[00:00:00] Krati: thank you so much, Allyn, for being here. So thrilled because you. An incredibly admirable person. You have done so much amazing work for women. You have been, uh, you’ve spread so much awareness around breast cancer.
[00:00:15] Krati: You’ve advocated for I V F. You’re a motivational speaker, you’re an author, you run business. Uh, you have also been a Miss America, uh, contestant. You’ve done. A lot of incredible work. You also have a nonprofit that is doing incredible work in the world. So first of all, thank you so much for doing all of that, uh, since you know all of us benefit from it.
[00:00:36] Krati: So thank you for that. But I have to ask, is there a commonality to all of these roles that you place there, a central mission that you are pursuing and like, and intentionally picking the roles that you’re playing?
[00:00:54] Allyn: So I think it all really circles around breast cancer advocacy, whether I knew it or not, [00:01:00] starting sort of each of these elements. But, um, You know, people always, uh, will look at me. If you knew me growing up, we went to high school together, people would say, never in a million years would I imagine that girl would do a beauty pageant or model, or do any of the things that I’m, I’m doing now.
[00:01:18] Allyn: You know, it was a big tomboy growing up. , played in a punk rock bands, never in a million years would I be that girl. You know, that you imagine doing those sort of things. Um, but when I was in college, uh, I got an email that said that there was a local, um, pageant that was raising money for breast cancer, uh, research.
[00:01:38] Allyn: And I thought, I. You know what my mom would’ve loved for me to do something like that. You know, like I said, I was a tomboy, never wore a dress, never wore a makeup. And in college I said, you know what? Let me give myself a second and reinvent myself. Like try a few new things. And so it all started with this breast cancer charity pageant.
[00:01:56] Allyn: And you know, before I knew it, I competed in that. [00:02:00] Somehow I won. Then I got kind of bit by the bug, competed at Miss U s a, competed at Miss America. Um, when I was a Miss America contestant, I had this really incredible viral moment where my story went all over the world. I had shared with a friend that I was gonna have a preventative mastectomy because I had lost my mom, my grandmother, my great-aunt, all these women in my family to breast cancer.
[00:02:22] Allyn: And so that viral moment changed the trajectory of my life and I go from Miss America contestant to personal advocate to starting my own nonprofit. And you know, everything has just sort of come. From my mother’s story really. Um, and they might seem like they’re all over the place, but there is that sort of central theme of, you know, this is something that I started to really honour my mom’s memory.
[00:02:46] Allyn: And, you know, 10, 12 years later, here we are.
[00:02:51] Krati: That’s, that’s incredibly beautiful. Uh, but I have to ask Miss America pageantry of any kind. Uh, I’m sure there are deeper [00:03:00] challenges to it, but it is, um, There is like, it encourages vanity to a degree, right? It encourages you to centre what you’re doing around how you look. So to be in the throes of that, to be in the thick of things where, where you are participating in such a prestigious contest.
[00:03:19] Krati: And then also to make this decision, uh, to get mastectomy. And we all know, uh, breasts are like the most feminine. Part of your body, or at least that’s the perception around it for you to make that decision. What was that like? That must have needed so much courage considering what you were doing at that time.
[00:03:37] Allyn: So I think for me growing up, not being someone who, um, Put a lot of emphasis on the way that I look. Um, and, and I know that sounds really crazy. Someone would think, okay, you know, you, you were a model, you competed in beauty pageants. You know, of course the way that you look matters. And it does. But I think the way that you look matters.
[00:03:59] Allyn: To [00:04:00] every 20 something year old, you know, it’s, you’re coming into your body, you’re coming into your femininity, like you said. So your breasts, your way you look, they impact how you face the world. So I think when I was deciding to, um, you know, have a preventative mastectomy, of course there was an element of, well, um, this is really gonna change how I look at myself.
[00:04:22] Allyn: It’s gonna change the way that the world looks at me. Um, it might take away some opportunities for me, you know, maybe I might. Never competed in a pageant again. I might never have a modelling career. You know, all of these sort of things. And I also, I wasn’t married, I didn’t have any children. Um, you know, there’s always the thought, what person is ever gonna love the body that I have after this surgery?
[00:04:42] Allyn: So, was a really, , challenging experience in that sense. But I think I went into it with long-term perspective and I was able to put that sort of vanity on the back burner and say, Hey, the way that I look doesn’t matter. I want to be around for the next 60, 70 [00:05:00] years because I knew what it was like for my mom.
[00:05:03] Allyn: My mom was diagnosed with a breast cancer in her twenties. She almost didn’t live to have children. And for me, I said, I never wanna be in the position where I have to tell my 16 year old daughter that she’s gonna live the rest of her life without her mom, like my mom did. And if that means. My vanity goes out the window.
[00:05:22] Allyn: It’s not the most important thing. So I think having that, that good perspective, that family support, I was able to just say, this doesn’t matter. My life matters.
[00:05:33] Krati: Yeah, considering the choices, um, yeah, I guess it in a way was an easy choice, but it’s still, I, I don’t doubt that it must have taken somewhat of a toll on you to actually go through that process
[00:05:46] Allyn: oh, absolutely. I mean, wake waking up the next day. I have no breasts. I, I’ve got these tubes hanging out on my body. At the time, um, I had a boyfriend who was being my caretaker, and I just remember looking at myself in the mirror thinking, oh my God, what have I [00:06:00] done? Um, you know, how is this person ever going to find me sexy again?
[00:06:04] Allyn: Um, you know, is this gonna be the deal breaker and. Uh, fortunately, um, my then boyfriend is now my husband’s, we have a little girl, another one on the way. And, um, he said, I don’t care what you look like, you know, same thing. I want you to be around for the next 60, 70 years. And, um, I was really, really fortunate to have that and just to have these constant vocal reminders in my ear of what was important.
