatize difficulty. The more that we talk about it, when more have a dialogue about it, the more progress we can make as people and us, you know, like society in general. That is, I guess, my definition of womanhood.
Alice: Yeah. I think that is awesome. That is really why I like to ask that question is that everyone has a very different definition and can’t figure it quite out, because it is constantly changing, based on our experiences, based on our day that day. But I love your answer about your mom and how you found womanhood first from her and her hard work, and scholarly studying even now which is amazing.
Euphelia: Yeah. Thank you so much.
Alice: What an inspiration. If you had one piece of advice to give a woman that you just met on the street, like a sentence or two, what would you say to them?
Euphelia: Any woman that walked up on the street?
Alice: Yeah. Or could be a friend.
Euphelia: Okay, great. Yeah. I think I would tell them to– You know, it maybe sounds really cliche but self-love is very important. I would tell them to love themselves because you are the most important thing in life, nothing materialistic, no other person is more important than yourself. So believe in that, and go love yourself.
Alice: Yeah. I think that is wonderful and something we all need to hear right now, “resilience” and the, “self-love”. I think that is perfect. Thanks, Euphelia. Is there anything else you would like to add to our listeners today?
Euphelia: Not so much, but I do recommend all our listeners here to go watch The Social Dilemma. I think I have changed a lot as a person and I have changed my daily habits engaging with social media after watching the documentary. So if you have the opportunity, go watch it for sure.
Alice: Wow. Oh, that is awesome. Well, perfect. It was so nice getting to talk to you today and good luck at the pageant and your future pageants.
Euphelia: All right. Thank you so much. I definitely will. Thank you.