Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Miss T&T/Universe: I want to bring home the crown
NASSER KHAN interviews the new Miss T&T/Universe Catherine Miller.
Q: When you win the Miss Universe title, what do you think would be your first reaction and your second, and what would you want to achieve with your newly acquired “powers” during your reign and beyond?
A: I think the first thing I would do upon winning would be to thank everyone who helped me achieve this success; starting with God, my family and friends, my team and sponsors. The second thing I would do would be to call my family in Trinidad who couldn’t make it to the show to share the good news. With my newly acquired “influence” I would hope to use this as a platform to bring awareness and support to many charities particularly HIV/Aids, as well as be a role model for the youth and an ambassador for my country.
What is the importance of beauty pageants in today’s world?
Beauty pageants in today’s world bring awareness and support to many charitable causes and focus public attention on key issues facing women today, from education to compensation. They promote healthy lifestyles and encourage women to become more engaged with their communities. You learn many communication skills, as well as training to be poised and confident young ladies.
A previous Miss Universe was asked the question, “what is the essence of being a woman?” How would you answer that question if asked at the pageant?
For me the essence of being a woman would be our compassion, our loving nature and ability to give and nurture life.
What makes you special and unique?
I value myself on being an optimistic person; I always try to find the positive in situations.
If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for?
I would wish for equality in the world.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I have always been intrigued by the Greek islands. Their history and culture but mainly the natural beauty.
What are your hopes and dreams of the future, where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
I plan to continue my work with charities; as well as give back to the pageant industry after all of the wonderful opportunities with which I have been blessed. I also hope to have a career in the advertising industry while balancing the demands of family life.
Who has/have been the biggest influences in your life?
My parents have definitely been the biggest influence in my life. They have raised me with certain values. They have encouraged me and guided me, corrected me and protected me. I know that I can depend on them for advice and support in whatever I do. They have always been a huge part of my life. Without them I am certain I would not be who I am today.
What is an important lesson you’ve recently learned?
Comedian Tim Minchin gave advice in a commencement speech that I thought highly of. He said to “be pro stuff, not anti stuff.”
What is your favourite Trini meal/dish/drink?
Pelau and coleslaw with a Big Red has to be my favourite local dish.
If you had to interview someone from Trinidad and Tobago and had to ask just one question, who would it be and what would be the question?
Due to my current position, I would ask Wendy Fitzwilliam, a former Miss Universe, what advice she has for me going through this process.
Of all your accolades, prizes and awards which do you rate as extremely special?
For me, both graduating with my Bachelor of Fine Art and becoming Miss Trinidad and Tobago have been very special.
What is your favourite interest?
Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
I was born in San Fernando, lived there for ten years and have since lived in the West.
At which schools/institutions did you receive your education?
I attended Cedar Grove Primary in South, then Dunross in the West for two years. Then it was on to Providence and later Maple Leaf International School, and then to the Savannah College of Art and Design where I graduated with cum laude honours and a bachelor of fine arts degree.
Who was your hero growing up (fictional or real or both) and why?
Growing up my dad was my hero, I always wanted to be just like him. His favourite colour was blue, so my favourite colour was obviously blue. He always made me feel safe. I admired him and always valued his opinions and still do to date.
In three words, your recipe for success?
Passion, determination and hard work.
When and how did you get into modelling?
At 15, a photographer suggested I meet Meiling, who then asked me to be in her show.
What is the best compliment you have ever received?
My older brother once said that if he had a daughter, he would want her to be just like me. I couldn’t be more honoured for someone who knows me as well as he does to say something so kind.
If you had to switch places with someone else for a week who would that be?
I would choose to switch places with our Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar to have the opportunity to understand the challenges of being in the nation’s driver’s seat. After that I think I would be better able to understand how I can help to right the many wrongs in our nation. I do verily believe that it starts with each and every citizen. Small efforts multiplied by thousands can yield a positive major shift in values and culture.
What goals and or ambitions do you still have?
My current goal is to bring home that Miss Universe crown!
Describe yourself in two words one beginning with C, the other with M, your initials.
Cheerful and Mannerly.
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