[00:06:29] Allyn: Um, but of course it was a long journey of self-acceptance to get back to a point where, I liked looking at what I saw in the mirror again.
[00:06:39] Krati: yeah, I bet. I bet It was a long journey and it must have had. So many ups and downs. Your husband is obviously a very beautiful person, but I think you can advise people out there who look at their bodies, who look at their faces and they find all of these flaws and you know, everybody finds some flaw.
[00:06:57] Krati: But for some of us, [00:07:00] yeah, for some of us, we are not so fortunate. We are surrounded by people who kind of are not very supportive, who in fact remind us of all our inadequacies. But when it comes to your, to how you look, there is. Only so much you can change, right. It’s genetic, and unless you’re willing to throw money at it and go onto the knife, there’s not really much you can do about it.
[00:07:20] Krati: So to those people who allow these inadequacies to define who they are, to define standards of beauty for them and to ultimately hold them back in life, what would you say to them?
[00:07:33] Allyn: Gosh, it’s tough. I think. I think we all struggle with self-identity and body positivity and you know, having these sort of things and I think, , You just have to realise that the only person who’s getting in your way is you. And you can let this noise of naysayers and people who wanna be critical impact your life.
[00:07:55] Allyn: Or you can say, this has nothing to do with who I am as a person. The. [00:08:00] What I have to give, what I have to offer. Um, and I think sometimes you just really have to find something outside of the way that you look, that you can identify with. You know, for me, once I had my mastectomy and I got to the point where I just said, okay, you know, I’m, I’m never gonna be a famous model.
[00:08:19] Allyn: I’m never going to be able to compete in pageants anymore. All of those, uh, big dreams and hopes I had for myself, like, that’s off the table. And I started developing. Other aspects of my personality that I found value in. I started delving into, um, new hobbies, um, new talents, um, nurturing those aspects of myself that had little to nothing to do with the way that I looked.
[00:08:43] Allyn: And that was so, so helpful. But then I also realised as time went on, like I said before, I was the only person that was putting these limits and restrictions on what I could do in my life on myself. And once I got past that, once I realised. Hey, [00:09:00] um, just because I might have scars or I might not have the breasts that I had before, my body might not be exactly the way that it was.
[00:09:06] Allyn: That doesn’t mean that I can’t go out and pursue my dreams and chase those big, lofty goals I had for myself. And, , it wasn’t until I was 30, which in the modelling world is send you off to pasture. Your career is done and over with, and you’re, you’re useless. Um, I had the opportunity to model for Sports Illustrated.
[00:09:26] Allyn: And I was the first woman with a mastectomy to model for Sports Illustrated swimsuit. Something that I never in a million years thought, one I could do even before I had a mastectomy. And to do that in my thirties post mastectomy. It was just this game changing moment for me in realising the world was my oyster.
[00:09:44] Allyn: And if you just let those naysayers in that negative talk stop you from chasing your dreams. It’s gonna be the most limiting thing in your life, and you just have to find a way to block out the noise. That’s the best advice I can give.
[00:09:59] Krati: That’s a [00:10:00] beautiful message because we live in a. Very strange world. That’s constantly changing, so you never know what opportunity is gonna come around. Also, I think when you dismiss yourself based on how you look, you sort of, you’re deciding a future that hasn’t played out yet, which is
[00:10:16] Allyn: yeah. And yeah, and then also the standard of beauty changes every 30 seconds. So you know what’s, what’s in now, what’s popular now, what you think you wanna look like, or who you wanna emulate. I mean, 20 seconds later it’s gonna be somebody else. So you could just have to find that. I hate using the term inner beauty, but you really have to find something about yourself where you say, Hey, I, I like who I am and I heard this great thing actually this morning.
[00:10:44] Allyn: I was like scrolling through TikTok or something like that, and someone was saying, you know, if you. If you focus on loving yourself, it’s almost a limiting thing because you’re in the outside looking in at like this idea of who you are. But if you focus [00:11:00] on loving the experience of being you, the experience of being yourself, that is such a freeing, an amazing thing where you’re able to come together to grow, to love yourself as you change along the way.
[00:11:13] Allyn: And I just found that to be a very, very powerful thing.
[00:11:16] Krati: That is a powerful message. Yeah, that’s a beautiful message. I wish the entire world could internalise that. Um, well, you know, recently, uh, I’m not, uh, fully, like I don’t have all of all the information on this, but there, you know, I think it was the Mis America pageant itself wherein, uh, transgender, um, woman. Who was formerly a man won the contest. Didn’t that just happen very recently in
[00:11:44] Allyn: So, um, the Miss Universe pageant allows transgender contestants. Um, they have had, uh, numerous transgender winners. So Spain a couple years ago, um, was a transgender woman. The new owner of the organisation, so of [00:12:00] all of this universal organisation is a transgender woman. So they’re really making, um, strides towards being more inclusive in that sense.
[00:12:08] Allyn: But the actual winner has not been a transgender woman yet.
[00:12:11] Krati: Oh, alright. So I, but I found that very, I didn’t know how to feel about that because I heard it on, I think the Ben Shapiro podcast. So he already had some very definite opinions around it, and I’m sure you can guess what those opinions were. So I was kinda, uh, was hearing those opinions, but I was, but there was a part of me that was like, okay, so even that’s possible, right?
[00:12:33] Krati: Something that as a child when I, I’m also like 31, so, and also I’ve never considered participating in beauty contests, but when I was growing up and every girl at some point in her life thinks about this stuff, so, That was not a
[00:12:46] Allyn: You see it on.
[00:12:47] Krati: when we were growing up. Exactly. Well, I, I’m come from a very conservative family, so the first time my mother saw me playing with the lipstick, she just knocked it out of my hand.
