At the Bliss this afternoon, eight delegates who made the cut to compete to represent Belize at Miss Universe Pageant were introduced and News Five was there. The line-up of beauties includes aspiring young ladies from here in the country as well as Belizeans living in the diaspora. Months of preparation will lead to the pageant which takes place on September sixth. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody, Reporting
About one year ago, the journey began for eleven delegates who vied for the title to represent the Jewel at the Miss Universe 2018 Pageant in Bangkok, Thailand. After several rounds of competition, Jenelli Frazer was chosen as the Belizean beauty to take the international stage. Today, a new set of confidently beautiful young Belizean women have been chosen to compete for the title and the crown. It’s nostalgic for Frazer, who was overwhelmed about the experience.
Jenelli Frazer, Miss Universe Belize 2018
“One of the things that was very important for me was letting them know, as soon as you’re revealed, whatever life you were living in the past; it is now over because you become a role model. And you want to be the next Miss Belize Universe and so it is really important that you conduct yourself in a respectable manner and respect people as well. And I can see the excitement, but the fair as well because this is a big position. Like I mentioned in a previous interview, the weight is on your shoulder representing your country. But I trust and believe that they are excellent delegates and I can’t wait for you guys to see them.”
And within minutes, eight women from various backgrounds from across the country as well as the diaspora were revealed. Meet the 2019 delegates for Miss Universe Belize title.
Destiny Wagner, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“My name is Destiny Wagner. I am twenty-three years old and I am from Punta Gorda, Belize. I think I will make a fabulous Miss Universe Belize contestant because I love my country very much and I am very passionate about my community. I would like to use this as an opportunity to spread awareness about my country’s disparities such as mental health and child hunger. I was born and raised in Punta Gorda, Belize. I represent Barranco, I represent Cattle Landing and I represent Forest Homes. Wherever I go—and I travel a lot—I make sure I tell everybody that I am Belizean and I am a very proud Belizean.”
Aarti Sooknandan, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“Hi everyone. My name is Aarti Sooknandan. I am twenty-four years old and I am so excited to be in the pageant right now. What I think makes me a good contestant is my passion for marketing. I am currently pursuing my MBA at Nova South-eastern University in Fort Lauderdale. I would like to represent the country of Belize because it is not only my home, where I was born and raised, but I believe that Belize is a place with so much good in it and I would love to be the person that puts those communities and those organizations that are already doing great things on the forefront.”
Rheann Smith,Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“My name is Rheann Simone Smith and I decided to participate to show different young ladies that you don’t have to be the richest, with the lightest of skin, with the straightest of hair to be a beauty queen. Once you believe in yourself and you have that confidence, I believe that you should be able to do whatever it is that you set your mind to and that is what I’d like to show to all these young ladies. Confidently beautiful to me means that you accept your insecurities, the things that you cannot change, and you feel good about yourself and you don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, how everyone looks and you just accept who you are.”
Tianney Lamb, Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“I’m not a pageant person, but what I like to say for people who are not a pageant person like myself is that you have to believe in yourself first. So that was what made we come on stage because I felt I had the courage enough to believe in myself and I felt as if this is something that I can do. You believe in yourself that much that you can push yourself to the limit and you could push yourself to persevere.”
Markeisha Young,Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“I decided to join the pageant to prove to people that no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what background you have; as long as you know what you wanna do, you hold your head up high, remain humble while still being confident, then the sky’s the limit from there. I believe that being on the international stage takes a lot of heart and a lot of strength. You have to be strong, you have to be emotionally ready for it, you have to know what you are going to represent.”
Vivian Magdaleno-Noralez,Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“I am representing San Pedro; it has been three years since San Pedro has been on the Miss Belize stage, so I feel very honoured to be able to represent us once again. Not only do I feel honoured, it is a huge responsibility because I have a huge load on my back; a lot of weight to carry on my shoulders because I know my town, they love pageants and they have been looking forward to having a San Pedrana on stage again.”
While several of the delegates have experience in pageantry and working the catwalk, one specific delegate, twenty-six-year-old Destinee Arnold has represented Belize on the international stage, winning La Reina de la Costa Maya in 2013 and Miss Ethnic World. Now, that was over six years ago under the Queen of the Jewel franchise which is not recognized by the Miss Universe Organization. So, for Arnold to get an opportunity to represent the country at Miss Universe, she must compete in this national pageant. Here’s what she had to say.
