Welcome to Missosology! It is an honor to have you with us in our Beauty Talks. Last year, Nathalie den Dekker was the last person to be interviewed in our Beauty Talks prior to arrival, and she ended up as 1st Runner-up! Do you feel any pressure to duplicate or better than placement?
I would not be completely honest with you if I told you that I don’t feel any kind of pressure. Of course I want to do at least as good as Nathalie. She has done a wonderful job last year and it is going to be difficult to maintain her position as 1st runner up. But it is more important to stay focused on my own performance during this years Miss International. I know I have large shoes to fill, but I will do everything within my power to do at least as good as our gorgeous Nathalie!
Tell us something about yourself? Your childhood and upbringing?
I grew up in the small town Boxtel in North Brabant. North Brabant is situated in the southern part of the Netherlands.
During my childhood I received so much love of everybody around me especially from my parents. My mom works for the government and my dad is a car mechanic. My mom used to have a car supplements shop, so you can guess how they met.
I have always been daddy’s little princess. Last year I moved to my own apartment and he confessed yesterday that he misses me everyday and I moved just around the corner haha.
I have a little brother, although he is taller then me now. He has been my best friend my whole life. He sometimes takes me to matches of our favorite football team PSV Eindhoven. Yes, I like to watch football…. Actually I like to watch almost every sport!
As soon as I could hold a racket, I played tennis. I have been champion of the Southern Netherlands twice, when I was 12 and 14. Unfortunately my tenniscareer came to an end when I suffered from a back injury. During these years I grew so fast that my back couldn’t keep up speed. When I was finished growing up (it stopped when I was 5 foot and 11 inches), the pain vanished to the background. After this period of injuries, I play tennis recreationally and I still love it! I now volunteer at the tennis club to organize tournaments for children.
I’ve always been a child who loved to play outside. I climbed trees and loved to go swimming in one of our beautiful lakes. When it got dark outside during winter time I loved to play Pokemon on my Nintendo GameBoy Colour. I was so fascinated by all Pokemon especially the fire type. A very large part of my childhood was developed and designed in Japan! Japan is very famous for their Manga art. I tried it myself for a while, but unfortunately I am not gifted with a lot of sketch skills…
Fortunately, I have always been able to learn easily. At the primary and secondary school I never had a lot of trouble to make it to the next year. I graduated with very good grades. I was good at economics, biology and mathematics. I was not that good at handcraft. Apparently, the teacher did not like my manga-art as much as I did haha.
Next year I may call myself a Bachelor of Built Environment. I’ve been fascinated by buildings since childhood. Buildings or the lack of buildings are very important to an atmosphere in a particular area. I prefer the private market, because it gets more personal then the business real estate. I would love to be a part of developing environmental neutral buildings. I want the next building to be better then the one designed before. That is how we take care of our world where our children and grandchildren will live in as well. Always wanting to improve yourself and the things that you are surrounded by and live in.
Coming from the Netherlands, what can you share to the people in Japan once you arrive in Tokyo for the Miss International Beauty Pageant?
First of all I can tell about our fantastic dikes. The Netherlands is a water specialist. We have been fighting the sea for centuries now. 26% of our country is below sea level and 29% is very sensitive to flooding. Even our king has studied water management!
Dutch are often labeled as stingy, but the opposite is true. The Dutch are ranked as one of the most charitable populations of Europe. Thereby we are listed number eight in the World Giving Index 2013. Not bad for such a small country!
Thereby arrogance is considered a high crime in the Netherlands. If we are in a conversation and we tell another what we like about ourselves we always start: Not that I am arrogant or I don’t want to sound arrogant….. but I actually quite like…….
Another thing I can talk hours about is our food. I always buy Dutch candy for my foreign friends. They don’t like drop so much. It comes in salty and sweet tastes. I love the salty ones! I think you need to learn to eat it, but they always LOVE stroopwafels (caramel cookies) and poffertjes (little pancakes with powder sugar). What I actually love during winter time is broodje rookworst with mustard. Rookworst is Dutch for boiled sausage. When you make it to the Netherlands, don’t forget to buy broodje rookworst at the Hema!!
I am also very proud of our highways. We have amazing highways with a SOAB-coating. As you might know it rains a lot in the Netherlands. This coating makes sure that while driving the water does not blur your sight on the road. This makes it very safe to drive. We have the lowest amount of traffic victims together with the UK in Europe. After a rainy drive to foreign country’s I am always happy to drive on my SOAB-coated highways.
Do you believe that beauty pageants are still relevant in today’s society? Why or why not?
Yes ofcourse I believe they are still relevant! I think it is even getting more important. The world has become a smaller place. Traveling to the other side of the world costs you 1 day max. You can reach anybody in the whole wide world by the internet. Miss International can be easily reached by an e-mail or Facebook message. You can also follow her on Instagram and ask a question. Before you needed to sent a letter to a country far away, but now you can reach her with just a few clicks! Thereby you will feel more close to her because you can see pictures on Instagram or Facebook. Before you needed to buy a magazine or a newspaper. It feels more like you know her because she is more reachable. And that is what is all about a role model who is accessible and close.
For the girl herself it is great to see so many parts of the world. She will see things that other people will never see. It is her job to make people aware about what is going on in this world and where we need to work on.
What are your future goals and ambition in life?
I want to be a very good educated woman in a top position. I am very ambitious and will make sure this happens. I will graduate as one of the few women as a Bachelor of Built Environment and Real Estate. This sector is a mans world and my goal is to be on a top position in this sector. I would like to show all the woman in the whole wide world that they can do anything they want as long as they are willing to work and learn. My heart lays with helping people to get a environmental friendly and healthy home. A good house is a good base for everything. Home is where you spent a lot of time during your life. Please leave your food prints on environmental friendly homes of good quality. So that next generations can use it as well!
If you are given a chance to do whatever you want to do in just one day in Tokyo, what will you do and where will you go?
To start with I would have a morning walk in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and experience the beautiful nature of Japan. I would love to go there!!! After my morning walk I would go to a traditional Japanese teahouse and visit a natural hot spring. After washing myself I would go to the streets of Shibuya and just get lost with the address of my hotel in my wallet. I would walk around and just get inspired with everything that happens around me. For diner I would go to the most famous sushi restaurant Jiro Dreams. This is a 10 seat sushi restaurant at a metro station in Tokyo. I have heard so much about it. I need to taste it for one day. I would call Miss Japan to join me for diner and let her show me Tokyo by night. This would be one of the most perfect days in my life.
Winning the Miss International crown will definitely change your life forever! Why do you think you should be the next Miss International?
First of all I think a Miss International is not only about how you look, but also about the brains and where the heart is. In this interview I have told you about me and my life. You know now that I have received a lot of love and that is why I am able to give something back. Of course I have had my struggles, but it didn’t kill me and it made me stronger. It is time for me to give something back to this wonderful world. I have seen with my own eyes that not everybody has been as lucky as I have been. This combination of awareness, being able to give and the fact that my country is one of the most charitable countries of the world is what makes me the next Miss International. / Stephen I. Diaz