Miss Universe Singapore 2017: Nadiah Sapuan
As a teen who hung out a lot with male schoolmates, played football and ran around getting dirty in school fields, Nadiah Sapuan was treated as an outcast in some quarters.
Initially, she worked hard to try and fit in, but in the end, the rough-and-tumble tomboy just accepted who she was.
The 24-year-old flight attendant told The New Paper: "I tried to change but it didn't work out. I ended up cutting my hair short and embraced my differences instead.
"Not bothering about what people said of me made it easier to accept that it is okay to be different."
Through the Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) pageant, Nadiah wants to promote gender equality.
She said: "Anyone can do anything they want or be anyone they want, so long as they stay true to themselves."
Her hobbies include riding motorbikes: She has two - a KTM EXC 200 dirt bike and a Honda PGM 3 sport bike. She often heads to Johor Baru with friends to dirtbike.
The animal lover also hopes to volunteer at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the World Wildlife Fund.
What cause do you want to fight for in Miss Universe Singapore 2017?
I believe in gender equality.
Everyone is special and unique in their own way.
Being different can be scary at times but you must stay true to yourself.
This year's theme is "Vie for a Beautiful Cause". What does charity mean to you?
It means being able to give and help. A small act of kindness has a ripple effect and can go a long way.
I have always supported animal shelters, as I've loved animals since I was a child.
Unlike humans, animals can't verbally express pain or unhappiness.
Abandoned pets are often abused and forgotten so it would be an honour (for me) to be their voice and create awareness.
Which influential person alive today would you like to meet?
(American singer) Pink. I have always admired how bold and courageous she is.
Through her songs, she encourages young women to be different and not to become a victim of society.
What is your greatest strength?
I believe in gender equality. Everyone is special and unique in their own way. Being different can be scary at times but you must stay true to yourself.Nadiah Sapuan Flight attendant, 24
My never-say-die attitude. I push myself to my limits and try new things, as I believe that being bold and breaking your boundaries will define who you are.
Tell us about the time you overcame a fear.
In my teens, I felt like I didn't fit in. I constantly feared rejection, and I wanted to be accepted. But it was tiring to be who you are not, so I decided to overcome the fear and be true to myself instead.
What is the greatest challenge facing women today?
The constant fight for acceptance.
I feel that women still fear doing certain things as they fear being judged. We are always under pressure to behave and act a certain way just because of our sex.
What is your special talent?
The ability to sleep for an entire day and still be tired the next day.
Kidding aside, I would say it is the ability to use negativity as a motivation because it pushes me,
at times, beyond my boundaries.
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.
To buy tickets, visit tnp.sg/mustickets
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
Sheralynn Shen Jega
Khoo Yap Meng