Destinee Arnold,Delegate, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“Belize finally has the Miss Universe license and it would be my honour to be able to represent our beautiful country on that stage and take our pageantry in Belize to a different level.”
“Now some people might say that you have an unfair advantage because you’ve represented the Jewel, as Miss Belize, in international pageants and have won those. So what would you say to that; that you have that unfair advantage?”
“Well I do understand that everyone has an opinion and I represent that. But we have to understand that I put a lot of hard work, passion and dedication to pageantry; I am very serious about it. And if that is considered a disadvantage or an unfair advantage, then I am going to own up to that and say okay good, I am glad you’re recognizing the blood, sweat and tears that I have put into this.”
The pageant takes place on September sixth and the Belize City Civic Centre at eight p.m. Duane Moody for News Five.
Vivian Noralez represents San Pedro Town at Miss Universe Belize 2019
The highly anticipated beauty pageant, Miss Universe Belize is right around the corner, and the eight delegates vying for the coveted crown were revealed during a press conference at Bliss Center for Performing Arts in Belize City on Friday, July 5th. Among the girls competing for the Miss Universe Belize, 2019 title is San Pedro’s very own 20-year-old Vivian Noralez. The other contestants are Ryeann Smith, Destinee Arnold, Aarti Sooknandan, Tianney Lamb, Josselyn Cerin, Destiny Wagner and Markeisha Young.
Noralez is a born and raised San Pedrana, daughter of San Pedro High School (SPHS) teachers Alex Noralez and Sylvia Noralez. She is a graduate of SPHS and San Pedro Junior College. Noralez is no stranger to pageantry as she has participated in Miss San Pedro (2015) and Miss Estereo Amor Belize (2017). In 2016 she also had the opportunity to represent Belize in Panama and become the first Belizean to ever win the Miss Petite Teen Earth International title.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Vivian Noralez Vying For The Miss Universe Belize 2019 Crown
The Miss Universe Belize Pageant is set to take place on Friday, September 6, 2019 and on Friday, July 5, 2019, eight beautiful contestants were officially presented during a press conference at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts in Belize City. This year San Pedro has a representative and she is no stranger to beauty pageants, she is the lovely, 20-year-old Vivian Magdalen Noralez.
“I am representing San Pedro, it has been three years since San Pedro has been on the Miss Belize stage so I feel very honored to represent us once again.” Stated Vivian Noralez during the press conference. “Not only do I feel honored, it’s a huge responsibility because I also have a huge load on my back, a lot of weight to carry on my shoulders because I know my town, they love pageants and they have been looking forward to having a San Pedrana on stage again.”
The new Miss Universe Belize 2019 is the 26 years old, Destinee Arnold of Roaring Creek. Destinee will be representing Belize at the Miss Universe Pageant later this year.
The first runner up is no other than Destiny Wagner and the second runner up is Markeisha Young.
Also Miss Popularity goes to Destinee Arnold and Miss Congeniality is no other than Aarti Sooknandan!
Miss Universe Belize, Preparing for the International Pageant
Miss Belize Universe, Destinee Arnold arrived in the country today and hit the ground running. During her time here, she is undertaking a number of appointments as she prepares for the international Miss Universe to be held in December. The Belizean beauty is taking on violence against women, but today visited with the Sadie Vernon High School to share some words with the students for drug awareness week. Here is Duane Moody with a report.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Miss Universe Belize Destinee Arnold has been making waves on online social media polls across the region and internationally. The twenty-six-year-old Belizean beauty touched down in the Jewel this morning and got straight into action. She is here for an official shoot to showcase the country for the Miss Universe pageant which, as has been recently announced, will be held on December eighth in the U.S.; the exact location has not been revealed. Even with a packed itinerary, Arnold stopped in at the Sadie Vernon High School to address the young people for drug awareness week.
Destinee Arnold, Miss Universe Belize 2019
“We know a lot of our violence is tied to drug use. So it is important for us to begin that cultural shift; to kinda demonise drugs so that we don’t have to allow our youth to become susceptible to it. So by talking to them, seeing where they stand and making them aware of it is that first step in that cultural shift.”
