-You were crowned as Miss Tierra Uruguay, what does that challenge imply?
-I will be competing with girls from 90 countries and independent territories in the international competition that will be in November in the Philippines. I will be representing Uruguay and that is what I am preparing for.
-You are 30 years old and it had been a long time since you entered competitions, why this impasse?
-I started competing when I was 16 years old, just finished the model course. Later I stopped presenting myself, on the one hand disappointed by the criteria of the contests of that time and on the other because I focused on my career and training as a history teacher. I focused all my attention on that, but when you love what he does, you can put it on standby, but it always stays dormant. One day I was wasting time on Instagram and I found out about the call for a contest in my city (Maldonado) and I signed up. I came out crowned. Then a friend told me to sign up for Miss World and from there she led to this coronation as Miss Earth.
-You were talking about preparation, what does it imply?
-There are items of preparation that are the same as always: catwalk, photography and makeup, for example. But in this case, in addition, the contest is focused on environmental protection and care. The organization requires the contestants an ecological project, which I am preparing.
-What does it consist of?
-I made a proposal to one of the local banks to unite financial matters with care for the environment. The project involves the launch of a credit/debit card with which discounts can be obtained when buying products produced in an environmentally friendly way, such as organic or sustainably manufactured food. I have not received a response from the bank at the moment, so it is still open to other financial institutions.
What else do you need at this stage of preparation?
-I need to make a typical costume with recycled materials. I have the idea but I lack the designer to carry it out. I am also looking for sponsors because I need approximately 30 changes of clothes for the 15 days that I am going to be there.
-Today contests with misses are not limited to beauty, but they seek to transmit other types of content. What is your vision of that trend?
-I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s great that a candidate who can aesthetically attract attention but also has a message is rewarded. That is the difference between a model and a miss. Sometimes we prepare ourselves as models but in our case we also have to be good messengers of a cause to really represent her country abroad. Beyond looking pretty or wearing nice clothes, there should be substance through an interesting message. That change was vital for me to return to the competitions.
-With what expectation will you go to the contest?
-If I don’t bring the crown it would be fantastic, but it seems to me that if I manage to draw attention to Uruguay and promote the country somewhat, I’ll be satisfied. Uruguay is a small country but very advanced in some environmental aspects, such as the use of renewable energies. I live in Maldonado and the city looks very clean and neat. We have beautiful beaches and parks. I’ll be spreading all of that.
-You are a history teacher at UTU. Why that discipline?
-I remember that on the first day of classes at the Teacher Training Center we were asked the same thing and many responded that they liked the story. In addition to history, I am very interested in teaching. History is general culture and I think it is a wonderful tool to understand the present.
-What do your students say about your role as miss?
-At first I didn’t count and I had private social networks. Because there is this prejudice that a history teacher and more should maintain a “serious” profile and it could be contradictory with, for example, mesh photos. Then I started opening and everyone found out, obviously. I understood that it is not bad. On the contrary: I find it interesting that they see that I also have other dreams and that I fight to achieve them. When I came out Miss Earth, my students were the first to congratulate me. They waited for me with a congratulations sign and a paper crown. They are great companions and they even want to help me in the organization of events to raise the necessary money to travel. In any case, always try to keep the role of teacher present, without confusing the roles.
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Lesly Lemos, the Uruguayan miss with a message for ecology