[00:12:56] Krati: She’s like, go study. So yeah, it’s only later [00:13:00] you understand that, oh, you know what, this is just as hard as getting a master’s if not harder. Cause yeah, so much of it is completely out outside your control. So I feel like anybody who is too focused on beauty, I think their life is tougher because there’s just so much you can do with it.
[00:13:18] Krati: But I also feel like you got offered that Sports Illustrated, um, shoot. Uh, I think that in itself shows you that the world is changing, people are changing, perceptions are shifting. So what was so important yesterday, as you said, it may not be so important tomorrow. So, but if you close off your options, then you’ve already shrunk your life and yourself.
[00:13:42] Allyn: Absolutely. And I, I mean, I grew up and I’ve always had really thin lips. It’s just my genetics. It’s who, who I am. And I remember working and sitting in the modelling chair and I’d look over and I’d see these women with these big, full, beautiful lips and always. You know, wanna emulate that. And, uh, this makeup artist, one day, she was like, [00:14:00] oh, you know, you just have, um, you have B Derek lips.
[00:14:03] Allyn: And it just made me realise, like, you know, 20 years ago, maybe my lips were at the trend. But what we’re seeing now is it’s completely different. And things are just so circular and they’re changing. And if you’re constantly trying to hop on the trend of what’s beautiful now, you’re never gonna be satisfied because once you achieve it, boom, we’re onto the next thing.
[00:14:22] Allyn: And so you just really have to, to find that balance of being comfortable with yourself. It’s okay to follow trends and to be interested in those things. But when you’re going to these, Absolute extremes to emulate what’s trendy now. It never works out for you long term.
[00:14:42] Krati: Yeah, I’m with you on that completely. And I also feel for this younger generation that feels way more pressure to do all of this than we ever did because we, we did grow up with social media, but it wasn’t so invasive. Like, at least for me, it was very controlled till like a certain age. And then I [00:15:00] wasn’t really into it as much till I started running my business.
[00:15:03] Krati: And then it became, And even so, because we grew up differently, we don’t care so much about the likes and the followers. At least I think so, like the millennials don’t care as much as this next generation does.
[00:15:14] Krati: . So I, I do feel for them. I think it’s amplified all of this obsession with physical appearance and with how your life looks from the outside. It’s so much more amplified. So I do feel for them, and I think you have done an amazing job of, at least for whoever is familiar with your content, is familiar with your story, uh, in helping them realise that, you know what?
[00:15:36] Krati: This is not all there is to you. And I think that’s so, so important. So I, I really hope that this sinks in, that no matter your limitation, not just physical, there is more beyond that. and now I have to ask you, like, as you made that switch from, uh, participating in that pageant to becoming this advocate and spreading awareness around breast cancer and openly talking about your own [00:16:00] experience with going through the mastectomy, which in itself.
[00:16:03] Krati: Couldn’t possibly have been easy and it was highly emotional. Also, cuz you were talking about your mom, but you gave all of these incredibly intelligent speeches on the subject and, and you were, despite the emotionality of the subject, you were very articulate, you got your point across and just, there must have been a very, like a switch of mindset and uh, like some gears must have shifted for you to go from being a contestant on a beauty show to doing all of this work.
[00:16:32] Krati: What was that like?
[00:16:34] Allyn: Well, it, it wasn’t sort of an overnight thing. Of course. I had this, uh, big viral moment where I was sort of thrust into the, the spotlight when it comes to, uh, making this healthcare decision. Um, and I was on all these talk shows and doing these things. I had the opportunity to give a Ted talk. Um, but I think my life prior to competing in pageants sort of led me to that.
[00:16:55] Allyn: You know, I always wanted to be a lawyer. Um, I’ve always loved public speaking. [00:17:00] Uh, and so all of those skills,
[00:17:03] Krati: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:03] Allyn: with me along the way, and it was a bit of a natural transition, but I did have some time to really build on it and, um, get experience sharing. I feel like there’s something, either it’s a wire or screw loose or it’s something beneficial.
[00:17:19] Allyn: I don’t know. But I’ve always felt very, very comfortable speaking about my mother’s story. And maybe that’s because, you know, one of the last things my mom said to me was, you know, don’t, don’t let my life be in vain. Um, you know, she wanted to have me write a book about her life or something. She just didn’t want it to end in that moment.
[00:17:37] Allyn: And, you know, I can’t imagine how terrifying it is to know this is it. And so I made it really a mission for me to, to not only share my personal story, but why my mom’s story was impactful for me and has encouraged me to have this long-term perspective to go out to, to share the message. And so, I don’t know, it’s, uh, [00:18:00] it’s come a little bit naturally to me, I have to say that.
[00:18:02] Allyn: But what I didn’t realise was the type of. Emotional fatigue that I would have over time because you’re talking about death, death, death all the time, and you don’t realise that it’s just sort of picking and, you know, wearing at you a bit. And I did have to take a moment and just say, Hey, I, I need a break for a while.
[00:18:22] Allyn: I can’t really do this anymore. I can’t have my entire life be talking about how my mom died. Um, and I think anybody who works in, in the advocacy space, particularly in healthcare, has had that sort of past trauma, can understand that sometimes it really does weigh heavy on you. Um, but you know, my mom passed away.
[00:18:42] Allyn: Uh, gosh, it’s coming up on like 20 years now. Um, but I miss her every day. It’s still a raw thing in my life. You know, I had a little girl two years ago. I’ve got another one on the way, and it’s a daily reminder that I don’t have my mom here. And so it’s just a different type of [00:19:00] mourning, but it’s also inspiring to me to say, Hey, um, my life has really come full circle now.
[00:19:07] Allyn: All of these healthcare choices that I made to be around for my future husband, for my future children, I’m living that future now, and that’s a special moment. And to know that, you know, the gift I gave my children of having a mother who’s here, um, is a very, very rewarding experience.
