While you might imagine preparing for the world’s most glamorous beauty contest, would involve trips to the hair salon and fake tanning, Miss World contestants are preparing in rather more wholesome ways.
The final of the 2019 competition, which is the largest annual international gathering of countries in the world, is set to take place at the ExCel in London today.
111 entrants from across the globe will compete for the coveted title, and several have spoken exclusively to FEMAIL to reveal how they’ve been preparing for the big moment.
From Miss Brazil focusing on prayer and her faith in God, to Miss Vietnam giving her spare change to an orphanage, it seems that prayer and meditation takes precedence over pampering.
Here FEMAIL reveals contestants’ very wholesome preparations, including Miss Uganga’s gratitude journaling, and Miss Hong Kong’s yoga.
Oliver Nakakande, 25, a student from Wakiso District, has been preparing for her big moment by writing a journal before bed
MISS UGANDA: Gratitude journaling
Oliver Nakakande, 25, is a student from Wakiso District
‘I wake up every morning, pray and meditate, and drink a glass of water,’ Oliver explained. ‘Then between 6am – 7am I workout at home and groom myself because I love to look good.’
‘Between 7am – 9am I go over my to-do list. I make a purpose-driven action list where the key areas involve; my personal growth, health, responding to public inquiries, how to connect with people, and following up on my connections and prosperity.’
On Mondays to Wednesdays between 9am – 4pm, the student focuses her energy on the ‘Keep a Girl Child in School’ campaign, where she helps to mentor, give career guidance, grooming hygiene, etiquette, personal branding, and financial literacy.
‘On Thursdays I make appointments to visit policymakers and share with them the issues affecting the girl child and find ways on how to help,’ she continued. ‘And Fridays and Saturdays, together with my Miss Uganda sisters, we usually visit rural areas where we take part in hygiene sensitisation.’
She added: ‘We’re involved in cleaning markets, hospitals, schools, among other places.’
‘We hold one-on-one sessions with the girls in these communities where we get to learn about the challenges they go through, and even follow up on recent activities like progress in making reusable sanitary towels, and weaving, among other things.
She went on: ‘On Sundays I work on my spiritual growth and plan for my week ahead. Occasionally, I’m invited to officiate events as Miss Uganda, and I love to socialise.
‘Then before bed I write in my journal. I read about my industry, study fashion trends, and make notes in my gratitude book.’
MISS VIETNAM: CHARITY DONATIONS
Luong Thuy Linh, 19, a student from Cao Bang Province Country
Miss Vietnam says that before entering Miss World, her days would usually start with waking up at 6am and then heading to university.
‘I love reading books at night before bed,’ Luong explained. ‘Life is good and I am trying each day to make it better than the previous day.’
Luong adds that knowing she is helping others is hugely empowering and makes her feel happier and more fulfilled.
‘My parents always teach me to be kind and helpful since I was a kid,’ said Luong. speaking of why she decided to enter Miss World.
‘I started my helping journey years ago, by saving my small change and sending it to an orphanage in my hometown.’
‘When I started university it turned into something bigger as I joined a NGO, started volunteering and was involved in solving some environmental and social problems.
‘And I had a chance to know about Miss World Organisation, whose projects can save people in not only in one country but also all around the world.
‘Miss World is an incredible platform for me to reach out and have an impact on more people and to help change more lives.’
Luong Thuy Linh, 19, is Miss Vietnam, and the student says she started her journey years ago by donating her small change to an orphanage
MISS BRAZIL: GOES TO CHURCH
Elís Miele, 20, is a model, digital influencer and volunteer from Ipatinga
Miss Brazil says since she was crowned in September, her life has been dedicated to her reign and preparation for Miss World.
‘I had the opportunity to spread my Beauty With a Purpose project around Brazil and I used the visibility of the title to help women facing breast cancer,’ she explained.
‘Also, I used to work as a model, help my parents at home, and something that I love to do is to go to the church!’
