A Princess Dream Come True

Our court from 1991. I am second from left on the bottom row. This was taken about a month before our Nisei Week Pageant and Queen selection.

Over two decades ago, my first seemingly dreamy and unattainable goal was to be involved in a yearly Japanese-American festival in Los Angeles known as Nisei Week, which was established back in 1934.  Aside from a period of seven years between 1942 and 1948, during which World War II raged and carried a solid and jarring impact on the Japanese-American community, the Nisei Week festival has continued to run throughout the decades.

As a child, I remember seeing the Nisei Week Queen and court each year, and it became a dream of mine to be selected as a court member when I got older. However, I got sidetracked by life and didn’t bother to enter the  competition for the local queen selection until the year I turned 25.  I was stunned when I was chosen as the Queen of my community center (the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, or SFVJACC) for that year.

Once I was selected, I spent the next three months in regular meetings with the queens from the other eight participating communities, meetings in which we would practice all the routines for the beauty pageant which would mark the beginning of that year’s Nisei Week. We competed in that pageant for over 1,000 audience members in a 3 hour event, and though I didn’t win the Nisei Week Queen title, I was happy with being a Nisei Week Princess. We rode on floats, visited businesses, and fostered good will throughout the Japanese-American community.

August 16, 2015: Nisei Week Queen and Court on the float of Nisei Week Japanese Festival Parade at Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles.

When we were on stage, on parade floats, and on visitations, we would wear our sashes, a definite marker which identified us all as queen and court.  On some occasions, we would wear our crowns, and were either clad in matching dresses, or in kimono.

Queen?  Princess?  I guess so, at least in pageant terms!

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Review of Noa’s Choice Maximum Hair Growth Formula

I’m a natural skeptic. Part of that skepticism comes from my innate need to gather facts, investigate their source, and determine what is legitimate and what isn’t. As a result, I have always been interested in the sciences, so much so that I ended up immersing myself in fact-checking by becoming a physician. So when I partnered up with a company called Maximum Slim to promote their Noa’s Choice Organic Maximum Hair Growth Healing Ayurveda Formula, I thought, fine, I’ll do it, but I am going to be very honest about my personal experience with the product.

Since I have very thick, healthy, Eurasian hair which grows rather quickly and which cascades all the way down my back, I figured that I wouldn’t use this formula to promote hair growth or treat split ends. Instead, I chose to treat the angry, persistent, dry, itchy scalp condition which has been plaguing me for the last 7 or 8 weeks. This condition has been so severe and resistant to treatments like Nizoral, hair masks, pyrithione zinc, and salicylic acid. So I decided to use the Organic Maximum Hair Growth Healing Ayurveda Formula on my scalp to see if I might get even a bit of relief.

I placed about 22 drops into a dish and heated it, then massaged the oil into my scalp. I then waited for two hours, and washed my hair with a gentle shampoo. Well, goodness gracious, this magical elixir eliminated the flaky scalp condition COMPLETELY. I honestly didn’t expect that dramatic a response, but that’s what I got.

Noa’s Choice Organic Maximum Hair Growth Healing Ayurveda Formula contains all natural ingredients which are proven to promote healthy scalp, and stimulate hair growth. Brahmi leaves, amla fruit, black castor oil, hemp, fenugreek, and coconut oil are combined in a very potent elixir indeed.

There are two notes which I would like to make on this product:

1. It has a food-like smell, probably from the fenugreek seeds, which reminded me very much of cumin. I felt like I should be making meatballs, since I use cumin in most of my ground beef dishes. I don’t think this will be an issue for anyone though, because in all likelihood, you will be at home when you use that product.

2. The directions on the label state to use 4 or 5 drops on the scalp, but if you are treating your entire scalp, I would recommend a greater quantity. I used 22 drops on my scalp, and even then, I concentrated on my hairline, which was where the condition was the most severe. I think if you treat your entire scalp, you should be using about 40 to 50 drops. Make sure to massage into scalp for several minutes to allow the elixir to penetrate fully.

