Winnie Mei Miss Petite Maja Mundial 2018
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Winnie Mei Miss Petite Maja Mundial 2018.
Full name: Winnie Mei
Title/Year: Miss Petite Maja Mundial 2018
Pageant System: Producciones Jamicabe
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Hobbies: Cooking, baking, swimming
Platform: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Years competed: 2
Countries visited: Canada, United States, & Dominican Republic
Likes: Nature, Turtles, Cultural Festivals
Dislikes: Balloons (They pop very loudly!)
World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Winnie Mei, and I am 20 years old. I was born in Toronto, Ontario and still reside here today. Outside of pageantry, I am a student at University of Toronto, pursuing a double major in human biology and psychology. After I complete my undergraduate degree, I plan to continue my education for a post-graduate degree in nuclear medicine. One of my largest influences for my career decision is my mother, who was diagnosed with cancer when I was a young child. I can still remember the shock and devastation of my entire family when we all found out. We cherished each moment, not wanting to prepare for the worst. Thankfully, my mother is the strongest woman I know, and she overcame the disease. I was so thankful for the medical team that helped her recovery, and I knew from that point on, I wanted to join the medical field and help other families affected by cancer to help make families whole again.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does women Empowerment means to you?
Women empowerment sits close to my heart because it is such an crucial topic, yet sadly, many people do not understand the importance, or simply refuses to acknowledge the lack of. And by people, I do mean both men and women. It’s not uncommon for women to suppress other women’s rights and ambitions. It’s about empowering each other as well, because if we women can’t rise together, how can we expect the world to do the same for us? That being said, both genders are meant work together in synergy, to solve problems effectively, and creating more possibilities for our current and future generations. The benefits of empowering women are not limited to only one demographic, but it is crucial for the overall development of our nations, and the world. Empowering women economically helps build a path towards sustainable development, promotes employment, and boosts economies via increased GDP. In countries, such as India, women are the prime targets for honour killings. Women have been bereft of basic rights for proper education and human rights. By elevating the status of women to be equal with men, crime rates are guaranteed to decrease because women will understand their legal rights. Simply put, a bird can not fly with one wing.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your pageant history.
I joined my first pageant back in 2017. I competed for Miss Canada Globe, and during regionals, I won the title of Miss Petite Toronto 2017, representing the city I grew up in for the national competition. During nationals, I was awarded with the Miss Ambassador award, allowing me to fast track to the top 10, where I finished as 2nd runner up for Miss Canada Petite. Although I did not win, due to my success in nationals, I was chosen to represent Canada in the Dominican Republic for an international pageant. I trained for over a year in Toronto, and when I finally competed, I won. I brought back the international crown to Canada with the title of Miss Petite Maja Mundial 2018. I will be returning to Santo Domingo to crown my successor in three weeks.
World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to do your first pageant?
I was inspired to compete in my first pageant because throughout my childhood, I was a victim of bullying. I acted differently than other children my age. I loved reading, I loved watching documentaries. The way I articulated my thoughts and feelings were different. I grew self-conscious about how others saw me. I always thrived to be accepted by following the newest beauty and pop culture trends, yet I was still sad and alone. I slowly found my group of friends who gave my unconditional love and support. Throughout high school, I slowly built my confidence up, and became an outgoing, “ray of sunshine” as some would describe me. I wanted to show the world that I got back up, and I wasn’t letting anyone’s negative opinions keep me down. I wanted to show the world that you can be unique and different, and still love yourself.
World Class Beauty Queens: Why did you choose to compete for your current title?
I chose to compete for my current title because I wanted to push myself, to see what I am capable of achieving. Joining a pageant at the age of 18, I certainly stepping out of my comfort zone. When I won my two titles during regionals and nationals, I was shocked, pleasantly so. I never expected to do so well, and when I was asked to compete internationally, I said yes instantly! It was such an honour to represent the my home country, I am so proud to be Canadian.
World Class Beauty Queens: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about?
Miss Canada Globe is a national pageant that takes place annually in Toronto. There are four categories: Teen, Teen Petite, Miss Petite, and Miss. The petite categories are for contestants under 5’5. By having no size or height restrictions, Miss Canada Globe is a very body positive pageant system.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are you being judged on during the competition?
During the regional assessment, girls are scored on their hair and makeup skills, bikini walk, and gown walk. For nationals, girls are scored on interview, platform speech, talent, national costume, bikini walk, gown walk! The top 5 contestants on finals night will answer one more question and answer on stage, which determines the winners and runner ups!
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your experience during the competition.
Competing internationally was definitely nerve-wracking, especially so for me because up until the competition, I have never taken an airplane to travel before. I’ve also never traveled outside of Canada and the United States, so I was very excited to explore the different cultures and way of living down in Dominican. Although there was a language barrier between myself and those of the community and other delegates, I had an amazing time. Despite not being able to communicate with the other delegates without the aid of a translator, everyone was still very inclusive and kind to me. Everyone was always smiling, beaming with positive energy. The views were gorgeous, but the personalities of the locals and delegates definitely enhanced the experience.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for.