[00:19:26] Krati: I don’t, I don’t even know what to say to that. That is that you are very courageous and you, I bet your mom is super proud wherever she is. She’s very proud of all the work you’ve done. Yeah. And I wish she was here. I’m sorry that you ever had to go through that loss, but Yeah. Uh, we in, uh, Hindus, don’t we believe that everything happens for a reason.
[00:19:48] Krati: I think all religion believed that. Uh, and if that’s true, I think that is very true for you because your mom, even though she was no longer around, she gave you and just, [00:20:00] she kept giving you all of these gifts, so
[00:20:02] Allyn: Absolutely. And, and I say this all the time and people might think it’s a little bit crass, but, um, losing my mom led to some of the greatest experiences of my life. You know, I, I probably never would’ve competed in pageants. I never would’ve had that opportunity to really have these, these crowning achievements where I got to walk on stage in front of millions of people and feel glamorous and beautiful, and experience that, you know, I wouldn’t have had this platform to, to share with my generation about.
[00:20:31] Allyn: You know, self-advocacy and all of that. Um, I probably never would’ve met my husband. They wouldn’t have my children. My life would be very, very different. And of course, you know, you always say I’d give anything to have my mom back. But at the same time, I’m very fortunate for having this experience in my life that has led to so many other wonderful things.
[00:20:52] Allyn: And I said, this is not gonna be the most defining moment of my life. I’m gonna let it be a catalyst for, for greater things.
[00:20:59] Krati: You have truly [00:21:00] done that. I have to say, in fact, uh, like anybody who follows you on Instagram is aware of just how much of your life and especially the, the tougher parts of it you share with other people. And it amazes me cuz I’m. So protective of my, uh, private life that I’m always amazed when people can, you know, share their personal life, especially when they can share the stories of loss.
[00:21:25] Krati: And, and like you’ve shared a lot of your IVF journey as well, you’ve shared about your miscarriage, which was, uh, painful to listen to. I, I can’t imagine what it was like for you to actually talk about it. So why do you do that? And, and what, like, what is that like putting so much of your life out there for people?
[00:21:44] Krati: And you have to be aware that yes, there will be people who will benefit from it and who will be considerate and respectful of what you’re doing. But there will also be people who will have opinions that will not be so supportive and they will have no qualms in voicing those opinions and in shoving them[00:22:00]
[00:22:00] Allyn: Yeah, sure. Well, I always think when I’m going through a challenging time, there’s, there’s nothing like having somebody else who can just say, Hey, me too. And you find that empathy and another person, and that’s, that’s not the case for everybody. I think. Uh, sometimes people like to have. You know, their moment to themselves.
[00:22:21] Allyn: But for me, community has always really been helpful. And so I just thought, you know, I, I’m obviously not the first woman to have a miscarriage. I’m not the first woman to go through IVF, I’m not the first woman to have a mastectomy. But I knew what it was like preparing and planning and experiencing all of these things, and sometimes feeling like I was the only person in the world going through what I was going through.
[00:22:42] Allyn: And it just made me realise, um, how important it is to share and to destigmatise. The, the pain and the fear and just sometimes how normal these things are. What I didn’t realise until I had a miscarriage, like one in four women have a miscarriage in their life that is [00:23:00] mind blowing to me. And the fact that women don’t talk about it and it’s shrouded in secrecy and you’re just supposed to suffer in silence.
[00:23:08] Allyn: And you know, the fact that we don’t tell people we’re pregnant until we’re 12 weeks along because then it’s safe. I mean, that’s so sad to me. You’re, you’re having to., hold this joy and this exciting moment in your life back because you’re scared that you might have to talk about having a potential miscarriage.
[00:23:24] Allyn: And I just said, you know, If I’m sharing all the positives, I’m sharing the wins, I wanna share the failures too, because that’s part of it. And um, you know, I share a lot about my life online. I don’t share everything. Um, and I think that helps too. You know, there are things that I keep private to myself and, um, you know, your persona online is one thing from the person that you are.
[00:23:46] Allyn: I try to be as authentic as I can, but with limitations. Um, and yeah, I just. You know, it’s hard to write the posts and click publish and putting it out there for the world [00:24:00] to, to judge and consume, but I’ve been very fortunate to have a really positive audience. Every once in a while you’ve got some nasty person that has something to say, but you know, if you’re able to look at it in the perspective of for every one message there’s a hundred positive messages, it makes the sharing a little bit easier.
[00:24:19] Krati: Yeah. But I have to ask you like, because now there is this accepted belief that content is gain. Content has to be, no matter your industry, it simply has to be a part of your, um, working process, your work process, your business processes, because it is what it will get you all the success. So everybody needs to be visible now, which is I think for some of us, very difficult to do.
[00:24:43] Krati: So how do you manage not to let the external negative? You said there’s one negative message. But there are a hundred positive ones where we all know that we are wired to focus on that one negative one so much more than the hundred positive ones. So how do you not let that negativity, considering that you’re sharing something [00:25:00] so personal, something so like you’re making yourself so horrible.
[00:25:03] Krati: How do you not let that negatively seep into who you are and the positive that you are trying to create in your life?
[00:25:10] Allyn: Yeah. I think when it comes to, Having those little negative voices, uh, be the thing that set the forefront.
[00:25:19] Allyn: Um, I guess I have to say I’ve had a lot of practice not letting it bug me. When I first started out, I remember so vividly, I feel like this is burned into my, my psyche. Um, I was on a pageant message board and this is when I first started sharing my stories, a Miss America contestant and someone said, Oh, Allyn Rose.
[00:25:38] Allyn: She’s a nasty opportunist who’s used her mother’s death to help her win beauty pageants and, ugh, was that a gut punch? Because I just, you know, went down the rabbit hole of, oh my gosh, am I doing that? Am I sharing the story for the wrong reasons? Um, is this manipulative? Um, [00:26:00] is this self-serving and. It just ate away at me for years and years and years.
