Miss Universe Singapore - Vanessa Tay
When Vanessa decided to major in theatre (English drama) at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, some people disapproved and tried to dissuade her.
But she hopes to break the negative stereotype of majoring in the arts.
She said: "Nasty words were said to me just because I am an arts student, but I know I always wanted to be an actress. I didn't want to regret it so when the chance came, I mustered up all my courage and took it up."
Vanessa is also a part-time artist at Hong Kong broadcasting company and television station TVB, after she was scouted at its annual Miss Chinese International Pageant this year.
She was representing Singapore after winning the title of Miss Singapore Chinatown 2015.
Vanessa has flown to Hong Kong to host Chef Minor, a cooking competition for Singapore and Hong Kong children aged eight to 13.
What is one cause you would champion if you become Miss Universe Singapore 2016?
My lifelong mission and dream is to raise awareness of the struggles of those living with mental illnesses and disorders, specifically those suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I have a close childhood friend who suffers from it, but due to the lack of understanding of the illness, people around him mistook his symptoms for that of a wilful child.
What is one food you cannot resist?
Plain rice, because it gives me comfort. Just its aroma makes me feel like I am at home even when I am overseas.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
Being a TVB artist. I am proud to be part of their family at the tender age of 19.
Who is your favourite actress?
Audrey Hepburn. She is beautiful in and out and gave back to the world wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return.
What is the biggest challenge women face today?
They do not know how to love themselves. Many have low self-esteem and lack confidence. Some become demoralised when others criticise them.
Watch the video and more at facebook.com/thenewpaper
Miss Universe Singapore 2016 will be crowned on Oct 16 at Grand Copthorne Waterfront. To buy a pair of tickets to the 7pm dinner and finale with performances, visit https://eventreg.asiaone.com/register/mus2016finale.
Creative director: Yeoh Wee Teck
Photographer: Jonathan Choo, using the Canon 1D-X
Writer: Constance Goh Page design: Ho Yan Hao, Kelvin Chan
Make-up: Cosmoprof Academy Hair: Monsoon Group
Stylist: ZH Tan
Cover: Bikini by Silvian Imberg (www.silvianimberg.com)
Centrespread: Dress can be rented from Covetella (www.covetella.com)
All pages: Jewellery by Paqarina Jewellery (www.paqarinajewellery.com)