Meet Miss Universe Barbados 2019 Delegate: Hillary Ann Williams
by Karen Rollins Sep 5, 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 Hilton Barbados.
Yello has interviewed each contestant to discover more about them and to see why they feel they deserve to represent Barbados on a worldwide stage.
Name: Hillary Ann Williams
Parish: Christ Church
Describe yourself in three words:
Determined; resilient and sociable.
Do you have previous pageant experience?
No this is my first pageant. I skipped all the smaller ones and went right to the top!
What have you been doing to prepare for the competition?
Outside of the rigorous training we all do three times a week, I’ve been practicing a lot at home, going over my 400+ practice interview questions.
I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos of previous pageants. Trying to get the feel of the walk, how to carry myself and pose, and how to speak on stage. So, the Internet has become my best friend even more than it already was.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about myself, because one of the hardest questions someone will ever ask me is ‘who is Hillary Williams?’, so I’ve had to do a lot of self-reflection and just digging deep.
What are you enjoying the most about the experience so far?
My favourite part so far has been the training, specifically with Sharon.
She asks us questions about ourselves and things happening around the world and forces us to have an opinion.
Some of those topics I’d generally avoid thinking about every day, but this training process has forced me to go deeper and I like that.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from this MUB experience?
Embrace who you are, every aspect of yourself, including your flaws and weaknesses as well as your strengths.
I can’t be anyone else in this pageant process. I can’t walk or talk like another delegate so I just have to utilise the skills and qualities that I have and shine the biggest, brightest light on them, so that people can see the best version of me.
Another lesson I’ve learned would be to follow your heart. Whatever it is in life that you want to go for, if it’s what you want, stick to it.
Don’t let someone else’s opinion or criticism sway you from your dreams or aspirations. Stay true to yourself. Whatever it is that makes you happy, just do it.
If you won the MUB title, how would you use the platform to help others?
I would be the spokesperson for the youth. I believe we must invest in them by providing education and equal opportunities.
No child should be denied the chance to reach their full potential because of their gender, where they were born, or the circumstances they were born into. It’s unfair and it puts them in a continuous cycle that they struggle to break out of just because no one is giving them a chance.
I’d also like to vocalise the concerns of women and show them the power of their inner beauty and that their opinion matters. I want to be a voice, and I also want to be a friend, to show them that they can do anything.
How would you describe Barbados to someone that hasn’t been here?
Barbados is only 166 square miles so we might be small, but we are full of rich culture. There’s so much to experience here like nightlife, historic buildings, beaches, extensive cuisine options.
But what astounds me the most about Barbados, compared to all the other countries I’ve been to, are the people.
Bajans are warm, welcoming, kind, helpful and friendly. The people are what you remember forever, and they are why you’ll want to come back again and again.
What do you personally love about Barbados?
The people! When I moved to Barbados from Toronto six years ago, I had such an easy time making friends and I felt so accepted.
I felt a community spirit. We have a population of 285,000, and we’ve all got different last names, but we’re one family.
I go out by myself and I don’t feel scared. I know I’m going to butt up on somebody I know eventually. The people make Barbados unique and special.
What is your philosophy in life?
To be true to who you are and go after your dreams.
It’s hard not to let other people’s opinions influence you, and you may try to change yourself to please other people, but at the end of the day you have to make yourself happy.