Shooting Vancouver's Very Own Miss Universe Contestant

Shayla Selma Sabbagh, Makeup by Neet Aujla

Shayla Selma Sabbagh, Makeup by Neet Aujla

We were fortunate to host Vancouver's very own Shayla Selma Sabbagh, who will be representing BC for Miss Universe Canada in 2014.

Shayla turned out to be an absolutely amazing person.  Admittedly I was nervous: Not only is she the first deaf Miss Universe contestant, but also deals with epilepsy, which puts a bit of pressure on a shoot that is of great importance to her pageant.

Let me say this one more time: Shayla was amazing: While she brought her own sign language interpreter, she was an incredible lip reader, and had I not known that she was deaf, I wouldn't have noticed. Her ability to overcome her disability is short of astounding.

In addition, Shayla has an absolutely amazing personality. Lets face it: We all have certain stereotypes of Miss XYZ pageant contestants. Let me tell you: Shayla couldn't be further from it. She is more like "Miss Congeniality", and we all had a blast during the shoot. I can't stress enough how wonderful she is.

We learned that her main motivator for participating in this event is to raise awareness for people with rare diseases, to empower women with disabilities and to show them that everything is possible.

Shayla, we will all be voting for you!

Makeup by Neet Aujla