[00:26:06] Allyn: And there would always be these little comments here and there, people saying, oh, she’s never actually gonna have a mastectomy. This is just a storyline that she came up with to try to win Miss America. And, um, you know, I really would let it bug me in the beginning, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that when people speak about you like that, it says a lot more about them than it does.
[00:26:30] Allyn: About you and I’ve realised, man, how unhappy does someone have to be to sit behind a computer and talk about basically a little girl who’s lost her mom and who’s sharing this story. Like this is either, you know, some contestant who’s like competing with you and feeling jealousy and envy or something.
[00:26:51] Allyn: Or like someone’s mom, you know, nobody else is on these message words talking about these things. And how sad if an adult is out there sharing that kind of, [00:27:00] Vitriolic language about somebody else and someone else’s experience that they haven’t lived and they don’t understand. And so I just realised that a lot of times it’s coming from a place of hurt and it’s a place of hurt with them.
[00:27:12] Allyn: And that helps me reframe things and not take it personally because you know, at the end of the day, you can only do so much. You can only be representative for so many different people, but your message is valid, and there’s somebody out there who needs to hear what you have to say.
[00:27:30] Krati: Yeah. I can’t even imagine being in that moment reading a message like that. Um, yeah. But I have to say, like they say hurt people, hurt people. And at the same time, like, I get it. I get we live in a very strange world where we, there are people who are corrupt and who are, who are willing to trade their integrity for, for. But at the same time, I also feel like even when you are looking at someone’s life and thinking this is suspicious, this person is [00:28:00] not what they’re appearing to be, to actually put that in words, I think it takes a certain kind of person to do that. Cuz if you have nothing kind to say, much rather, you know, hold your silence, not say anything at all and not be a reason that there is something negative out there.
[00:28:13] Krati: So I get, I completely get what you’re saying and I hope that this, um, if my listeners are hearing this and they are struggling with this, they remember that. Because it takes a certain kind of person to say something so vicious.
[00:28:26] Allyn: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:27] Krati: Like
[00:28:28] Allyn: Well, I just, I just think like you also have too much time on your hands. You know, there are not enough hours in the day for me to like be on the deep depths of the internet going on someone else’s social media page to, uh, leave a message anonymous or not. Like, man, I wish I had the luxury of being able to talk trash to people, like not enough hours in the day.
[00:28:51] Krati: Yeah, it’s true what they say. Nobody like, we constantly feel like, oh, I wonder what they’re thinking about me. They’re really not. Nobody’s thinking about you because like if I see something [00:29:00] and I don’t like it, I’ll just press that cross button and I’ll close the window and I’ll move on. So yeah, I’m not gonna sit there and turn into a freaking troll and be like, oh, let me just get this person now.
[00:29:10] Krati: That would be very strange.
[00:29:11] Allyn: about like going out in public, right? Like, you know, all these times like, ah, people are gonna like my outfit, like it, do I have spinach in my teeth? People are very self-absorbed and they’re worried about the spinach in their teeth and they’re worried about their outfit and whether their partner thinks they look good.
[00:29:26] Allyn: So nobody’s looking at you like, I’ve realised this as I’ve gotten older, like, It’s the last thing that you need to worry about because everyone else is in their own little bubble.
[00:29:37] Krati: Yeah, when I was younger, I had like years and years of extreme cystic acne. So much so that people thought I was, I had contagious skin disease or chicken fox or something like that. So I would be asked to leave the public places, the restaurants, which is very, it was acne, but it was. Like it was all over my face.
[00:29:54] Krati: It was pain, physically painful, cuz if you’ve ever had a cystic acne, you know, that thing is not easy [00:30:00] to carry around. And then to have all of these people laughing at me. So I took like a completely defiant stance where I just stopped caring about how I looked and just like wouldn’t even look in the mirror if I didn’t have to.
[00:30:12] Krati: Absolutely. And it became like, it went so far that I would go to like very prestigious events in my sweatpants. Then finally somebody had to sit me down and be like, okay, you’ve taken it too far. Now you have to stop showing up to places in your sweatpants. So, but I have to say, just going through all of those years, I continued to rack up achievements like I was a student at the time.
[00:30:35] Krati: I was very young. My studies didn’t suffer, my career did not suffer. I, uh, was able to do everything that I wanted to do and no. And the moment that I stopped, Considering the those acne to be a problem, they stopped being a problem.
[00:30:50] Allyn: Right.
[00:30:51] Krati: I don’t know if that’s helpful or not, but
[00:30:53] Allyn: the armour on, right.
[00:30:54] Krati: yeah.
[00:30:55] Allyn: such a, A sensitive thing. And I mean, fortunately, um, [00:31:00] I, I had, I, I don’t wanna say bad acne because there’s a difference between bad acne and bad acne, but I did have acne growing up and cystic acne and scarring and all these kinds of problems, and I.
[00:31:11] Allyn: It man. Does it impact how you face the world and how you think about yourself and how people respond to you? Um, unfortunately, I had a sister-in-law who was able, she’s an aesthetician that, you know, completely changed my life and cleared up my skin. Um, but when I see, uh, other people who were really suffering with deep cystic acne, like how internally and outwardly painful, That has to be, and you really do have to sort of, like you were saying, put this armour on.
[00:31:41] Allyn: And whether that’s just completely ignoring, you know, the problem and saying, Hey, I’m not, you know, looking at anything when it comes to my face, when it comes to the clothes, all the things, like, it’s, it’s a brave thing to be able to do that because not that many people have the power to, I think, compartmentalise it and say, Hey, there are other [00:32:00] aspects of me that have nothing to do with, you know, what’s on my face right now.
