Former student of Botany Downs Secondary College Neera Vasanthan still can’t believe that she was invited to a Stiletto Camp after applying online for the auditions for Miss Universe New Zealand.
“I signed up thinking that I wouldn’t get a call back, but within two days I had Nigel Godfrey, CEO of Miss Universe New Zealand, call me. I didn’t expect it at all since I have no modelling experience,” says 17-year-old Neera.
At the Stiletto Camp, 35 girls went through a series of workshops on the art of cat-walk, dance, makeup, hair, nutrition, and skin care as well as a photo shoot and a video profile shoot.
Neera says that the most daunting part of the camp was the nail-biting wait for the organisers to announce the names of the top 20 finalists.
“It took me few minutes to believe that my name was actually called out as a finalist in the Miss Universe NZ Facebook video release.
“Our next event was at Rainbow’s End with kids from Variety, the children’s charity. The following day we headed out to Bangkok, Thailand and were surprised to be greeted by huge crowds wanting to be photographed with us.
“Wearing those sashes we felt like princesses. We spent five days in Bangkok and five days in Pattaya with plenty of sponsor activities such as the spectacular Kaan Circus show and the Pattaya Yacht Club Cruise to an island. More importantly, we had an official bikini shoot which will count towards our overall score,” she says.
Once back home, it was back to business as they took on the entrepreneurial challenge.
“We are required to raise funds for disadvantaged kids being supported by Variety, and I have chosen to host an entertainment night with traditional Sri Lankan dancers and singers on July 28.”
Half the funds from the fundraiser will go towards the children’s charity and the other half will go towards Neera’s Miss Universe New Zealand journey.
The grand final is on August 4 at Sky City Theatre as contestants walk the runway and answer questions to win the crown of Miss Universe New Zealand.
~ times.co.nz / Farida Master