Miss Universe Barbados 2019 Winner: Shanel Ifill
by Karen Rollins Sep 9, 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 came to an end on 7 September with a glamourous coronation ceremony at Hilton Barbados.
The winner was Shanel Ifill. First runner up was Beviny Payne and second runner up was Hillary Williams.
Introducing the winner:
Name: Shanel Ifill
Parish: Christ Church
Describe yourself in three words:
Fun, confident and intelligent.
Do you have previous pageant experience?
No, I don’t, this is my first pageant.
Miss Universe is by far the most coveted pageant title. I believe this competition puts people on a global scale and allows them to showcase their talents in a different light.
The phrase ‘confidently beautiful’ also really spoke to me.
What have you been doing to prepare for the competition?
I’ve been training every single day. Walking and question and answer training. It’s very meticulous and tedious, but this is the Superbowl of pageants, so it’s intense.
What are you enjoying the most about the experience so far?
Getting to know the other contestants. They are all amazing, beautiful women.
Also, the experience of getting to know yourself as well and growing to become a ‘confidently beautiful’ woman as advertised.
I’ve also enjoyed working with the girls from the ‘I am a Girl Barbados’ charity. They are all beautiful girls. They come to our sessions and they are a delight; I love them so much.
Who has supported you the most during this process?
My mum for sure, she’s my everything. My friends have also been amazing.
My whole tribe are just amazing people. They send me messages at obscure hours in the morning and ask me questions, or they’ll say things like ‘sit up properly, you’re in a pageant’, remarks like that.
If you won the MUB title, how would you use the platform to help others?
I had scoliosis surgery at the age of 14, and I’ve always had issues with body positivity and seeing myself as a beautiful and confident person. I would use my platform to enable other people, especially anyone who has scoliosis, to see that you can be bent but you’re not broken.
Bullying is a big part of why I entered this pageant as well. I was bullied when I was younger because of scoliosis, so I want people to see that it’s OK. The world can bend you, but it can’t break you.
If you could go back in time, and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Smile more often. It’s not that serious. Get your head out of the books and experience life!
There’s so much more to experience than just sitting in your bedroom and reading the same Jane Eyre book you’ve read 20 times. Please go out. There’s more to life than just reading novels, trust me Shanel.
How would you describe Barbados to someone that hasn’t been here?
Barbados is my favourite place in the world. It’s beautiful, warm and picturesque.
What do you personally love about Barbados?
The people and the food. Cou Cou is my favourite dish. I can make it and I think it’s amazing, I love it.
The people are amazing as well, just full of warmth.
What’s your motto / philosophy in life?
If you have something you want to do, just get up and do it. The world waits for nobody.