Since winning the pageant on September sixth, Arnold has been doing several photo and video shoots on her road to the international stage, while balancing her full time career as property claims field adjuster for home restoration in the insurance industry which is a male dominated field. Arnold says that she has been preparing for this level of pageantry her entire life and is dead set on making history once again for the country on the Miss Universe stage.
“They just announced the date of Miss Universe as December eighth in the United States so the pressure is on. I have been working with multiple coaches, making sure that I am keen on all of the global issues, making sure that I know my application inside and out so that I am ready for that interview because as you all may know, if you don’t nail the interview, you don’t make the top twenty. So that has been my main focus.”
The national costume and evening gown are among the highlights of the pageant. Last year, Belize gave homage to the country’s Mayan heritage; so what will Arnold be rocking this year? While we know that the Miss Universe Belize organization has paired Destinee with top designers, she was tight-lipped about revealing too many details.
“You are trying to get me in trouble, letting our secrets. All I can say is that the national costume is going to be a reflection of Belize’s beauty. When you think of Belize, you are going to think of my costume; when you think of my costume, you are going to think of Belize. So that’s all I can say about that. I can’t give off too many secrets. As far as the evening gown; that’s yet to be announced; that’s a surprise as well. But it is going to make sure that it is complementing my body, complementing my spirit because that’s just another way that I can communicate with the judges about who I am, what I represent and what Belize brings to the table.”
Miss Universe is about the inner beauty; the confidently beautiful woman and the causes they champion. Arnold is advocating for an end to gender-based violence in Belize and has partnered with Hope for Life in the west to help women take care of their families.
“One of the main issues in Belize right now is violence against women. And if you’ve studied the cycle of violence, one of the main stages is economic dependency so my cause is trying to target that in all aspects. One of which is working with the Hope for Life foundation that is a pregnancy health centre so we are aiding women in being able to take care of their families.”
Miss Belize Destinee Arnold shines at Miss Universe 2019
Beautiful Destinee Arnold is making her mark in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as she prepares to compete in the 68th edition of the Miss Universe pageant to be held at the Tyler Perry Studios. The pageant, held on Sunday, December 8th, will air live at 7PM on FOX (Channel 15 on Coral Cable Vision in San Pedro). Arnold has already won several fan voting polls online. With Belizean support from around the globe, she’s defeated strong and popular contestants from the Philippines, Thailand, Colombia, and Vietnam among others. Upon arriving in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, November 28th her outgoing personality and smile is with her always, making friends with other contestants, participating in various events and shining brightly. She participated in Chi Hair Care Products photoshoots, Smile Train Organization activities and dinner events among many others.
Prior to the final night, Arnold will compete in a Preliminary and National Costume Competition hosted by 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray from the Philippines. During that competition, Arnold will participate in a swimsuit, evening gown and national costume segment in front of a panel of judges on Friday, December 6th. For the first time ever, the Preliminary and National Costume Competition will be a pay-per-view special streamed live via watch.missuniverse.com. The scores from the night’s event, along with an interview portion, will help determine the Top 20 during the 2019 Miss Universe final night. You can vote for your favorite contestant to make it to the top 20 at vote.missuniverse.com. As such, Belizeans are encouraged to take time and vote for our beautiful Miss Belize.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Miss Universe Belize Destinee Arnold Behind The Scenes
Re: Miss Universe Belize 2019
#539525 12/09/1905:18 AM12/09/1905:18 AM
Its not what you wear, its how you wear it. When you have class and style, you can make a crocus sack look like a million dollars. So while all the parts of our Miss Universe Belize Destinee Dominique Arnold's costume did not make it to Atlanta with her, she surely rocked the parts that did...you would never have known otherwise.. that is the spirit, confidence and character of a true Queen..(Photo credits to Miss Universe Belize) ..it is always great to see one of the many rich and diversified cultures of Belize displayed on the international stage..
South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi was crowned new Miss Universe Sunday night.
Arnold issued a statement thanking all Belizeans for their outpour of support and love on her journey to Miss Universe 2019.
"Belize is my heart, my reason, and my motivation. The outpour of support and love from you, my beautiful country, was EVERYTHING to me! THANK YOU for being amazing throughout this entire Miss Universe journey. I'm not upset about not placing because I recognize that we have to build momentum in order to make a name for Belize. God blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of the foundation of pageantry. My contribution built a step so another queen can have a higher chance at placing in the future."