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North Vancouver's Miss B.C. aims to empower youth

FOR the next year the Miss B.C. crown will be residing in North Vancouver. Cheryl Dietrich, 26, won the Miss B.C. 2011 pageant this past Canada Day long weekend at Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley, where the charity event is annually hosted.

FOR the next year the Miss B.C. crown will be residing in North Vancouver.

Cheryl Dietrich, 26, won the Miss B.C. 2011 pageant this past Canada Day long weekend at Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley, where the charity event is annually hosted.

Dietrich, a North Shore resident for the past three years, competed in the pageant alongside 41 other women. Together they raised $21,205 for the Cops for Cancer organization.

"It was a great time and I would like to make note of how much I love those other women that I got to share time with," Dietrich said. "Those women touched my life and we were all changed for the better."

For Dietrich, becoming Miss B.C. entails a responsibility to spread her message and positively influence young girls and women. "I want to empower young girls and women to love themselves first," she said. "I would like to talk to (girls) about true beauty and not being influenced by the media and not taking things personally or caring too much about what other people think of you. It's about who you are on the inside, not on the outside.

"That is a very vague statement to make, and I know that there are a lot of people out there who support that cause, but I want to get down to the root cause of why girls suffer from self-esteem issues."

Winning Miss B.C. was an amazing experience for Dietrich, but she believes that winning the pageant is meaningless if a woman is not comfortable in her own skin. "One of the statements that I made while on stage," she said "was that the crown was lovely but if I'm not enough without it, then I would never be enough with it."

It was on that belief that she entered the Miss B.C. competition. Before it, she had never been in a pageant. "I'm not your typical beauty girl," she said. Prior to the pageant's commencement the Miss B.C. organization hosted workshops on self-esteem, public speaking and modelling for contestants.

Dietrich currently works as a career councillor at a real estate learning lab in West Vancouver. She also runs her own event planning business. These two jobs, along with the community work she will be doing as Miss B.C., will make Dietrich a very busy woman.

Soon she will be even busier. This February in Montreal, she plans on running to become Miss Canada. Tara Teng, last year's Miss B.C. winner, passed her crown down to Dietrich this past long weekend. She is also the current Miss Canada.

"Hopefully (Teng) will be able to pass the Miss Canada crown on to me as well," said Dietrich.

dfenton@nsnews.com

FASHION FILE

New and preloved designer brands will be on offer at the firstever High-End Recycled Fashion Market, Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at St David's United Church, 1525 Taylor Way in West Vancouver. Vendors will be selling high-end, authentic designer clothing, jewelry, handbags and accessories, according to the market's organizer Louise LeBlond, of Boutique Le Charisme Inc. Admission is $4. Sales are cash only.

compiled by Layne Christensen