Giving their all for Miss Universe Singapore 2017
Registration closes next Monday but the search for Miss Universe Singapore 2017 is still going strong. CHARMAINE SOH profiles the hopefuls who were among the first to apply
CARA NICOLE NEO
Miss Cara Nicole Neo is living the childhood dream as a professional mermaid.
She not only founded Singapore's first mermaid school, her underwater alter-ego Syrena has performed at numerous events and parties.
The 25-year-old even holds courses for children and adults to learn how to be mermaids.
Now, she is hoping to make a splash at Miss Universe Singapore (MUS), the slogan for which is "Confidently Beautiful".
Miss Neo told The New Paper: "The message of the competition really resonates with me and what I am already doing, as it is about becoming strong Singaporean women and building a strong sisterhood."
The National Junior College alumna has always been into mermaids, but discovered mermaiding - wearing and swimming in a costume mermaid tail - only at the age of 21, while she was studying English literature at the National University of Singapore.
On why she decided to start a mermaid school, she said: "I saw other people who loved mermaids too and I thought it would be amazing if we could share the dream of being empowered and beautiful with other girls...
"I think I will stand out in this competition because I am passionate about seeing the figure of the strong Singaporean woman being represented."
SHARMEN DIANA FRUGTNIET
Another potential contestant is Miss Sharmen Diana Frugtniet, 20, who is waiting to study early childhood care and education at KLC International Institute.
The former ITE College Central student and freelance model is no stranger to modelling competitions.
Since 2015, she has joined The New Paper New Face three years in a row, but has not managed to crack the Top 20.
The rejections spurred her on to give MUS a shot.
She told TNP: "I believe failure is the road to success and if I fail, I'm just motivated to achieve it more."
Miss Frugtniet added: "I want to (break) the stereotype that models can't do pageants.
"Since models should be versatile in looks or modelling itself, why can't I be versatile in (this kind of) competition by also being able to showcase my talents and do charity work?"
Miss Audrey Chen, a 26-year-old public relations and marketing manager, picked up mermaiding last year.
She participated in Miss Mermaid Singapore and won, going on to represent Singapore at the international Miss Mermaid competition in Egypt. There, Miss Chen had to don a tail and swim 100m underwater in the Red Sea.
An only child, the former Raffles Institution student had battled anorexia for four years.
She hopes that sharing her past can help others and told TNP: "There were so many expectations and I felt stressed, so I focused a lot on my body image.
"But through MUS, I want to reach out to the masses on social media to encourage women to have a positive body image. All that matters is living a happy life."
Be the next Miss Universe Singapore
Register online for Miss Universe Singapore 2017 at www.missuniversesingapore.com.sg by July 10. The event is organised by The New Paper and Miss Universe Singapore Organisation B.V.
- $10,000 cash, $45,000 worth of prizes, and a feature in Her World magazine
- $5,000 cash and more than $20,000 worth of prizes
- $3,000 cash and more than $10,000 worth of prizes
CSR partner: Singapore Turf Club
Official beauty partner: Beaute Hub
Official car: BMW
Official skincare: Skinceuticals
Official skin expert: The Urban Clinic
Venue sponsor: Resorts World Sentosa
Official make-up: Cosmoprof Academy. And thanks to Apgujeong Hair Studio, B-Fit and Orchard Scotts Dental
Official radio station: ONE FM 91.3