By Faye-Chantelle Mondesir
The oldest, largest and most prestigious pageant in the world is scheduled for December 18th 2016, where dozens of well-rounded young ladies will represent their places of origin. I engaged 22-year-old Saint Lucian representative Latoya Moffat in an interview in an attempt to discover what drove her to pursue modeling as her main life passion . Asked about how she became involved in pageantry she shared, “At an early age I moved to London. I was watching Miss Teen England and they were looking for new faces. I thought ‘wow let me try this out’. From then on, I’ve had the pageant bug. I absolutely love it!” she exclaimed. “There are so many things you learn not only about yourself, but also about communication skills, interviews, poise and leadership,” she expressed.
I asked Moffat what events preceded her representation of St. Lucia and she disclosed, “As a teen I have always wanted to be a Miss World contestant. It’s the most prestigious and oldest pageant in the world, so I decided to apply for it.” She continued sharing, “The heart of the Miss World foundation is something called beauty with a purpose. It’s a platform which offers women the opportunity to create real-life contributions to the world. I chose a platform called “Raise Your Voice St. Lucia,” she explained, continuing, “It’s a feminist organization existing to promote the needs and rights of victims of sexual violence, founded by Catherine Sealys. I had to promote my charity on a national platform.”
I enquired about Moffat’s main inspirations in life both generally and within her modeling career. “I would love to be a successful entrepreneur one day, maybe own my own bridal boutique. I also have a passion for anything under the umbrella of Media Journalism and the Arts,” she revealed.
Last year crowned Miss Commonwealth International in London, she credits her grandmother who adopted her at an early age for instilling unforgettable values in her. Currently working part time as a marketing consultant for a female brand in London, she hopes to offer awareness of the rape crisis. “I’m very lucky to have a voice and I will use it to bring awareness on rape,” she affirmed. There is a rape crisis and it needs to be dealt with. I would also like to represent my beautiful island to the best of my ability. As an ambassador of St. Lucia I would love to show the world how vibrant and warm-welcoming our people are.” These are all things Moffat hopes for, but ultimately in regards to the pageant, she hopes to bring the crown home to her sweet Helen.
“I believe my director has equipped me with the tools needed to partake in this pageant. I began pageantry as a teen, so I have learnt from my mistakes along the way. Leading up to this, all the pageants I participated in were to gain experience for this one. This is the peak of any pageant girl’s career. I am very anxious, because I’m about to represent St. Lucia on an international stage and my goal is to make my homeland proud.” Moffat was brave enough to admit to her jitters, “Miss World is live on Channel E and will be watched live by millions of people all over the world, but I take comfort in knowing that I have so much support.
Inspiring Girls Everywhere!
Moffat informed me of one of the qualifying rules to partake in international pageants. She said, “Applicants must have never been married or had any children. I haven’t thought of this yet, however some day I would love to have a big family,” she confessed.
Asked about her single most important driving force in life she revealed, “My willingness to learn, change myself, struggle and grow in all aspects of my life, be it intellectual abilities or physical abilities to become a better ME, without comparing myself to anyone else, but myself.” She went on, “I intend to do this by being least dependent on others and most on my abilities, without losing my roots no matter what big thing I achieve, but remembering that the fruits I reap with all this should be shared to bring happiness to not just me, but to others as well,” she fluently shared, almost as if reciting a penned speech.
Finally I asked Latoya what things cause her disdain in an effort to discover more about her. “Rape!” she emphatically stated. “When a person, or child is being pressured or forced to have sex when they don’t want to is a crime and when I hear stories like this it really gets to me, a disgruntled Moffat said. “One of my closest friends was a victim of rape and ever since then, I have spent time volunteering to help raise awareness and funding for rape victims. I volunteer whenever I am able at a sexual clinic in London, an advocacy group and I’m part of their volunteer network. One of the things I’m passionate about is assisting and extending my arm in whatever way I can.” She also loves getting to know patients and survivors on a personal level.
“Many Miss World contestants went on to become politicians, doctors, lawyers and the like,” said Moffat, According to her, some of the most famous and richest women in the world are former pageant contestants. “Halle Berry represented the US and Sarah Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant in Alaska. Even at home in the Caribbean we have Lisa Hanna who has served as acting PM of Jamaica. They look for someone who is professional. For me, success has a number of different elements. It’s clearly having achieved a specific goal or goals and enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done, having achieved one’s purpose,” she said, “it is also the recognition of that achievement by others.”
Moffat concluded that success is a significant motivator for her; the desire to achieve success in all that she undertakes and to contribute to the best of her ability, her propellant. She has been preparing her national costume and putting content together for her beauty with a purpose video. Washington DC is the set venue for this most viewed annual televised event. The Miss World Organization raises the most significant amount of money in comparison to other global charitable organizations and the show will be broadcast live on Channel E on December 18th, 2016, with Internet links for viewing being shared via the official Miss World St. Lucia Facebook page.