[00:32:04] Krati: Yeah, it took me a while to realise that the defence mechanism had sort of become toxic because. While I wouldn’t care about how I looked, I also had this narrative playing in my head that I am ugly. Like I, my physical appearance should never be the point of focus because if it were to become the focus, all the opportunities will be denied to me.
[00:32:25] Krati: So I did subconsciously believe it. It took me a while to realise that when people were like, why don’t you ever wear cosmetics? Why don’t you ever like do something with your hair? My hair’s curly, but my hair’s also like, it’s not. I just have never paid attention to it, so I don’t know how to manage this stuff.
[00:32:41] Krati: So people would say garments, stuff like that. I’m like, I don’t care. I don’t care. But then at some point I had to realise I do care. It’s just that I kind of fold to actually let that in, let that.
[00:32:53] Allyn: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:54] Krati: the focus. So I do get it, and I do think that there is a disconnect because when we see someone going through [00:33:00] what we have gone through, we feel like, oh, my heart goes out to this person, but this is, this is not something that defines this person.
[00:33:07] Krati: I will not look at this person or judge them based on these qualities. But we continue to do that to ourselves, which is very like, we don’t even realise it and we do it.
[00:33:18] Allyn: Counterproductive. Yeah, no, definitely. And I think it’s, um, You know, it’s, it’s easier to have empathy for other people, but it’s really hard to have empathy for yourself. Right? And so I think we have to. You know, I always say like, give yourself grace. Like there have been so many moments in my life where I’ve just said, Ugh, you know, why can’t I handle this better?
[00:33:37] Allyn: Why am I having this emotional response? Um, you know, when I had a child, you know, how, how difficult it was and, you know, I think I struggle with a bit of the baby blues or postpartum depression. I’m like, God, women have been having children for centuries. And like, why am I sitting here boohooing about this moment when there are people who would, you know, give their right arm to have a baby?
[00:33:57] Allyn: And how dare I. You know, [00:34:00] uh, I feel sad about this and I had a friend who said to me, you know, it’s possible to grieve and be grateful at the same time. And that was one of those like life-changing moments for me where I just said, okay, yeah, the two are not mutually exclusive. I’m allowed to feel both ways.
[00:34:19] Allyn: And that has been very freeing for me. And every time I’m having, uh, a struggle, I try to remember that quote.
[00:34:27] Krati: Yeah, it, your positivity comes across, um, you know, in your content and then how I’ve seen you talk about some of the most challenging, uh, subjects in a very happy, very positive way, which is not easy to do. So I think that sets a good example, but it also makes me wonder. First of all, did you ever outgrow that image completely where you were this contestant on a beauty pageant?
[00:34:51] Krati: Did you, do you feel like you outgrew that as you started talking about, uh, all of these very serious topics, or did, did that follow you?
[00:34:59] Allyn: no, I think it’s [00:35:00] definitely followed me and I have a very, very positive view of women who compete in pageants and I think they get a bad, a bad rap and people like to talk about how they’re superficial and 100% based on your looks, and it really couldn’t be further from the truth. And I say that not because I’ve competed and I’m trying to defend myself, but because.
[00:35:19] Allyn: The most accomplished women and the best friendships that I’ve ever had, and women who have continued to be a support system for me over the years. Most of them are women that I’ve competed in pageants with, you know, and they’ve gone on to do incredible things. And when I say incredible, it’s not just doctors and lawyers, it’s, you know, women who are the most amazing moms that I’ve ever seen.
[00:35:40] Allyn: You know, women who are out there going, sharing their messages, being support systems for others, and. Um, they’re women who came up in these systems and I feel like a lot of who I am and the resiliency that I have and my ability to do the things that I’m doing now are because of skills and traits [00:36:00] and having other women rub off on me through pageants.
[00:36:03] Allyn: And so, um, you know, I’m, it’s something I’m very proud of. It’s something I l hope will be a footnote in, you know, my bio and who I am for the rest of my life because it is. You know, it’s part of me. And, um, you know, it has been become part of, you know, what do they say? It’s not, it’s not the whole book, but it’s a chapter.
[00:36:23] Allyn: But, you know, it’s a very important chapter in my life.
[00:36:25] Krati: That’s beautiful. So you would say that, you know, it’s vital to be comfortable with each individual piece of your identity. Yeah.
[00:36:32] Allyn: Yeah. And I think, um, you can also. Uh, not like chapters of your life and say, Hey, this was, you know, a mistake or, I didn’t like doing this. But, uh, I’ve never regretted any moment in my life because it’s led me to where, where I am. And there have been ups and downs and definitely, uh, things that, you know, hindsight being 2020, I might have done differently.
[00:36:55] Allyn: But, um, you know, I am who I am because of all of [00:37:00] those experiences together.
[00:37:02] Krati: Yeah, that’s a very positive view of it, and I wish more people would adopt that. You can’t live regret anything if it has led to who you are today, and if you love that person, then you have to love everything that led up to it. I really appreciate
[00:37:14] Allyn: it’s okay too to like, I think, put the bad experiences in a box and lock
[00:37:19] Krati: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
[00:37:20] Allyn: Um, you know, a lot of people are like, oh, you have to focus, you have to heal in the moment. I’m not that kind of person. Sometimes
[00:37:26] Krati: Okay.
[00:37:26] Allyn: have to like package away the trauma, like put it on a shelf and get to the point where I’m like ready to process it.
[00:37:33] Allyn: And take it off. And that, I think, has served me really well. Um, and it might not be until like years later that I deal with the issue, but we always come back to it. And sometimes you’re just in a better braver, um, more energetic place to deal with issues and trauma.