3. I think this product would be an excellent split end treatment, but I always tell people who have a lot of split ends that unless they just get those ends trimmed, they will constantly be chasing the problem. I would almost rather advise people to cut those split ends, and if the ends are DRY but not SPLIT, to use this oil as a preventative treatment.

Though I am part of a paid partnership with Maximum Slim, I am honestly so pleased with the results from the treatment I did that I will happily promote this product to others.

To order this amazing product, go to:
http://www.maximumslim.com/noas-choice-organic-ayurvedic-maximum-hair-growth-oil-elixir

Fifty-Two

This was me last summer at the age of 51…

Yesterday I turned 52. It just blows my mind that I have been around for more than a half-century now, because I simply don’t feel that old. I know when my mother hit 50, I thought she was ancient. And yet, here I am, over 50 and feeling like someone in her early 30’s.

Let’s be real though. My fingers, elbows, and neck ache from arthritis which has crept upon me over the past few years. My skin sags in places it never did before. My neck is beginning to resemble a Shar-pei (you can even see the folds in the headshot here). And though I am the same weight I was when I was competing, and still hitting the gym six days a week, my body proportions are shifting in such a way that clothing items I have had for a while fit differently.

Before you tell me to quit my whining, please understand that everything is relative, and because I still participate in very image-driven industries (modeling and fitness), I hold myself to a certain standard which is beginning to elude my grasp. I have had to change my angles while shooting to accommodate the changes in my physique. Modeling had forced me to come to terms with my ever-aging physical form, and it’s been pretty brutal.

I experienced a major wake-up call last month, when I was going through items in my wardrobe for a four day photo shoot. As I tried on bikinis and dresses, I realized that several items either didn’t sit well on my body, or just flat out didn’t look good on me. It was incredibly frustrating, especially since some of the pieces I tried on had never been worn before and were purchased specifically for photo shoots. I just assumed that my body wouldn’t make the micro techtonic shifts it had. My waistline is ever so slightly larger, my hips wider, and my glutes are slowly deflating, just enough to make a bikini which once looked all right look like a high school hand-me-down.

As a 52 year old woman, I am more concerned than ever about the progression of my medical career, and have thrown new challenges at myself to make me a better practitioner. I’ve been thinking more about what will happen when I reach retirement age, and how I will manage financially. And though I have always been in excellent health, I am often struck with thoughts of “What if something happens to me?”, and “How will I die?”, both of which may sound like morbid thoughts, but I regard them as necessary.

My parents are in their 80’s and of course they will eventually pass on. Both of them mention how disappointed they are in me for not giving them grandchildren, as if it was my filial duty to do so. It irks me to no end, but I also feel pangs of guilt whenever I am berated by them. It’s not like I was trying to defy them by remaining childless. And now that the window of opportunity is forever closed for me, I wonder why I wasn’t meant to have children.

Although 50 may be the new 30, it still marks 50-plus years of life experience. And since there is more societal pressure to be more dynamic and more successful, hitting one’s 50’s can be downright depressing. For all of you over 50, HANG IN THERE!

Check Out My Video Diary For The Perfect Derma Peel

If you are suffering from enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, or brown discoloration on your skin from sun exposure, you may want to consider having a chemical peel. Medical grade peels are more robust than self-application kits, and produce more significant results. My favorite medium strength peel is the Perfect Derma Peel by Bella Medical Products. The Perfect Derma Peel is suitable for most skin types and consists of a powerful mixture of ingredients:

TCA
Kojic Acid
Retinoic Acid
Salicylic Acid
Phenol
Vitamin C
Glutathione

Please check out my video diary which details my personal experience using the Perfect Derma Peel. The results I achieved were fantastic! I experienced such a dramatic improvement in the brown sun spots I had, that the concealer I had been using for fifteen years was too dark for me, forcing me to switch to a lighter shade. I enthusiastically endorse the Perfect Derma Peel. If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can book a peel with me: http://www.drstaceynaito.com/#!chemical-peels/comt