Miss Universe Great Britain 2016 Jaime-Lee Faulkner, 27, is a beauty specialist. But aside from managing her salon, she is also a trained and qualified ski instructor and master scuba diver. In fact, she was crowned Miss Scuba International in 2013.
Know more about this beauty queen and her preparations for the upcoming 65th Miss Universe pageant.
Tell us something that most people don’t know much about you.
That I can do the hoola hoop! But also I don’t think many people know that I hold a boat drivers license.
What is the biggest mistake you made in your life and what did you do to make it right?
I cannot think of any big mistakes, other than some of the hairstyles that I had in my early teens! That soon changed as I got older, especially having parents that are hairdressers! Another was when my foot came out of my shoe on the catwalk, I gave a smile to the audience then carried on. Joking aside I do think it is important to acknowledge and learn from any mistakes we may make no matter how big or small.
How would you describe your country to your fellow contestants?
I would describe my country as being picturesque, full of amazing history and different cultures, we have beautiful landscapes, iconic landmarks and buildings all of which are visibly stunning. We have some lovely beaches although not always sun.
This can be forgiven as we have so many fantastic sporting facilities, you can do anything from Mountain climbing to rowing, from deep sea diving to indoor skiing. There are so many things to do, in fact something for everyone.
Mostly we are a nation of wonderful people in Britain and will show great hospitality and kindness to our visitors. In Yorkshire where I am from there is the added bonus of guaranteeing a great cup of tea and genuine Yorkshire puddings!
What is your beauty secret?
Keep your mind and body active, drink lots of water and don’t deprive yourself of anything.
What is the most difficult thing you did to prepare for the Miss Universe pageant? Why did you do that?
The most difficult thing for myself would probably be maintaining a good work-life balance during November/December. This is the busiest time for my salon and all of the Christmas gatherings and festivities too. I have consciously made sure I have given my all to my job, duties, friends and family without compromising my focus on preparing myself for Miss Universe. The reason I do this is because I always want to do my best and I won’t let anyone down.
Social media seem to play a major role in pageantry nowadays. Do you think this is advantageous to you? Why or why not?
It is advantageous for many reasons as it is a platform to promote myself, the event and sponsors etc. It is also a great way of raising awareness to the many good causes I support. The MND ice bucket challenge is one of the best examples of the good we can all share and what can be achieved.
Through social media, people supporting me get to see what I am up to and I think this way they can relate to you more. However, there can be negatives too as people who don’t know you may judge or criticize you negatively, this can affect you but I believe the good outweighs the bad if social media is used wisely in the pageant industry.
Some people think that beauty pageants like Miss Universe are degrading to women. Convince them that they are wrong.
I have had conversations with people who have suggested this to me before and after meeting me and looking at the things I do in my life, many as a result of pageants but all through my own choice, I know I have changed the opinion of many. Over the years I have competed with teachers, doctors, lawyers, students, business entrepreneurs, models, performers, a DJ and Scuba diving instructors to name a few, all of which are extremely intelligent woman. One of the things we all have in common is that we choose to do this for our own reasons just like anyone else may choose to do their hobby.
To sum it up, over recent years through pageants girls have raised millions of pounds worldwide for a variety of good causes, we are raising the profile of many charities and organisations, we build friendships and gain influential connections around the world and most importantly we have the best time in the process. All of this is our personal choice, so I would say how can this be degrading to women?
Who is your all-time favorite Miss Universe and why?
I would struggle to pick an all time favourite as there are many qualities in many of the women that I admire and respect for different reasons. However I think Pia Wurtzbach is a great Miss Universe as she is not only stunningly beautiful but her kindness and compassion is clear to see and whoever succeeds her will have big shoes to fill.
What qualities do you feel you have that would make you a great Miss Universe?
A great Miss Universe needs to be hard working, take direction well, have the ability to mix with people of different backgrounds, cultures and countries even if you do not speak the same language. It is a must that she will be kind, have compassion, self-belief and not be afraid to demonstrate or practice what she may preach. She must always treat others how she would expect to be treated.
I have always said that if at first you don’t succeed then try again. This is a quote I often use to encourage others and has always resonated with me. A great Miss Universe should be a living example of all the above, I believe that I am. My journey and experiences over the last eight years have helped and prepared me and I hope this shows through my passion and determination that I have all the qualities required of a great Miss Universe.
Special thanks to Jamie-Lee and Paula Abbandonato of Miss Universe GB organisation for the interview. Missosology.Org