[00:37:52] Krati: Yeah. I, I guess that’s like, that’s, uh, a healthy approach too. Um, I’m a, I’m a bit of an all or [00:38:00] nothing kind of person. I, I go like, if I don’t deal with this, somebody’s gonna use it against me. I have a, I’m a dramatic person, so,
[00:38:07] Allyn: Well, I just think like, you know, it’s, what is that adage that they use in the airplane? Like you have to put your mask on before helping others and like, you can’t like pour from the empty cup. So sometimes like you’re just grasping at nothing. Like there’s no energy to give, there’s no, there’s no you to deal with the trauma in the moment and you just gotta give yourself time to like come up for air.
[00:38:30] Allyn: Before you handle the tough times and like that’s okay too,
[00:38:35] Krati: yeah. That’s, uh, actually a. Wonderful way of looking at it, and I think that can be very helpful. And it also kind of makes sense because even our brain deliberately suppresses things. So that has to be a healthy one of the ways or one of the healthy ways of dealing with, uh, the things that don’t go your way.
[00:38:53] Krati: Because if your brain, like is, is wired to do it as a defence mechanism, then it’s clearly something that’s helpful. So [00:39:00] I guess what you’re, what you’re saying is, is right and you can shove it aside and keep moving forward if that is the method that serves you best. So definitely that, that seems healthy enough.
[00:39:11] Krati: Um, but I have to ask you like you are now. You’ve done, you’ve played so many roles, so many very different roles, and you’ve all of them have such a high degree of importance and work that you’ve done, um, out there in the world. And obviously it all accumulates, right? Because thanks to the internet, nothing disappears anymore.
[00:39:29] Krati: So all of it follows you. So do you, as you are now running a business that’s like, you already have a nonprofit, but you’re also running a for-profit business. So as you’re running that business as a business owner, do you feel like there is already an established identity out there, uh, that restricts what you can put now share as a business owner or.
[00:39:51] Krati: You just are determined to stand in your truth and be 100% authentic without giving much thought to the brand identity [00:40:00] that maybe is best for your business.
[00:40:03] Allyn: I think I always, if I’m gonna do something, I want it to be something that’s naturally flows for me and makes sense for me. So I don’t think that there’s, um, You know, really anything that I might pursue or do in my life where I feel like my, my pastor, the things that I’ve done are, is going to negatively impact how people view me.
[00:40:24] Allyn: Um, and, you know, I’m not really sure like, you know, maybe running for public office someday. That’s something that, you know, I’ve, I’ve always wanted to do. And like, you know, people might have a negative view of like, oh, this is a girl competed in this America, competed in Miss USA, whatever, she’s faff and shallow.
[00:40:40] Allyn: Um, but I would hope that. The other things that I’ve done in my life speak for themselves. And there’s always gonna be somebody that has something nasty to say or doesn’t like you or thinks you don’t represent them. Um, and so I think you just have to go into new chapters of your life and, and new passions and [00:41:00] projects, uh, building upon what you have instead of having to completely compartmentalise it and say like, okay, this is the former me and like now this is the business owner, me.
[00:41:11] Krati: I love that you said that because a lot of people try to adopt that approach, that clear demarcation of territories, but considering we’re we’re human beings, that’s not actually possible. And would you agree that we really cannot judge the perception before we put something out there because people are. People are weird these days. They just have these unique perspectives that you just simply don’t see coming, especially in America. I think we, like in India, is still, um, Sort of conservative in some ways. In some ways it’s adopting a very modern approach. So we kind of see where this is gonna go. But with America, like I work with so many Americans, I hear a lot of like the things that go on in your country, and I would be like, oh my God, this is a thing.
[00:41:58] Krati: This is a thing that [00:42:00] people are fighting for. And in a way it’s beautiful. But at the same time, I could not have imagined this becoming such a huge issue. So I feel like the public perception is very unpredictable. So I think. Would you say that it’s okay to go ahead and put out there what you feel is your truth and not worry so much, even if you are trying to create a brand identity?
[00:42:22] Allyn: Yeah. I mean, and I think, um, it’s not healthy to do something where, Your, your past identity negatively impacts, you know, what you’re doing. Because I feel like that’s really, that’s really limiting and uh, it’s almost like, I think it’s like a lie. You know, when you have a lie, you have to use more lies to cover up, you know, the lie.
[00:42:45] Allyn: And when you’re doing something that doesn’t naturally make sense with who you are and the things that you’ve done within reason, of course, like if you’re a crazy criminal and you’ve done these things, like, okay, maybe you don’t wanna share that past. But if you’re just a normal [00:43:00] person who’s, you know, done things, experienced stuff, um, I would find it to be exhausting to have to constantly shield my current business or venture from what I’ve done in the past.
[00:43:12] Allyn: So that’s just not something that I choose to do for myself. Like I’m too tired at this point in my life to have to do that. So like, I am, I’m a package deal. Like this is who I am and if people don’t like it, okay. Um, but I do think that I’m also a very different person, in person. Um, you know, Obviously like you have an internet persona and I try to be authentic, but it’s not the whole picture and it’s not the whole story.
[00:43:38] Krati: Mm-hmm.
[00:43:39] Allyn: I always find it really funny when people meet me, they’re like, wow, you are not at all like I expected you to be. And I’m like, man, no. Like not. Showing my personality out there. But I think there’s just a natural guardedness and like trying to perform. And particularly when you compete in pageants, like there was called a pageant [00:44:00] patty, like you, you’re putting on this, you know, the costume and the whole deal and like how you’re presenting to the world’s very professional.
[00:44:07] Allyn: And then when people meet me in person, they’re like, wow, you really shoot from the hip. Like you’ve got this dark sense of humour. Um, I never would’ve, you know, expected that if somebody like you, because they have this idea of who you are. So I always find it really refreshing to get to meet people in the flesh because there’s something about the screen that doesn’t tell the whole story.