As for her biggest motivation in life, Elís says it’s her faith in God.
‘With faith you can see the invisible, believe in the incredible and do the impossible,’ she added. ‘That’s how I can make my dreams come true, because I have faith!’
Elis also says she has been helping with social projects since she was 13, and adds every moment since she became a volunteer has made her a better person.
‘Now, in Brazil, we are working on campaigns to promote the breast cancer prevention,’ she said.
‘The public health system in Brazil needs more attention, and we work with the awareness about this disease.’
Miss Brazil Elís Miele (pictured), 20, who is a model, digital influencer and volunteer from Ipatinga, has been attending church and says her biggest motivation is God
MISS HONG KONG CHINA: YOGA
Lila Lam, 27, a yoga instructor and model, from Hong Kong
As well as being a yoga instructor and full-time model, Lila volunteers with Food Angel for several hours per week, where she helps to prepare meal boxes and delivering to the needy.
‘I have a fear of not evolving so I strive to see a better me everyday,’ she said, speaking about what motivates her.
‘Also, encouraging my students to believe in themselves and seeing their transformations in my yoga class is my biggest enjoyment.’
Expanding on her work with the food rescue and food assistance programme, the yoga instructor continued: ‘In Hong Kong, we nearly have 3600 tonnes of food being wasted everyday while 1.5 million of people are living with not enough food for daily life.
‘I believe that food access and diet quality are directly linked with quality of life.’
‘Also, balanced diets have positive impacts on physical and mental health as well. I hope my project can help to arouse the awareness of the social issues that the people of Hong Kong are facing.
Miss HonG Kong is 27-year-old model Lila Lam, who has been preparing for the contest by doing yoga
MISS NEW ZEALAND: DOUBLE DEGREE
Lucy Brock, 24, a Senior Creative Strategist for a Marketing agency from Auckland
Miss New Zealand continues to work as a Senior Creative Strategist, working with clients to build marketing strategies and campaigns.
‘My working day is always very varied, often a combination of meetings with clients, strategy work and creative direction for shoots,’ explained Lucy.
‘I live with my family in Auckland and love spending time with them. I am also passionate about health and fitness and prior to coming to Miss World, I was training for the Auckland Half Marathon.’
Speaking of what motivates her career, the businesswoman added: ‘I have always had the desire to see what is possible in life.’
‘I’m a believer in creating my own opportunities and taking on challenges in life to help me grow and develop as a person.’
She continued: ‘My career is extremely important to me and I have always had a strong vision for what I hope to achieve. I was so eager to get into the workforce that I managed to complete my five-year double degree in three years to give me a head start in my career.’
Lucy Brock, 24, a Senior Creative Strategist for a Marketing agency from Auckland, told how the preparation to come to Miss World is likening it to one of the best personal development programmes one could do
MISS PORTUGAL: LEGAL STUDIES
Inês Brusselmans, 24, a law student from Lisbon
Even before entering Miss World, Inês says she had a very active lifestyle.
‘In my last year of law having a internship in a law firm and managing my spare time has always been a challenge as I tried to balance my Muay Thai training, dance lessons, volunteer work and the duties of Miss Portugal,’ she said.
‘And I also need to have time to my family and friends too.’
She went on to explain that while it sounds like a cliche, she chose to be a lawyer to help people.
‘I felt that being a lawyer would give me the necessary background and degree to reach out to people who needed help,’ she said.
‘I also love to reading, writing, investigate, and learning about how an argument could be made in both sides of any case.’
‘We have the unique ability to affect and change society and this is what motivates me to continue.’
Law student Inês Brusselmans, 24, from Lisbon, explained how she loves to read, write and to learn about how an argument could be made in both sides of any case
Miss World 2019 will be held this Saturday 14 December at the ExCeL London. Watch it live, 2pm – 5pm on London Live. For more information: www.missworld.com