Miss Universe Singapore 2017: Estelle Heng
Despite having no experience when it comes to modelling or beauty pageants, Estelle Heng, 19, joined Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2017 for a purpose bigger than herself.
The gerontological management studies student from Temasek Polytechnic feels strongly about supporting the ageing population here and realised she "couldn't make as huge an impact as a student" for her cause.
She told The New Paper: "I wish to change people's perceptions towards older adults by creating opportunities for them to be active in their golden years.
"I hope to use (MUS) as a platform to work together with others to change mindsets and create a more age-friendly Singapore."
Estelle added: "I also hope to spread and promote my cause to the masses and prove to myself that I can do something out of my comfort zone."
Having taken up taekwondo at her neighbourhood community centre when she was 11, she holds a black belt in the sport and volunteers by coaching children once a week.
Her future plans include furthering her studies in gerontology and going overseas to learn about older adults' way of life in other cultures.
This year's theme is "Vie for a Beautiful Cause". What does charity mean to you?
It is about a passionate group of like-minded people who want to help a certain section of society have a better quality of life.
I would like to support the Tsao Foundation as I believe in its mission to enable older adults to have a positive ageing experience.
Which influential person would you like to meet?
(American model and entrepreneur) Karlie Kloss. Through her coding programmes for young women, she empowers them to (discover) their true potential.
She inspires me because this is her own start-up in line with her mission to (also) make an impact on the (computer science and software engineering) industry.
Likewise, I also aspire to have my own initiative but for the older adults in our society, to help them find their true potential and promote their skills and abilities.
What is your greatest strength?
My curiosity. I want to explore as much as I can... and I always try to do something different. For instance, I went to China for a community development project and worked with a Cantonese opera troupe to develop sustainable community plans.
During another semester, I took up Italian to learn more about its unique culture and language. I also had the chance to team up with an older adult and be creative in (making a film about) the strained relationships between older adults and their children in an era of advancing technology.
Tell us about the time you overcame a fear.
I used to fear being in the spotlight. It wasn't until prom night in secondary school when I had to perform a taekwondo aerobic dance for the cohort that I finally broke out of my comfort zone.
It was scary but I felt ready after much preparation and the support of my friends and family.
That experience changed me because I realised my fears would only drag me down and never allow me to share my happiness with others.
What is the greatest challenge facing women today?
Ageing gracefully. The amount of stress and responsibilities given to women can be tough, especially when it comes to caregiving. I believe that more support can be given to alleviate their caregiving burden and support them through these years.
In the future, I hope to impact this section of society and enable women to care for their loved ones in a more supportive environment.
WATCH THE FINALE
The Miss Universe Singapore 2017 finale will be held on Oct 11 at Resorts World Sentosa Convention Centre, West Ballroom.
Expect a sumptuous five-course dinner with scintillating entertainment and wines.
Individual tickets are from $400, and a table of 10 is from $3,888.
Creative director: Yeoh Wee Teck
Stylist: ZH Tan
Hair: Apgujeong Hair Studio
Make-up: Cosmoprof Academy
Manicure & pedicure: Beaute Nails
Studio shoot Photographer: Benjamin Seetor
Resorts World Sentosa shoot Photographer: Phyllicia Wang
Location: Adventure Cove Waterpark
Swimwear: K.Blu Swim
Singapore Turf Club shoot Photographer: Ng Sok Eng, BerryHappy Photography
Dresses: Style Lease
Writer: Charmaine Soh
Videography: Dalene Low, Sim Jia Yi
Additional photography: Dalene Low
Project manager: Sheralynn Shen Jega, Khoo Yap Meng