What unique characteristics would you say you bring to the competition?
I am an island girl at heart having been raised on the British Caribbean island of Anguilla. So, I definitely bring a sense of warm charm and liveliness to the Competition; it is in my smile, my walk, my laugh, my dress and the way I easily interact with people.
As well, to my knowledge, I am the first dreadlocked woman to walk across a Miss Universe Great Britain stage and that is absolutely most exciting to me. If my ability to find a song for any situation were a judged round in the Competition I’m sure I would be in the top 5 for certain!
What inspired you to walk on the course of beauty pageants?
My childhood and early adult life revolved around sports: track and field, football and volleyball. I sustained a really serious knee injury during the heptathlon event at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and sadly, I had to retire my running shoes prematurely. As a competition junkie, I began to look for something else that I could do that would really challenge me in very different ways.
Pageantry was not an immediate choice. However, as I thought about it more and read inspiring articles from beauty queens, I discovered that pageantry was a fun way to build character and still at the same time revealing my inner beauty and testing my fortitude. You also get to meet ambitious, driven people who want to do their best. That’s the best environment to be involved in and that’s what inspired me into pageantry.
Social media seems to play a major role in pageantry nowadays. Do you think this is advantageous to you? Why or why not?
Prior to entering this Pageant my social media accounts were all private. I quickly realised that social media is increasingly important in pageantry which is why I changed my settings to share more of who I am with everyone.
When I joined social media, I promised myself one thing: not to get carried away with all of the filters etc. My profiles all reflect who I am; my views on feminism, the importance of family and friends and bonding with them, what I like to do in my spare time and my sense of style. I think my profiles work to my advantage simply because they show who I really am and people can identify with that.
Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?
Of course! My Grandmother passed a few days before her 100th birthday and that took a toll on me. I was really looking forward to spending it with her as I did for her 99th. Naturally, I became unfocused and lost my motivation. I have a ridiculously huge family and the more I spoke with them the easier it became to refocus. Love and the strength of family really is an uplifting thing. My Grandmother loved poetry and so I started reading poetry more and more. The poem, “Desiderata”, inspired me to continue.
We’ve all seen the stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants, a la Miss Congeniality, spreading peace, love and beauty throughout the world. How do you think you'll make a difference ?
In this current world environment, spreading peace and love is very important once they aren’t simply used as buzz words. The difference I want to make is simply representing for women in general and in particular Women in Sports. I want to raise the profile of women in sports so that they will be able to gather more sponsorship and representation in the media. I am also very passionate about seeing equal pay opportunities for women in sports. This is where I want to make a difference.
What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?
The first part of my advice to them is: you are a little queen already. But to be a great queen you have to do what you love and help others. When you are working towards your dreams and making a difference in your community and the lives around you only then will you truly be ready to be a queen.
Who is your ideal beauty queen and why?
There are so many deserving and ideal beauty queens out there. It’s so hard to pick an ideal beauty queen because I think every queen is ideal in her own right. When a woman stands before you after all the hard work she has put into preparing for her show and has won it- that makes her ideal. One of my favourites is Lara Dutta, Miss Universe 2000 from India.
She gave one of the best interview responses at Miss Universe; she was confident, well-spoken and poised. I also can’t help but note that she empowered every woman watching when she took the mike from the presenter so that she could confidently answer her final question; it was symbolic of her feminist perspective.
Thanks to the beautiful Dee-Ann for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss Universe GB pageant.