I’m Miss Flavour 2008!! I’m still in shock and my family and friends are hounding me like the paparazzi!! (Laughs) I knew that this competition would be big, but to be truly honest, I didn’t really acknowledge all of the emotions it would bring to the surface for me.
It seems for many that I just came in from no-where and claimed a crown and title that belonged to others (well that was what I gathered from messages on other contestants FB pages). However, I know that I was deserving because I have been working away for years. I have entered numerous competitions and I feel that my talents, drive, inner and outer beauty were overlooked for women who fitted their criteria in looks, but that is where it stopped. They were not concerned with the whole package, but instead was only focused on the outside package that they believed were more ‘sellable’ than I was.
Coming into the Miss Flavour 2008 competition I held high hopes and aspirations about the outcome. Here I was surrounded by 14 other, beautiful, talented and likeminded young women like myself, who wanted to be, do and have more. It was inspiring to be at rehearsals with these women and to be backstage with these amazing women, hearing their stories and drives to succeed. It was backstage that I realised that I could loose to any of these women, but the truth is, it really didn’t matter. They were all role models in their own right and I was blessed to get to meet them.
The hours before the final was hectic- it didn’t start that way of course. At first everyone was chilling out and talking about how slow time was going. The next thing, we were all running around like headless chickens! I for one was all over the place -mentally. But, I have away of looking calm and collected when inside I’m screaming. I was really excited though and if the truth be known I just wanted to get out there and strutt my stuff.
I am getting more and more comfortable on the stage and from the feedback I got from all of the amazing men and women watching, my confidence was evident. I loved every minute- whether it was strutting my stuff in that tight metallic swimsuit-the same swimsuit that I worked out for an hour a day and 6 days a week to fit into. I also loved my little black dress! And I felt completely blessed with the question I was asked. It allowed me to just be me and say what I truly thought. My personality shone through and I feel it was that helped me win on the night.
The atmosphere was out of this world. There was just such as air of positive energy and optimism. Everyone was having a good time and the buzz of the crowd really helped me to give it my all. Throughout the stages, I had men and women coming up to me and giving me positive feedback and words of encouragement. I am really thankful to all you people who spurred me on, you were a major help. I really wanted to win this after a number of setbacks and your kindness helped in more ways than one.
It was such a weird feeling to see some of the celebrities in the flesh like Michael Underwood, Angelica Bell, and Ashley Walters! Also meeting Sasha Parker- face and legs of Pretty Polly was brilliant. She was so warm and genuine, everything she came across as when I first watched her win on Coleen’s “Real Women”.
Winning the crown
When I heard my name get called out, I was so stunned, I still can’t tell you what thoughts were going through my mind. I couldn’t believe that I had won and was given this platform and opportunity to show people my talents and just what I can do. It was fun, but at the same time holding a smile for minutes at a time for all of the photographers was hard work- I will never make comments about celebrities posing on the red carpet again!
I am just completely thankful for this opportunity and I am even more excited about what ventures I will be involved in with “Flavour Magazine” I gave this my all and put a great deal of preparation into this. I also made friends with the most beautiful and amazing women ever. 2009 is going to be an exciting and fulfilling year for me, I am truly thankful for the opportunity. The delectable Yondie Murray- 2007 winner told me she was honoured to hand her crown to me – I will leave it there.
Words by Sasha Shantel Bennett