They registered late for Miss Universe Singapore 2017 but are all ready to charm
Pageant's latest contestants share their passion and purpose
As the Miss Universe Singapore 2017 registration draws to a close today, The New Paper gets in touch with those who signed up during the extended deadline period.
Miss Suffianah Baharin's daily routine is to sleep before 10pm and wake up at 6am to squeeze in a workout before work.
The 26-year-old talent acquisition manager was not always maintaining such a healthy lifestyle. She used to party and eat junk food, but the turning point came three years ago when she realised how much they were affecting her well-being.
She said: "At one point, I was getting a bit overweight and often feeling tired and lethargic."
Since then, she has lost about 10kg, and she makes a conscious effort to continue with clean living.
In her free time, she does mostly acrylic on canvas paintings, a hobby she picked up when she was seven, and she enjoys dabbling in nude portraiture.
She said: "I like to draw and paint the human anatomy. I like capturing emotions and different body shapes."
She never thought a beauty pageant would be on the cards for her, but she is ready to give it a shot, saying: "I am at that age where I am more confident about myself and my body, because I have been eating healthier and am in better shape than I ever was."
Miss Debra Loi (above), 24, has lived in many places around the world, including China and Australia.
Having returned to Singapore in March after completing her nursing degree at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, she feels she is home, telling The New Paper: "I wanted to join Miss Universe Singapore not only for myself, but to contribute to my country."
Before she was born, her family was already moving around due to her parents' businesses.
She lived in Beijing for eight years and in Hong Kong for five. She then spent six years each in Singapore and Australia, where she lived alone as her parents were based in China.
Though adapting to new environments and cultures was tough, her experiences allowed her to gain independence, which is part of what beauty means to her.
She said: "I think it would be hard to find someone who has lived a life like mine."
Her purpose? To "be the voice" for the community.
The registered nurse, who is waiting to start work at a government hospital, said: "I enjoy my job, because I get to know people and make an impact on their lives.
LAVANIA PRIYA KATHIRESAN
Besides grabbing the last chance to join Miss Universe Singapore due to her age, Miss Lavania Priya Kathiresan, 28 (above), is also looking forward to representing the strength and versatility of women if she is chosen as a finalist.
The air stewardess said: "Just by having the courage to take part, I feel I am doing my part...
"Women can do anything, as long as they set their minds to it."
She has been riding motorbikes for the past 10 years and got her Class 2 licence last month.
She has always wanted to help those living in poverty, and she has flown solo to India twice to volunteer at various children's homes.
She hopes the pageant will be an opportunity for her to push her cause on a bigger stage.
She said: "I am not extremely beautiful, but I am a person with a lot of compassion, and I feel fulfilled helping others."
Be the next Miss Universe Singapore
Register online for Miss Universe Singapore 2017 at www.missuniversesingapore.com.sg by today. 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