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PHUKET: Phuket native Pamela Pasinetti was recently crowned ‘Miss Grand Krabi 2017’. Poised and elegant in her gown and tiara, Pamela spoke to Simon J Hand of Gazette Radio to talk about her pageant experience.

Now 23 years of age, Pamela has always had big dreams.

“I’ve always wanted to be a pageant queen,” she smiled. “It’s something every young girl dreams of. I’m very grateful that I won, as this could have been one of my last shots at it.”

Pamela, along with the runners-up and other participants, went to Krabi to compete, but that didn’t stop them from having some fun.

“It was a little bit tiring as we only went there for three days and didn’t have much time to visit Krabi Old Town, but we did get to visit Laem Sak and Ao Nang Beach. We even did some rock climbing and canoeing. Overall, it was a lot of fun,” said Pamela.

Of the 12 contestants in Krabi, a panel of judges chose the top five and then the top three.

“There was a beautiful show where we danced and catwalked, and then there was the round of questions. I have to say I didn’t answer the questions very well, but I still won. There was a huge uproar on social media about it because I completely blanked out and didn’t know how to respond,” she said.

“The runners up definitely performed better than I, but they still chose me as the winner and I’m really honored for that. I want to thank all the judges who gave me this opportunity. I’ll do my best at Miss Grand Thailand and be more prepared for the pressure. I was just too excited in that moment; it happens to the best of us.”

With the final competition slated for June, Pamela has plenty of time to prepare.

“Between now and June, I have to make sure I look great in a bikini,” she laughed. “All the girls there will look splendid. If I’m lucky enough to be in the top five again, I’ll make sure I prepare better for the questions round and keep my cool. I will fight for Krabi as they have given me the biggest opportunity, which is to be able to compete for Miss Grand Thailand. They’ve given me a second chance, so I can’t blow it.”

Pamela has very ambitious plans for her future, including going to Italy to train as a chef, starting her own business and helping children and others in need.

“I’ve always wanted to help people in need. This is not something I’m saying because I won Miss Grand Krabi – it’s something I’ve been planning for many years. Competitions like Miss Grand Krabi have given me the tools, exposure and opportunities I need to help people,” she said.

Asked if pageants objectify women, Pamela answered in the negative.

“I don’t think pageants objectify women or set unrealistic beauty standards. Some people compete to be beautiful, others compete for different things. Many women who want to be in this pageant work very hard to improve themselves, and it’s a great learning experience,” she said.

“People can’t see you if you don’t believe in yourself. You lack a certain ‘aura’ if you don’t have self-confidence. I don’t think you have to be the most beautiful girl in the pageant to win this. Rather, you have to show the judges that you really believe you’re going to make it.”

— Sahar Aftab Paliwala