Meet Miss Universe Barbados 2019 Delegate: Kristen Asha
by Karen Rollins Sep 6, 2019
Over 80 contestants from around the world will compete in the upcoming 68th edition of the Miss Universe pageant and attempt to win one of the most coveted international pageant titles.
Barbados’ search for its 2019 Miss Universe representative will come to an end on 7 September with a glamourous coronation ceremony at the Hilton Barbados.
Yello interviewed each contestant to discover more about them and to see why they feel they deserve to represent Barbados on a worldwide stage.
Name: Kristen Asha
Parish: St James
Describe yourself in three words:
Resilient, honest and positive.
Do you have any previous pageant experience?
Yes, I was Miss Queen’s College in 2010.
What have you been doing to prepare for the competition?
I feel like I’ve been preparing all my life because it’s been a lifelong goal to enter Miss Universe Barbados.
Last year I made a more conscious effort to work on my health because I knew that I wanted to take part in 2019. I lost 50 pounds and went from 223 to 170.
I’m still a full-figured person and I’m very proud of that but I’m more comfortable in my skin now. So, that was my first step to feel more comfortable with myself because I knew the competition was about confidence.
I also spoke to past delegates and queens to find out what the experience was like so that I knew what I was getting into. I read a lot and wrote down all the questions that have ever been asked in the history of Miss Universe!
I also went through everything on our hub. I did my research because I believe that preparation is the key to success. The more prepared I am, the easier it will be.
I’m still exercising, reading, downloading news apps onto my phone. So, if I don’t win it will not be because I am not prepared.
What are you enjoying most about this experience?
The sessions with Gaynelle Marshall. They are amazing because her personality is great, and her wit is unbelievable.
She’s really helping with our self-development and making us question who we are which is important, because if we don’t know who we are, we’re not going to excel in the pageant. All the questions including the interview element, which counts for 50 per cent, are about who we are.
Who has been your biggest supporter?
My granny Blake Graham and my boyfriend Biko Beckles. My granny knows this has been a dream for me ever since I was six, and she was even pushing me to enter before now.
They’ve both supported me emotionally and been there for me throughout the process.
If you won the MUB title, how would you use the platform to help others?
If I won, I’d be the first full-figured Miss Universe Barbados, and hopefully eventually the first full-figured Miss Universe.
I would use my platform to push the issue of food security which I think impacts the whole world.
As a survivor of abuse, I’d also like to share my story, because I believe that through sharing my story, I can help others.
If you could go back 10 years, and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don’t give up. It’s going to be OK. You’ve got this. At that point I had attempted suicide, because of abuse, so those were words I needed to hear.
How did you get through that difficult time?
I was under the care of psychiatrist Dr Shirley Alleyne and on medication.
Prayer works! I read books like The Shack (by William P. Young).
I also looked up to people who’ve been through similar situations and that’s why I want to share my story because I know that it helps.
How would you describe Barbados to someone that hasn’t been here?
It’s paradise. Our island is a dot on the map, just 166 square miles, but it is beautiful.
You can swim on the west coast and on the east coast there’s surfing.
We have 1,500 rum shops and produce the oldest, finest rum in the world. There’s always something to do.
What do you personally love about Barbados?
The people. Barbados is a community. The people are there for you. Sometimes they will criticise you, and they may be a bit hard, but they have your back.
If something goes wrong like your car breaks down, a Bajan will stop and help you. We’re very friendly and that’s not something I’ve experienced in other countries.
What’s your motto/philosophy in life?
Be the best you! That’s a hashtag, a journey I started last year when I began losing weight and digging into who I was.
It came from the ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ book (by Dr Spencer Johnson), which is all about perspective and gratitude. When we focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t, and take time to be grateful, then, even more comes your way.
I say ‘be the best you’ to myself every day. By being the best you, you are going to be the best person, do everything the best way you possibly can, and you are going to live life to the fullest.