Shipping, taxes, and discounts will be calculated at checkout. Proceed to Checkout
Anastasia-Lin

How Former Beauty Queen Anastasia Lin Rediscovered Herself

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on twitter

“It was so beautiful. I think it was the universe telling me that when I break through my fear there will be a brand new perspective, a much more interesting and rewarding experience awaiting me on the other side.”
—Anastasia Lin

Anastasia-Lin-2
Miss World Canada 2015, Anastasia Lin has had a great impact as a defender of human rights in China. Belt by Dior

In 2015, a young beauty queen from Canada was thrust onto the stage of global politics when the Chinese government publicly banned her from entering China to participate in the Miss World beauty pageant. Overnight, Anastasia Lin went from being a celebrated beauty queen to the target of threats from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). All this because she had criticized the Chinese regime’s brutal persecution of religious minorities, particularly the plight of Falun Gong practitioners.

Lin, a Chinese-Canadian actress, never intended to become an outspoken advocate for human rights. Faced with this momentous challenge, however, she decided to tackle the forces of oppression head-on. But the situation took a toll on her.

“For five years after becoming Miss World Canada, I couldn’t sleep well. I remember when I was working on a campaign to expose the crime of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China I felt overwhelming pressure and panic,” she says. “Almost every other night I would wake up from nightmares.”

Lin had planned a life as a beauty queen and actress, but after the CCP backlash she decided to change her priorities, fashion style, and even her public personality. Evening gowns gave way to power suits as she travelled the world giving speeches and interviews. At the same time, she was still trying to build a career and life for herself back home.

Despite the great challenges, Lin emerged from those years with a refreshing sense of grace and style. Lin has stayed confident every step of the way, but the depth of her beauty has grown. It seems that when she was facing great pressure, she was actually discovering herself.

Anastasia-Lin-5
After winning Miss World Canada, Anastasia Lin went through one of her loneliest and most challenging periods as she faced the pressure of the Chinese Communist Party threatening her family.

Genuine style

In her twenties, Lin adapted her fashion style to the situations and environments in which she found herself. “Whether the princess outfits of a beauty queen or the power suits of a human rights advocate, I followed the rules and played my part,” she says.

The style choices offered Lin a tool to mask her vulnerabilities and to project an air of determination. She wore suit jackets in saturated colours to capture audience attention and restrained but heavy make-up to communicate strength. Lin says clothing became an armour worn to protect herself from the aggressive political environments she was dealing with.

“After a while I internalized the need to constantly project strength, and I almost forgot the much more vibrant and playful parts of me,” she says.

Lin’s mentality shifted when she was preparing for a media interview one day. She suddenly decided to let her fears go and take a different approach to her public appearances. She thought, “I don’t want to hide anymore. I never belonged in the world of politics. I feel ready to let more of myself come out.”

Lin didn’t wear her usual business attire for that interview. Instead she wore a light blue silk dress. For the first time, she didn’t even wear make-up.

The interview turned out better than she had expected. The reporter had interviewed her previously, but was surprised to see how different she had become.

It wasn’t just Lin’s appearance that had changed. She had learned to be comfortable with herself.

“In the past, I struggled with saying ‘no’ to unsuitable things and situations, and I finally learned that sometimes the best way is the least stressful way. When things are done right, I’m much happier and more content.”

“There must be an elegant solution in place for every situation. One just needs faith that it will come up,” she says.

Anastasia-Lin-3
Anastasia Lin has learned to face her fears head-on, and this has given her newfound freedom and joy. Coat and belt by Dior

Floating past fear

A few years ago, when Lin’s insomnia and stress were at their peak, her mother saw the toll the pressure was taking on her daughter and decided to take her on vacation.

The warm Mexican sunshine and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean immediately rejuvenated Lin, but something happened when she was swimming in the ocean one day. The waves grew larger, and she quickly realized she was out of her depth. She decided to swim back to shore, but the harder she swam the more she got pulled out to sea.

“I panicked because I was inside an extremely unfamiliar element of nature, and I had no control over my life,” she recalls. A lifeguard spotted her, but as he swam out to help, he lost his floating board in the waves. Lin floundered in the water, struggling for breath. Her mind began to race.

“The lifeguard tried to calm me down. He told me, ‘You need to let your mind go, relax, just float with it.’ But that wasn’t an option. Letting go of my fear meant letting go of my only chance to survive.”

Lin couldn’t calm herself down, but she managed to swim back to shore safely with the lifeguard. The experience shook her, not only because of how close she came to drowning, but also because of how she had reacted. “I got overwhelmed by fear and I let it dictate my decisions,” she says.

At that moment, Lin realized how much she had let that negative emotion dictate her life. That’s when she decided to face it.

The next day, she returned to the beach, determined not to let the waves scare her away. The ocean was just as volatile as before, but Lin found the lifeguard who had protected her and asked if he’d accompany her out into the ocean. He gladly agreed.

“The first few waves were big but not scary. I was able to see things much more clearly. Waves aren’t threats—they’re something to learn from and play with.”

As Lin swam past them, she experienced quiet moments that seemed like a sparkling, transparent universe.

“It was so beautiful. I think it was the universe telling me that when I break through my fear there will be a brand new perspective, a much more interesting and rewarding experience awaiting me on the other side.”

These days, Lin continues to act and to advocate for human rights, speaking, writing, and taking on film roles. She has faced many fears along the way, which has only given her a firmer step and a more determined bearing.

These days, when her eyes glow and her smile lights up a room, she is embodying the grace she has cultivated in herself. That’s the genuine beauty of Anastasia Lin.

Anastasia-Lin-1
Anastasia Lin continues to be committed to her artistic endeavours and human rights work, feeling more confident than ever before.

“I remember when I was working on a campaign to expose the crime of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China I felt overwhelming pressure and panic. Almost every other night I would wake up from nightmares.”
—Anastasia Lin

 

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 110

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on twitter

Inspired for a Beautiful Life

shenyunzuopin
[pmpro_signup submit_button="Sign up 14-day free trail" hidelabels="1" level="1" login="1" redirect="referrer" short="emailonly"]