Confidence is key

Newly crowned Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon knows just how much confidence can empower a person

11 Apr 2019 / 11:22 H.

KUALA LUMPUR-NATIVE Shweta Sekhon believes that confidence is a shade that looks good on you.

The newly crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2019 wants to be an advocate for women putting their best foot forward through the strength of feeling confident.

“I feel that I want to talk about it and emphasise it until I feel it should be talked about,” said the 21-year-old beauty queen who will be representing the country in the 68th Miss Universe Pageant.

They discovered a passion for the topic after her sister related an encounter with a shy child, on top of facing industry people and friends who tend to focus too much on flaws.

“My sister went to an orphanage home and this one kid was so scared seeing all of them, she could not speak up. It took so long for her to mention just her name.”

She said: “If I feel that people are already aware of it, then perhaps I’d move on to another topic that needs to be recognised, but for now, I feel this should be recognised.”

How do you feel about moving on to the 68th Miss Universe pageant, especially from where you first began with Miss World Malaysia?

It’s something that I’m really hungry for. I remember telling in my auditions to Elaine [Daly] when I met her for the first time during casting.

She was like, why did you join this pageant. I said I’m really hungry. I want to wear the tag of Malaysia.

I want to be called Malaysia. I’m really hungry for that. It wasn’t accomplished in my previous pageant but I want to do it now.

I really want it. I mean, can you imagine, standing on that stage?

The whole country will be looking at you, supporting you, and you’re gonna stand on the stage and they scream your name with your country’s name. I mean, how many of us can get that chance.

I feel so blessed and I’m so thankful. It still feels like a dream. Apart from that, I’m also really looking forward to meeting some of the girls.

Can you share your experience of Boot Camp and living with the other contestants?

Boot camp was basically more for us to discover our strengths, I would say, building ourselves more, and then correcting our flaws [through the] challenges.

It was basically [giving] Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation an idea of what we are, of who we are.

It was lots of ups and downs, but you know, [whenever] I was down the other girls will come and cheer me up or if they are down, I would go and cheer them up. So we were there for each other.

Some of us became sisters, some of us became like best friends. You have friends and sisters.

You can’t be close to everyone. You can just be friends with someone, but you can be more than a friend with another person.

I made very good dear sisters. I call them my sisters and there’s four of them. They are very close to me, even until now.

They are actually part of my journey, in supporting me, especially in my fitness journey for Miss Universe.

Why do you think beauty pageants get so much flack?

I just feel that people do not know the inside story. I’m really glad that this time we had the crew members to record everything that went on, the behind-the-scenes.

Because people think pageantry is all just about the fame the glory we get - whatever that they see during the gala night on the stage.

It’s more than that. We know what happens behind the scene, and the hard work, the organisation’s hard work, the effort that we put in, the training that we go through.

So I feel that pageants build you up. As a woman, you get to know that you have a soft side, you have a fierce side you learn how to be more beautiful, you know, you learn makeup skills and all.

If you’re just that girl next door, do you play with makeup every day, no. But if you are in the limelight, you learn how to carry yourself really well.

So I feel that people should stop looking down at pageants because they just tend to transform a girl into a queen or a better person, so it’s a really nice platform actually.

What are the causes you want to champion with your new title?

This time around I feel that I should use this platform to speak up for something that people are aware of but they are not speaking about it, which is confidence.

Like you know, kids from single parents, those kids are insecure about themselves, and certain people with flaws, they are insecure about themselves, so I want to speak on behalf of them.

I am going to be coming up with a very good thing - I mean, I find it
good.

I’m going to be releasing it soon, and you guys can have an idea. But basically, it’s more on the self-esteem of women.

That’s basically what I want to talk about.

How do you perceive confidence?

I feel confidence is something that we all have in us, and it’s part of your personality.

It’s just that it takes you time to find it, and polish it. Once you have it, it’s like an accessory that you need to wear.

And I feel that if you are confident about yourself, no one can ever stop you.

Even if someone’s looking down upon you, you wouldn’t be bothered.

As long as you know you’re good and you know who you are.

What is something you think everybody should do once in their lives?

Solo travel! I feel like you should solo travel once in your lifetime.

I mean, I think that experience itself speaks a lot.

Can you imagine going to a country, you don’t know anyone and then you make friends there, listen to their stories.

It’s going to be interesting.

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