THE jury of this year's Miss Universe contest comprising U.S.Television stars, Brazilian super Model Isabeli Fontana, and Formula Pilot, Indy Helio Castroneves were seemed to be in real search of a substantial beauty from the 98 candidates participated in the pageant as it was obvious from their choice of Angolan beauty Leila Lopes, an African girl with a knock-out smile and a superior horse-sense.
While Miss Lopes is undoubtedly very cute she did not lose herself in the adulation of her fans and unlike many others in her position, she has sympathy and concern for the less privileged. She is deeply involved in the welfare measures for the impoverished children and for the HIV victims. She extended help for them in her capacity as Miss Angola and now that she has become Miss Universe she intends to do whatever is possible for the poor in her country.
Her concept of beauty extends to the inner beauty of the individual and she emphasizes the fact whenever the topic of beauty comes up.
Miss Lopez is essentially a shy girl, she said she was acutely self conscious when on the ramp in a Bikini dress and that she would not pose for nude photos. However, shyness never deters her from expressing what she thought right.
One of the Jury asked her a meaningful question :"If you could change one of your physical characteristics, which one would it be and why ?"
She answered after a short pause " Thank God, I am very well satisfied with the way God created me, and I would n't change a thing. I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family, and I plan to follow these through the rest of my life. And now I would like to give all of you a piece of advice: Respect one another."
The crowd which heard her answer in silence erupted in a wild applause as soon as she finished. The spontaneous reply had amply answered the essence of the question and also revealed the depth of her personality. I think her apt reply gave her an edge over others in the contest. In fact content-wise no other woman would have answered it differently as no woman in her right mind would publicly narrate her undesirable characteristics, especially on a beauty pageant platform; but in the case of Miss Lopes the credit side was that she delivered her piece quite brilliantly in a tasteful and convincing way.
She said in an interview that she liked her physical characteristics of eyes and mouth and inner characteristics of her joy, warmth and spontaneity. Miss Lopes also said that she underwent no plastic surgery and to protect her beauty, she said she would drink lots of water, sleep a lot and would use the sunscreen.
The contest which was held on the 13th of this month in Sao Paulo, Brazil chose Leila Lopes (25) as Miss universe 2011, beating the candidates of Ukraine and Brazil in the final round. She is the first person chosen from Angola for the Miss Universe title (there were two semi-finalists from Angola previously) and she is the 4th one chosen from the African continent. The Botswana (2 times) and, Trinidad have had received the title earlier. It was the 60th edition of the beauty pageant. The contest started with 98 contesting candidates from which 16 persons were chosen for the 2nd phase and they represented the countries of Angola, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, U.S.A., Philippines, France, Holland, Kosovo, Panama, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Ukraine and Venezuela. The pageant, viewed by Billions around the world was first time in Brazil. The candidates had to be unmarried and the age not to have exceeded 27 years as on February first 2011. The pageant was co-owned by the American magnate Donald Trump and the NBC. The contestants were in Sao Paulo for three weeks prior to the pageant, learning Samba dance, visiting poor children kicking football for the Camera and the like.
The first runner-up was 23 year-old Olesia Stefanko of Ukraine, the second runner-up Priscila Machado of Brazil, the third was Miss Philippines and the fourth Miss China. Leila Lopes was crowned by 2010 Miss Universe winner, Ximena Navarrete from Mexico. Lopes faced tough competition as she had to compete against a model from Brazil it self. However with her brilliance and her ravishing smile she took up the audience in her hand. She also spoke in their language at times.
The winner Leila Lopes (full name Leila Luliana Da Costa Vieira Lopes) was born on February 26, 1986 to immigrant parents who were in Verde initially before settled at central Benguela Province of Angola and Leila is presently in the U.K studying Business Management at he University of Ipswich where she had also been crowned as Miss Angola of U.K.from among the Angolan community there. The official Miss Angola contest which empowered her to represent Angola in the Miss Universe contest was held in Luanda in December 2010.
The Angolan first lady, Ana Paula dos Santos had hailed the victory of Lopes as the victory of Angolan women and said further that Leila was really their queen and all Angolan women felt like Miss Universe. Similarly the Angolan President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, congratulated Leila Lopes and wished her success and happiness.
On a question as to what happiness was and whether she had fulfilled them, Lopes said that happiness was fulfillment of desires and needs of the individual and she thought she still had many desires to be realized.
Miss. Lopes has many ideas. After her studies ( Business Management) she wants to return home and become a great entrepreneur and she also likes the educational sector like teaching or establishing institutions Her country, Angola, though rich in oil, minerals and Diamonds, is a war torn country and is in need of much progress in all sectors. Leila Lopes is obviously anxious to see her country progressed and is eager to extend her services for the cause. Her love and concern for her country is so intense that I wonder whether she would enter in Angolan politics one day.
Now, Miss Lopes being young and strategically placed, she can go ahead and fulfill her dreams one by one for herself and for her country.
Images from the internet.