Meet the Miss Universe Barbados Contestants: Shahaida Lynch
Every year over 80 contestants from around the globe compete for one of the most coveted titles in the worldwide pageant scene – Miss Universe.
Yello Media Group is sponsoring Barbados’ search for its 2017 representative and the race is down to nine beautiful ladies; Shanice, Alicia, Shadae, Shahaida, Lesley, Jamilah, Te-keila, Che Amor and Mutamuliza.
On the countdown to the crowning event on Saturday 16th September, Yello is showcasing each contestant. Find out more about them and decide for yourself who deserves this once-in-a-lifetime chance to represent their country on the international stage.
Let’s meet: Shahaida Lynch
Which parish are you from? Christ Church
Why do you want to be Miss Universe Barbados?
When I was younger I went through a lot: a dysfunctional family, some hardships and being hurt by relationships, and those situations brought me to my lowest point and I thought I would be nothing and was worth nothing, but eventually I picked myself up and pushed through the pain and sorrow and all the things that ever hurt me.
I worked hard and became a very independent person, especially for my age, and now whatever I want I just go for it. So through all of my hardships and tough times, I thought that I could be a voice for young girls who are going through the same issues and understand what that’s like, so I think I’m relatable.
I would like to be someone young boys and girls can look up to because my voice can be heard throughout the world and I’m willing to share my story so others can develop and feel more confident in their skin.
Do you have previous beauty pageant experience?
No, this is my first pageant.
What has your preparation schedule been like?
It’s been like a boot camp because we are drilled every single day on walking in heels, talking, presenting ourselves, public speaking and working on being our best selves. We go to events and have practice sessions and sometimes it’s been hard but lots and lots of fun.
What have you enjoyed most so far about the experience?
Every day being around the other contestants who are like sisters now and improving aspects of myself which I never knew I had to work on or never thought of. Just having the love being shared among each other – my Miss Universe Barbados family.
Who has been your biggest supporter throughout this process?
My mum because every day she’s always saying ‘remember, win or lose you’re still a winner’. She sends me inspirational voice notes via WhatsApp. When I’m home and I’m tired, even though she’s tired too, she always goes the extra mile. One day I left home in a hurry and my bedroom was unmade and I came back home and she’d tidied my room. That same night I told her that my feet were aching and I woke up early that morning to her rubbing my big toe. She’s been my number one supporter.
What’s the best thing about living in Barbados?
The scenery, the countryside, and our beaches because Barbados is all about island life. I enjoy going to Bottom Bay beach in St Phillip or Bathsheba in St Joseph where it’s serene and peaceful and you can take your mind off everything. When you are having a bad day the aura around those places takes away your stress.
What’s your favourite activity when you have time off?
I love to go to the beach and especially being on a jet ski. I don’t drive so it’s like I’m in a car on water which is so much fun. I also like canoeing and snorkeling but you can’t beat jet skiing.
Who is your main role model?
My mother because she is the only person I can truly relate too. Somebody might say Michelle Obama, Rihanna or Beyoncé but for me it’s my mum because I know her story and I can relate to her. We’ve been through similar hardships and she’s strong willed and determined and because of that drive, I found I wanted to be like that as well. Sometimes we might fight but I know she did what she was supposed to do and what she could do.
What’s one thing you would change about the world and why?
I want to change the way we treat one another. We all come from different walks of life – I come from Barbados, I might meet someone from America, Nigeria or China – we’ll all be cultured differently and have been taught certain things. If we were all placed in one room our ideas would be different, but in a situation like that the key word is respect because that’s the only way each nation and person will come together and not be so segregated. But it doesn’t matter where you come from, what your background or your ethnicity is, as long as we respect each other. Your ideas will be different to mine but if we listen to one another we will find common ground eventually and be able to work together.