ETimes recently met the beauty at the Grazia Millennial Awards where she spoke about winning the trophy, the hijab row and being trolled for gaining weight. Here are excerpts from the interview:
How are you feeling after winning the ‘Global Millenial Of The Year’ honour at the Grazia Millenial Awards?
I may have been born in 2000 but I’m an old school girl. People often say I’m very mature, after they hear me speak. I’m happy to get this global award and to represent my country and be a part of a great event. Meeting a lot of great personalities, some who have really inspired me throughout my journey and to share that stage with them has been a great experience. I’m really overwhelmed and my homecoming is ending today with this memorable night and beautiful award.
You’ve expressed strong opinions on subjects like the Hijab controversy, and you have received both support and opposition for your views. How do you feel about the contrasting reactions?
When I talk about the Hijab my perspective is to support women and propagate empowerment towards women. I know sometimes my views can be taken out of context but where I come from, the platform of Miss Universe, we celebrate womanhood, we talk about empowering women. We make women feel confident about whatever they want to do and their choices. Everyone has the right to their own perspective. There will be lots of people who will agree with me and there will lots who wont. That’s their perspective and I totally respect that. But nobody can stop us from saying what we really want to say, so I make sure I use the power of social media to share my viewpoint and support women.
Celebrities, actresses, models and other public figures often get questioned on weight gain. What are your thoughts on that?
I have, of late, experienced it first hand. The way people react to a person gaining weight. This is not just about women, but its about every human being and they’re treated for the way they look. I’ve been through that, and in fact, I am still going through that experience. It can be difficult to change the other person’s perspective, but if you are confident, you believe in yourself then no one can stop you. Earlier today I had a conversation with someone about people expressing their concerns over Miss Universe having gained weight and how she was thin not too long ago. It’s important to remember how we treat people on a daily basis on the way they look. We don’t need to feel sorry for them, and no one needs to feel sorry for me, because I am strong enough to take those opinions and ignore them. But there so many people who are sensitive to such things and they can end up feeling bullied. It doesn’t matter if they are Miss Universe or not. You need to respective everyone for who they are. Your name and your soul are attached to each other and you should be happy and eternally grateful to God for giving you an incredible body. So just love yourself.