My platform for my national pageant was the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. I chose this organization as my platform because it is such a growing issue in our youth today, yet the amount of resources are very scarce. High schools are not fit with recourses and counselling to help this new student crisis. I have seen so many friends being negatively affected, and as a result, having their academic careers affected. Not only are my peers affected, but I was also affected by the negative mental health stigma and lack of resources. In my most crucial , final year of high school, I was forced to transfer to a high school that was more capable with assisting students. The average high school does not provide proper training to staff or have enough knowledge on resources for students. Additionally, Toronto only has one emergency mental health facility, which cannot accommodate the demand. By having this organization as my platform, I hope to encourage others to talk about the elephant in the room instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist. The statistics are in, and this is a growing problem that demands to be addressed.
World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances have you done with your title?
With my titles, I have done various appearances that are quite different from one another. From being a fashion show co-director, to event set up, and lots of charity events, I have definitely done many fun appearances. I personally love attending fashion shows because I love the creative fashion industry. Seeing many diverse designers showcase pieces that they have poured hearts into, to see every single detail on the runway is mind blowing. You can always see their well thought through, conceptual ideas.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements?
In Miss Canada Globe 2017, I won the special award “Miss Ambassador”, which was given to the girl with the most sales for ad placement in the pageant magazines. The award allowed me to secure a spot in the Top 10 for finals. During nationals, I was also nominated for karaoke queen, a fun little mini competition we had with all the girls!
For my international pageant, I made Top 5 for the most elegant walk and gown.
World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls?
All the girls whom I’ve competed with are all hardworking, beautiful ladies, but what sets me apart from them is my happy-go-lucky vibes. I am always smiling, laughing, and always very positive in stressful situations. The top compliment Ive gotten from audience members is how genuine and big my smile was. It was an easy way for everyone to remember me by!
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner.
When my name was called, I honestly felt confused and shocked. I wasn’t shocked because I ended up winning, but it was due to the fact that the emcee was hosting the event in Spanish, and being Canadian, I only knew English and French. I didn’t know what was happening, and I saw my national director motion for me to walk forward. The next thing I knew, I was being crowned! In that moment, I was so full of happiness, and relief. I knew that the months of training that led up to this moment had paid off! I was over the moon!
World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen?
For me, a beauty queen isn’t someone who just walks around, looking pretty with a crown on her head (although it is a nice perk!). I believe a beauty queen must have a winning attitude (that doesn’t mean dialing up on the sass), confidence, and a unique personality. Staying positive, kind hearted, and compassionate are all part of a winning attitude. Is the attitude still there backstage? Speaking to parents? Or even in a stressful environment? Your attitude should shine through consistently, not only on stage.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants helped your life?
Competing in pageants provided many other women and myself with many skills that are applicable to their future. One skill that you must have in pageantry is your charisma and public speaking. Learning how to speak in front of others isn't only useful for public speeches in front of large crowds, but it's also useful for other situations in life. Class presentations, presenting an idea at work, or even asking a question in your lecture hall becomes much easier! Pageantry also teaches you interview skills. You can expect to ace your job interview since you'd be used to preparing to answer questions in front of a large audience.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants helped your selfesteem and body image?
There is a big difference between everyday life and competing in a pageant. Everyday, you can just smile and fake your confidence, but to be successful in pageants, you need to truly believe yourself. You can't just fake it on stage, the judges see right through it! When competing for the crown, you must believe in yourself before strangers will believe in you. Self-acceptance is a vital pageant criteria! Pageantry has taught me that if I want to do my best, I must truly believe that I can do it, and it'll come true. As Miss Teen Ohio 2015 has said, " society teaches women that they have to be perfect and never make a mistake, pageantry teaches that you gained something just from competing even if you don’t win the crown.It teaches that the opportunity just wasn’t meant for you, and that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. By being involved in pageantry, I truly learnt to accept myself for who I am and how I physically look.
World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel?
If I had to be completely honest, it's both inspiring yet terrifying. To be a role model in the eyes of the current generations, such a large audience, it not only is eye opening to them, but it is to the titleholder as well. You reflect on how you can become the best version of yourself, and how you can influence them to do the same, set goals, help the community, or even raise awareness for your platform. By doing so, you consciously improve yourself for the benefit of you and all those watching you. Of course, it is definitely scary, especially when dealing with younger generations. They are at an age where developing confidence and self esteem are in the works, and you need to be conscious about helping them enhance that development, and help them overcome insecurities. Always keep it real, no one is perfect, and that's okay!
World Class Beauty Queens: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over?