[00:44:29] Krati: Yeah, I think the positivity continues on and offline. At least that’s the sense that I’m getting. So I think even if you run for of office, I didn’t know that was an aspiration you had, like, um, you’ve not shared that on Instagram where I’ve been learning more and more about you, but, um, yeah, I, I, I bet you could do it because I think we need like someone with a refreshing kind of honesty where they’re willing to draw a line.
[00:44:57] Krati: I don’t know, because at some points you see some of the [00:45:00] personalities online who deliberately court controversy. Like there are, uh, Instagram influencers who would deliberately share parts of their lives that are just, it’s unnecessary. It’s, uh, controversial. So I really appreciate that you can do that. And I think more and more people need to hear that because some of us actually force ourselves to share our story even when we are not ready to, or even when we are distinctly uncomfortable with it.
[00:45:26] Krati: So I love that you, you made that point. Thank you so much. Okay. One more question I’ll ask you, like now you are running a business. So I, uh, love, I’m very fascinated by the routines that people follow. And you obviously, as I said, like you juggle so many roles. You are also a mom, which is the toughest job in the world. So also the most important, so business owner.
[00:45:48] Krati: Taking care of your kid, running a nonprofit which has, uh, gravity all its own, and also advocating for all of these issues that clearly they need you, that community needs you. So how do [00:46:00] you balance it, the kind of rituals you follow every day too, that help you maintain your sanity as you juggle all these roles?
[00:46:06] Allyn: There is no schedule. Um, I am like the least organised person on the planet and I don’t know how I do it. I think becoming a mom, I have really realised like it’s the first time where I’m like, man, there are only so many hours in the day.
[00:46:23] Allyn: And like, you gotta. You can’t do it all. Um, and so, whew, um, it becoming a mom has made me realise like there’s a small, small window of when I have to get stuff done. So that has given me more structure in my life than I’ve ever had before because I’ve always had this like, fly by the seat in my pants sort of schedule where it’s like, oh, everyday changes and I just figure it out.
[00:46:46] Allyn: Um, but now it’s like, okay, I wake up, I send my daughter to nursery. She’s a nursery from, you know, this time until this time, and. That’s when I have to get stuff done because it’s really the only hours in the day. So that helps structure [00:47:00] things. But I would be a big fat liar to say that I like have a bunch of rituals and I use my planner and I do this and that.
[00:47:08] Allyn: Like it’s a state of chaos every single day. Somehow most of the things get done, but not all of the things get done. So if anyone out there is like looking to me for advice, like. I’m the worst person. Like I, what would be great is to have like a personal assistant who could really like, get, get in there and make me be organised.
[00:47:29] Allyn: And I always wonder like, man, how many things I could accomplish if I was just a little bit more, more organised, but unfortunately not, not who I am as a person. Wasn’t blessed with that lift.
[00:47:41] Krati: I love that answer because I think more and more of us need to know that this is also a way of getting things done. You there is. We all have these. Yeah, like periods in our life where things are going to be chaotic. Like you have a kid, the kid has kid trumps everything, right? So yeah. Even that is [00:48:00] a way like, that there is, this is also a type of process of getting things done and building a career.
[00:48:06] Krati: So I love that answer. Absolutely love it. Um, now my last question, um, I make this one a fun one. So you’re a very dedicated mom, we know that. Uh, so if you had the superpower where you could, that you could use to incept one idea or one belief in the mind of every child in the world. This one idea will take root and be like a strong force in that kid’s life.
[00:48:30] Krati: What would that one idea or belief be?
[00:48:33] Allyn: Oh, I don’t know why it’s like getting me emotional, but I think the, the best gift that my parents ever gave me was a sense of personal efficacy. And I think as I get older sometimes now it’s like a delusional self-confidence. Um, but I found it to be, Such a gift to never in my [00:49:00] life feel like I couldn’t do something that I wanted.
[00:49:04] Allyn: And I don’t know how, how they really, um, instilled that in me. But I think it, it’s multifaceted where my parents would never look at someone else’s success and say, Ugh, why do they have that? Or, oh, I want that. There was, envy was not an okay word in our household. It was always. You know, these are aspirational figures and if you want that, you can have it.
[00:49:30] Allyn: You just have to work hard. And it was really like down to like, you wanna be an astronaut? Cool. You can do it. You wanna be the president of the United States? Absolutely. You can do that. You wanna be a mom, you wanna be a lawyer, you wanna do all of these sort of things. It’s just hard work. It’s determination.
[00:49:46] Allyn: You have the ability to do whatever you want. It’s just working hard and like, don’t you dare fault that other person who has something that you want because you don’t have it yet. You have no idea how much hard work and determination and everything that went into [00:50:00] what they have and the challenges and the doors that were shut in their faces.
[00:50:03] Allyn: And so I think now that I’m older, I, I realise what a gift that is because I see so many of my friends who are. Crippled with fear and anxiety and feeling like, oh, I can’t do that. And it’s so limiting and it’s so sad because there are people with so much potential and they, like we mentioned throughout this whole podcast, they get in their own way.
[00:50:25] Allyn: So my dream would be that every child grows up with the same sense of I can do whatever I wanna do if I just work hard enough. Um, and so yeah, it’s, it’s something that I always am really grateful. I, I look back on my mom and my time with her, and it was this very short 16 years, but the gifts that she was able to instil in me in that short period of time, I, I’ll be forever grateful and I hope I’m able to do that for my daughters as well.
[00:50:57] Allyn: So, sorry to get so emotional, but
[00:50:59] Krati: No. [00:51:00] No.
[00:51:00] Allyn: a very poignant question. Thank you.
[00:51:02] Krati: And, and you gave a very, very beautiful, beautiful answer, and I hope it comes true. I hope, um, if not through superpowers, just through good upbringing. We are all able to put those ideas into the minds of every kid out there and nobody ever doubts themselves and they go for whatever it is that they want.
[00:51:21] Krati: That would be a beautiful world to live in.