The glitz and glamor of the pageant industry makes it one of the most appealing, yet challenging industries to be engaged in. The constant hustle requires dedication, tenacity, ambition and confidence. Along with that, there’s a constant battle of emotions to be dealt with on account of being exposed to the public eye. Eliza Minor, 2019’s Miss North Carolina Teen USA has experienced all these complexities and still manages to ace every aspect of life.
Alongside balancing university workload as a major in psychology at The University of Alabama and taking part in pageants, she also actively engages herself in social media, while simultaneously finding the time for her family and friends. Having garnered thousands of fans globally, Eliza continues to blaze through the social media world, ensuring that she has fun along the way. But this journey to the seemingly perfect balance has not been an overnight adjustment for her. While reflecting on this, Eliza admits, “My journey on social media has been amazing to look back and see the growth not only in my social media but also within myself. If I’m being honest, when I first started social media I felt like I had lost myself. I was so wrapped up in it that I never spent time focusing on myself. The more evident this became, I started to give myself time because I knew I wanted to use my platform to help truly influence and educate others. I began to share my personal struggles but also things I was passionate about such as mental health and my relationship with God. I am grateful for what social media has allowed me to do, but also allowed me to be real.”
“If I’m being honest, when I first started social media I felt like I had lost myself. I was so wrapped up in it that I never spent time focusing on myself.“
Eliza’s sincerity and dedication to whatever she does allows her to grow in every aspect, and that’s a trait that all of us should imbibe as young adults. As the time she invested in social media and pageants grew, so did her online following. Her relationship with the two remains to be intertwined, as she grows. “Just as social media influencers have followers and fans, I have also experienced that through the pageant. As Miss NC Teen USA, I gained fans and followers. It has been truly amazing to see how both have come together in all aspects of social media.” Simultaneously, she also focuses on keeping her followers engaged by providing diverse content. “A few things that I do to keep my accounts interesting is posting different types of content whether it’s try-on hauls, scary makeup, trending posts, etc. I always try to do a mix of everything which I feel keeps it interesting.” To keep up with the ever-changing trends, Eliza ensures to stay updated with the latest statement moments. “I get a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest. I am always there looking for new ways to spice up my style.” She adds, “if there is one person I look up to the most for fashion, it would have to be Hailey Bieber.”
A presence and huge following on social media comes with its downsides. Underneath all the sought-after glitz, you’ll be scrutinized for every move you make and there are a lot of eyes on you. Additionally, people tend to be insensitive to influencers at times, often forgetting that they’re human beings too. “My number one tip that I will tell everyone is to block your comments”, Eliza remarks. “Social media is a place where almost any comment can be made. I have struggled a lot with negative/hate comments posted on all of my social media accounts so the one thing I have done is block out phrases and or words that will hurt me or others.”
The intensity of social media can make it draining very quickly. However, over the years, Eliza’s learned to ensure that she prioritizes her wellbeing. “Social media has definitely been a learning process. I’ve learned that it’s okay to take breaks, it’s okay to focus and take time for yourself. Every morning or night I find time to journal, read my bible, do my devotions, and talk to my loved ones because these are the things that keep me going in life. In the end, it’s what and who God says I am, not others.” Alongside managing work, she manages to squeeze in time for her academics as well. While this requires careful planning, she effortlessly handles it. But how does she do it? Eliza says, “As with anything in life, it takes balance. Typically, on days I don’t have class I’ll normally take pictures and film but that depends on what’s due in class or a test I may need to study for. Although there is pressure that comes along with social media, I stay true to who I am which in the end is all that matters.”
As with everything, she’s a master at prioritizing things that are important to her. One of the things that comes naturally to her is her relationship with her family, who are also the driving force behind her being the most unfiltered version of herself. “I would have to say my mom and dad have helped inspire me the most with being authentic on social media. They always taught me to embrace who I am and always be true to who I am.” They also keep her grounded, which also explains why she is so firmly in touch with reality, no matter what the situation.
On social media, you’re exposed to a plethora of situations, opinions and rumors, a lot of which are unpleasant to deal with. The harshness that accompanies having a social media presence could easily get to anybody. Eliza explains that her exceptional relationship with her faith and family is what keeps her going when times get tough. “This is something I have struggled with firsthand. Rumors and hate that are spread can be extremely damaging to someone which is something that people fail to realize. Although it is a very hard thing to go through, as long as I know who I am and who God says I am then that’s all that matters. You have to learn to block out what others say about you because if that’s what you focus on it’ll become easy to lose yourself and believe the lies that people say about you. Having a strong faith and a supportive family means everything.
“You have to learn to block out what others say about you because if that’s what you focus on it’ll become easy to lose yourself and believe the lies that people say about you.”
And that is how she keeps persisting through it all, always maintaining her dedication towards her job. So she keeps moving forward, with an easy-going, carefree attitude towards life. All the while, she continues to build up her relationship with followers and stays true to who she is.