My on stage strategy to win the judges over is to always be unique, to do something different than the other girls. One way I make my walk stand out is by adding in extra steps, turns, and poses. However, practice what you are planning to do onstage beforehand! Make sure your entire choreography is fluid and all the moves go together, it is much more eye-catching than just walking onstage, posing, and walking back. As always, don’t forget to smile and make eye contact
World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition?
Aside from the workouts and watching my diet, I prepared for my competition by working with a pageant coach! We worked together twice a week, in three hour sessions, for over an entire year. During those sessions, I spent about 90% of the time practicing my different walks in a studio. I walked back and forth in front of a mirror, practicing my turns, watching my every movement when I walked. I picked out every flaw in my walk and went over them again and again until it was muscle memory. The other 10% of the time, I practiced for the question and answer portion of the competition, how to use my voice, different tones and movements to emphasis what I was saying. If you want to win a pageant, you definitely have to put in the effort to train and improve your skills.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk?
Break the walk down into different parts! Learning how to perfect your pageant walk can be overwhelming, especially to beginners, since there are so many technical aspects. I find that girls learn the best when you focus on one aspect at a time; arms, legs, then posture. Once you perfect one aspect, add in the next one, and then the next! You'll be able to polish your walk in no time!
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress?
I believe that the most important characteristics for a winning pageant gown must be how flattering the dress is on you, and how unique it is. Every contestant and models body are different; know your body type and look for styles that compliment your features. However, don’t forget to do research on the pageant system that you are entering, as each system has different standards (for example, certain teen pageants do not prefer sexy, tight fitting gowns due to their age). I will always recommend to work with a designer to make custom pieces. Each gown will be fitted to your exact measurement and body shape! Not only will the dress be a perfect fit, but you will be working with a professional to decide on colours, length, and other details that will allow you to stand out! All of my international day outfits and gowns were created by my personal designer.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview?
This past summer, I was invited back to Miss Canada Globe to be part of their judge panel. Sitting at the judges panel gave me a new perspective on how to nail your interview. Two of the most important things to keep in mind while in your interview: making sure your answer is not redundant, and remembering that all judges will not have the same views as each other. Many girls tend to start answering their questions without an answer in mind, which often times lead to repeating what was already said and filler words (um, uh). One way to avoid this is go to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and reflect for a second.
Judges on the panel are very unlikely to have the same views as each other, and this must be kept in mind to avoid any bias or offend anyone. It is always same to assume that there will always be conservatives and liberals viewpoints present, so always make sure to touch on both sides of the topic. And as always, remember to be true to your own personality because judges can always tell when you’re not 100% honest.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it?
If I could go back in time and fix one mistake from my national competition, it would definitely be my bikini walk. Prior to my regional and national pageant, I had absolutely no training. In my mind, I always thought that a strong bikini walk needed super fast, long strides, and lots of bounce in my step. Watching back on the recordings, I barely spent any time on stage for the judges to really look and remember me, and the bouncing in my steps made it look like I was more so limping or hopping around. I know for sure that my bikini walk was definitely where I lost some points.
World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest?
One mistake I see other girls making is not creating a strategy plan and budget. It is very important to know what is required in your pageant system and how you’re being scored, before you even plan out what to work on and where your money is going. Although it seems like a given, many girls have completely skipped assessments due to not being prepared. In my national pageant, one girl didn’t know that there was a national costume portion and didn’t have a costume! Additionally, budgeting is crucial because many girls overspend on items that aren’t crucial for their success. Make a budget for each category (talent, finals, opening) to ensure you will have enough resources to spend on each area.
World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience?
After the Miss Canada Globe 2017 pageant, I was signed on to model for Mahistrado Fashions. Through this agency, I have had the wonderful experience of walking many fashion shows throughout the year. Outside of the agency, I have worked with many local photographers, partaking in mostly glamour photoshoots. I was a confirmed international model for New York Couture Fashion Show and World Petite Fashion Show in February 2019. I love the adrenaline from being on the runway.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2019 as a Queen?
Although my reign is coming to an end this November, I am still planning to advocate for mental health in my community. By volunteering for the numerous events in the city, I plan on shining attention o the rising crisis in our city. I am working on planning my own fashion show, where all the proceeds will be used to help provide more mental health resources and counselling for youth who are in need. I knew how hopeless everything felt with the lack of support and resources, even in your own school. No one should ever have to feel that way.
World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
The legacy that I want to leave behind is one that reminds girls to stay humble, and to remember where your roots came from. I am very thankful for the supportive and amazing city I live in. I want to give back to the community by helping make a positive difference in the community, whether through volunteer work or educating those around me. By focusing on charity events more than profit-events, I hope to influence youth to help make the world a better place.
International Director: Jasol Cabral
National Director: Mias Santa Ana Pilar
Your Local Director: Mias Santa Ana Pilar
Pageant website: misscanada.tv World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.
Winnie Mei Miss Petite Maja Mundial 2018, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photographer: Carlos Charris Makeup and Hair: Mitzi Carbajal Designer: Kimberly Grey Ortiz
Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org
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