Maria Wins at the First Online Beauty Pageant in the World by Seri Naturals
By Shehara Rizly
We have heard and seen many beauty pageants around the world, this is the first time that we heard and even saw a beauty pageant online. There are many developed countries that are quite savvy with their high tech environs and develop so many forms of social media for people to be in touch with one another, in our little miracle land too we have a set of very creative personalities that could match up to the highest standards in the world. Our cover personality this month is the first winner of this very unique competition conducted by Seri Naturals, Maria Alkansas.
It is a mandatory requirement in general beauty pageants for contestants to be clad in swim wear, whereas in this pageant the contestants that came to the first twelve were taken for very different kinds of photo shoots that required skills in creativity.
The press conference to announce this competition was webcast at www.ersinatural.com/pressconference and the Head table included the COO of Seri Naturals – Malik Perera, Director Brands Seri Naturals – Shayana Raat, Ajay Singh Founder Colombo Fashion week and Gerald Solomons Founder Chagall Colombo/ Sydney. This national level contest was conducted exclusively on facebook and we spoke to the creative personalities behind the project to get more details.
How did you learn about the competition?
I have used Seri products before knowing about this competition. Once while buying some Seri products a poster of this competition came to my notice. This was something different and in order to get more information I visited their facebook fan page. Only then I decided to participate.
What are your thoughts about this kind of competition?
I think its something new not only in Sri Lanka but in the world and which is a great chance for the Sri Lankan beauties who are looking for a new experience and different challanges since all the other beauty pageants in Sri Lanka are based on personality and special talents only.
Has entering this competition helped you in any way?
Yes. After being selected to the final 12 we went through some training sessions such as media training, hair and make up, modeling, work out and diet training lead by experts in those fields. I learnt new things that has helped me and would help me in the future as it is my desire to achieve the highest standards in the field of modeling.
Do you think that this competition was different from others?
Yes, it was really different from the other competitions because everything depended only on the public online voting which brought the contestants to the final 12 round from top 50 (1st round).
What were the challengers you faced during the competition?
Up to the final round I did not get the chance to meet the other competitors, all that was available were their photographs. It was hard because seeing someone’s picture and seeing them live can bring about a great difference.
What were your first thoughts when you won?
I was very surprised and as soon as they announced me as their winner I laughed and got tears of happiness. It was a dream for me to hold a title and I was proud and grateful like never before since it was my first beauty pageant that I participated.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, family and education.
I am 21 years old and studied in Buddhist Girls School Mount Lavinia up to ordinary level and did my London advanced level privately. After that I did a diploma in information technology, worked for Turkish airlines but couldn’t concentrate in that career because I was in love with the field of modeling and beauty.
I was born in Russia and came to Sri Lanka when I was one and half years old and since that day my younger sister (20) and I live with my grand parents. My father is pure Arabic and my mom is half Sri Lankan, half from Khazakastan. I speak three languages Sinhala, Russian and English.
What are your future aspirations?
I want to achieve the highest standards in modeling and fashion design and start a business of my own. Always loved animals so hoping to build an association for it and do lots of charity work.