The new Miss Hemisphere 2021 didn’t expect to win when she joined the pageant, but now that she has a platform, she wants to promote positive change for the island.
Ms. Hemisphere 2021 Marina Flores won her crown last week. She tells PNC that her win was a big surprise to her as she did not fit the usual mold of the contestants that joined.
Flores also mentioned she did the Little Ms. Hemisphere Pageant when she was still a child so it was almost full circle for her to do the pageant.
“My grandma wanted me to join and my mom really wanted me to join and also the pageant had the same director, Ms. Belta Perez. She actually contacted me and asked me to join the pageant and I would do it for old time’s sake. Actually, a lot of my friends were really surprised that I joined because they didn’t really see me doing pageants because I’m really into hiking, diving or doing something else like that, I’m a really outdoorsy person and it’s really out of my comfort zone to join,” Flores said.
Another factor that added to her shock of winning the title was how the process of participating went.
She especially praised the other contestants for their early preparations and accomplishments.
“The thing was that I was very nervous to join because I was the last girl to sign up and join. I’m also the youngest out of all of them so I didn’t have as many practices as them. I didn’t have as much time to prepare and actually, even in regards to my dress, I didn’t even purchase a dress. I just wore my old prom dress from 2019 so it was a very last-minute thing for me. It’s also out of my comfort zone because I get anxiety on stage, like a little social anxiety in front of other people,” she said.
But in the end, Flores is happy to have won and wants to use her platform to promote body positivity.
She’s also happy to assist the pageant’s goal to help the local non-profit organization, Alee’s Women Shelter.
The shelter provides emergency/protective shelter for victims of family domestic violence and sexual assault. The shelter also serves women who are in crisis, both with and without children. The location of the shelter is kept confidential in order to provide safety and security.
“The proceeds are going to Alee’s Shelter which I’m really excited about as well. It’s going to their fitness drive. And also, now that I’ve won, one of the other platforms that I wanted to promote was body positivity because all the other girls were built so differently. We’re all special in our own way, even though we look so different and I just want people to know that we don’t have to be skinny or tall to join a pageant, you just really need to be confident in yourself,” Flores said.
Ms. Hemisphere Pageant Director Belta Perez also tells PNC that this is the first pageant that’s been held since the pandemic and she is glad they are giving their five finalists, including Flores, the opportunity to go off-island and represent Guam on a planned tour for the Modeling Association of America USA in 2022.
“The Nationals are very pleased with the way Guam is doing with this pageant because it is showing, way out here, in the Pacific is another avenue to discover talent. We have beautiful people out here, very talented people that need to be showcased. If you look at the many awards that were given in previous years, they’ve gone to Guam in National competitions, we’re not the only ones. We kind of stand out because we kick-started this one recently so we can qualify as the southern hemisphere of the world into the USA National Northern Hemisphere,” Perez said.