“I never really saw myself as a beauty queen and I still don’t”, Christina Peiris

Posted on 11 December 2017 by admin

 

Her biggest supporters: Celebrating with her family and friends

Christina Peiris was all smiles as she gracefully glided down the stage to join the top 16 semifinalists at the 66th Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas (USA) on November 26. Crowned Miss Universe Sri Lanka earlier in October, Christina spoke to  the Sunday Times on her way back from Las Vegas, elated by her success – one of the few Sri Lankan contestants to make it this far on the Miss Universe stage since Maureen Hingert was adjudged runner-up in 1955.

When pageant host Steve Harvey announced Sri Lanka as one of the top 16, Christina recalls her initial shock at hearing her name.

2017 was her first attempt at entering a beauty pageant! “I purely wanted to gain a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity and experience,” she says.

“I believe that the most important thing about representing my country was to be the best advocate and role model to the youth who were looking up to me,” she says. “I wanted to inspire and uplift women and everyone around the world. It’s important to want the best not only for yourself but everyone around you.”

The Miss Universe tagline “confidently beautiful” resonates deeply with Christina. “Being confident in your own skin, colour, race and shape is what exerts beauty. To be content with the person you’ve become and who you strive to be – that’s what confidently beautiful means to me,” she says.

Determined not to lose herself in the glitz and glam of pageantry Christina states, “I didn’t take on the pressure of being the perfect candidate – I simply wanted to be myself throughout the competition and I think that’s what made the experience a whole lot easier.” Even in her introductions, the announcers never failed to mention Christina as an animal lover and cat collector – with a growing family of eight cats to date.

Among the top 16 on the big stage: Christina at the pageant seen with the winner Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel- Peters. Pic courtesy AFP

Christina who is grateful for the support received from her family, social media followers and the Sri Lankan public stands firm in her belief in the importance of getting Sri Lankans more involved in the voting system for events of this nature. “I missed a spot in the top 10 by over 50 votes which is converted to points later,” she says. “It’s important to support your country and I’m forever thankful to everyone who did.”

It’s been an amazing journey for the girl who always dreamed big – even at the tender age of seven she had hopes of getting into the field of fashion designing. Fast forward to 16 years later and this 23-year-old philanthropist is now a fashion designer and travel blogger of Loveplate.blog – where she promotes tourism in Sri Lanka through reviews of hotels, restaurant/cafes and products.

A former student at the Academy of Design (AOD) Christina has her humanitarian clothing brand “X.TINA”, where a percentage of the profits earned is donated to cancer care services at the National Cancer Hospital in Maharagama.

Adding another notch onto her belt of achievement as Miss Universe Sri Lanka, Christina says candidly- “I never really saw myself as a beauty queen and I still don’t.”

With only a month prior to her crowning and three weeks after to prepare for the pageant Christina had to be ready to represent Sri Lanka as Miss Universe – not an easy feat.

She received much assistance from “Stretch n Tone’s” Krishani George who helped her get into shape for the international pageant and Lou Ching Wong, who successfully made this “flat shoe” enthusiast more confident “walking in high heels”.

Although the Kamil Group sponsored her dazzling evening gown, which she wore in the final pageant, Christina designed her own cocktail dresses and the red sleeveless number she wore for the preliminary competition. “I think one thing that kept me motivated was how much effort my family and I had put in to preparing for the pageant,” she states – her family, her biggest supporters were her pillars of strength throughout.

Post Miss Universe Christina will be taking time to focus on her “main goal”growing X.TINA. She also hopes to work and speak about the lack of support given to the disabled in the country in the near future.

By: Tharini Pilapitiya – The Sunday Times.

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