Held on Sept 17, the finals saw the eight finalists of Miss Universe Singapore showcased their catwalk skills, confidence, and charm during the evening wear and swimwear rounds. On top of that, the contestants shared their thoughts on who they think the Singapore woman is.
For Nandita, the Singapore woman “is someone who embraces all the different kinds of people around her. [She] embraces the diversity we have in Singapore… and is very open to discussing social issues, and ensuring that we all live in a very equitable life.”
The third-year student from Singapore Management University (SMU) will represent Singapore at the Miss Universe International competition in Israel in December. “I’m working on improving my walk and the way I present myself on stage,” Nandita shares with us. “On a more personal level, I’m taking the time to reflect about the causes I stand for, and plan on what I’d like to do with the platform that I’m given.
We caught up with Nandita to congratulate her, and learn more about what she’s passionate about, and looking forward to next.
Nandita: “It feels overwhelming but in a good way. It’s really amazing to see all the support I’m receiving from people all over the world and I’m very thankful for it all. I’m honoured to be given this opportunity to represent Singapore at Miss Universe 2021 and am really excited to see what the future holds for me.”
Nandita: “I went out for a nice dinner with my family who have been so supportive and encouraging of me during this entire journey.”
Nandita: “Shooting on the Genting Dream Cruise with the other finalists. I had never shot on a cruise before and had never shot in swimwear either, so it was a completely new and interesting experience for me.
That shoot really taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and to own the way I look. It was also really fun to be on a cruise after the past 1.5 years of staying indoors because of the pandemic.”
Nandita: “I think the general public has the opinion that Miss Universe Singapore competition is only about fashion or that it is exclusively for models. But based on my experience, it is so much more.
The competition gives women a platform to stand up for what they believe in, to build their confidence and dream big. It focuses on uplifting all-rounded individuals and honing their skills.
I hope through my community outreach efforts, people can realise that Miss Universe Singapore is more than just pretty dresses.”
Nandita: “I’d like to work with organisations that provide community aid such as household supplies, monetary funds or volunteering to help underprivileged people live comfortable and dignified lives.”
Nandita: “I had never really experienced acts of outright racism in Singapore. At most, it was microaggressions or casual racism about the way I looked, the food I ate, etc.
Since I won the Miss Universe Singapore competition, there have been comments about whether I’m a real Singaporean and whether I truly deserve to represent Singapore — simply because I’m brown and from an immigrant family.
As a country built by immigrants, and one that prides itself in its multiculturalism — we should really focus on ensuring that every Singaporean is treated equally, no matter where they come from. I am passionate about this cause because it would be hypocritical of us to use our racial harmony as a selling point, while treating minorities badly.”
Nandita: “We need to keep reminding women that they should never be afraid to speak their mind and they should never accept being side-lined based on their gender.
We should make conscious efforts to listen to the specific concerns that women in our society raise, and work towards removing those hindrances to create a more equal and caring community.
Nandita: “One woman who inspires me is Raeesah Khan, our Member of Parliament. She is not afraid to speak on issues that are considered taboo in Singapore, such as sexuality education, mental health awareness and racism in order to push our society and government to be better.
I’m inspired by her determination and fearlessness, as she took on the heavy role of being an MP at a relatively young age. I hope I can stand up for the causes I believe in and make a real impact in our society as well.”
Nandita: “Having a strong support network of people who want what’s best for me. Knowing that I have people looking out for me allows me to try new things and be more confident.”