Bayartsetseg Altangerel is not a stranger in the world of international beauty pageants. The Oriental beauty was Miss International Mongolia 2014, Miss Earth Mongolia 2015 (and a Top 16 finisher at Miss Earth 2015) and now Miss World Mongolia 2016. Indeed, her vast experience is a confidence booster plus her foray in the reel world (having appeared in the Netflix hit Marco Polo series) developed further her personality. Recently, Missosology got a chance to talk with her and she gleefully took some time off for an exclusive interview.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
When I was a second-grade university student I published a book on opening a business in Mongolia. I also took care of a hurt baby falcon as a child.
Can you give us a small preview of your Beauty with a Purpose project?
This was a tricky one. I wanted it to be meaningful and sustainable. After long brainstorming with friends we decided to focus on a project I was already familiar with. Five years ago, I co-founded a mentoring program for young orphans, to help them with the transition to adulthood. The popularity of the Miss World platform allows me to gather supporters and tap into more financing. To talk numbers, by the end of the year my team and I aim to match additional 100 orphans with responsible mentors. I feel proud to make a small contribution in potentially changing the life to the better of so many of our children.
If the Dances of the World segment was still part of the pageant, which Mongolian dance would you like to showcase at Miss World?
I was planning to present a blend between ancient nomadic and contemporary dance. I was hoping to express that all of us are changing and that is good to embrace such change. It is a symbiosis in many ways, not a contradiction, even though, Dances of the World got cancelled this year.
Among the Miss World titleholders, who do you admire the most and why?
I admire Miss World Aishwarya Rai for being a role model for many women out there. Besides becoming a renowned actor and model around the world, she is also a Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS).
Can you share your beauty secret?
Live in the moment. Being healthy is important, but in the end, it’s all about filling your heart with laughs and joy.
What are your expectations with the host city?
I have lived for a year in the greater San Francisco area, but never had the chance to go to the host city. I am excited to go there, as there is a big Mongolian community nearby, so I am looking forward to get in touch with them.
In your opinion is it outdated to still have a swimsuit competition at beauty pageants?
I think every woman should be able to make her own choices. A swimsuit competition can be empowering for women; it can show their strength and beauty. I think the Miss World pageant as the oldest and most respected pageant in the world sets a strong sign by dropping this segment. Miss World is a platform to celebrate women in all their diversity and I am pretty excited to finally be part of this.
How would you describe Mongolia to your fellow contestants?
Mongolia is a far-out destination, one of the last surviving nomadic societies, a remote region of raw beauty, hidden from the world for many years. Our unique history and way of life forms a close bond between all Mongolians. We are a family on an uncertain path, one foot in the world of modernization, one foot inside the yurt with all its traditions and culture.