Miss Universe Singapore 2018: Loo May Tia's perseverance paves way to success
In 2013, Miss Loo May Tia wore the colours of the Singapore flag with pride as a rhythmic gymnast.
She had been training as a rhythmic gymnast since the age of nine but twice she failed to get into the national team. Armed with a never-say-die attitude, she eventually got the nod and clinched gold medals at international tournaments such as the Zhong Ling Cup in Shenzhen and the International Gymnastics Friendship Competition in Kuala Lumpur.
She may be the youngest MUS finalist this year, but her mother, Madam Angela Lee - the first runner-up in Miss Universe Singapore 1994 - has given her the guidance and encouragement that every aspiring beauty queen needs.
The 18-year-old student at Roedean School in Brighton, England, is a go-getter who believes that determination and resilience are key to success.
What cause do you want to champion in MUS 2018?
As a child who struggled with dyslexia, I would like to encourage women and especially young people with learning difficulties that through hard work and determination, anything is possible.
Who are your personal icons of beautiful and empowered women?
I truly admire Bethany Hamilton's strength, determination and courage to continue pursuing her dream of becoming a professional surfer (despite surviving a shark attack that caused her left arm to be bitten off). She did not stop there and went on to start her own Beautifully Flawed campaign to encourage women and girls to embrace their inner beauty despite their physical differences.
Do you have any special talent?
I bake a mean banana bread. To me, making sure your food tastes good is really important if you are trying to make healthy meals or snacks. Having one or two days in a week for a little indulgence is equally important too because you will not want to deprive yourself. It is all about consuming good nutrition and knowing what you put into your body.
What is the biggest disappointment in your life and how did you overcome it?
Probably when I was not successful in joining the Singapore national team for rhythmic gymnastics on my first attempt. However, I believe that every trial is there for a reason - to make you stronger. And true enough, by not giving up and working hard, I managed to successfully join the team in 2013 on my third try.
What is the proudest achievement in your life and what did it teach you?
When I represented my country internationally in rhythmic gymnastics after repeated attempts. The experience taught me to never give up, especially when experiencing hardship, as your hard work will eventually come to fruition, and you will gain lifelong friends and everlasting memories in the process.
As a child who struggled with dyslexia, I would like to encourage women and especially young people with learning difficulties that through hard work and determination, anything is possible
WATCH THE FINALE
The Miss Universe Singapore 2018 finale will be held on Aug 31 at One Farrer Hotel. It is a ticketed event, and tickets can be purchased at tnp.sg/mus2018tickets. Individual tickets are from $250, and a table of 10 from $2,000.
Creative Director: Yeoh Wee Teck
Photographers: Jonathan Choo (close-up),
Desmond Wee (swimsuit and gown), Song Tao & Ariffin Jamar (behind the scenes)
Stylist: ZH Tan
Make-up: Cosmoprof Academy
Hair: Apgujeong Hair Studio
Swimwear: K.Blu (Mandarin Gallery, #02-14, Tel: 6696-6961)
Location: Genting Dream
Evening wear: Vera Lee Bridal (Delfi Orchard, #03-10, Tel: 9150-6790)
Accessories: Denni Jewellery
Reporter: Tatiana Mohamad Rosli
Designer: Marlone Rubio
Project Managers: Sheralynn Shen Jega,Pauline Leong