The oldest, biggest most prestigious pageant is scheduled for 18 December 2016, this time in Washington DC. Latoya Moffat, 22, will on behalf of Saint Lucia do battle in the Miss World competition against some of the most beautiful young women on the planet. Recently she sat down for an exclusive interview with the STAR. What attracted her to pageantry seemed a good place to start.
“I was quite young when I moved with my family to the UK,” she said. “One day I happened upon a TV programme and discovered promoters of Miss Teen England were scouting for new faces. Right away I thought, Wow! Why don’t I try out for this? I did and got bitten by the pageant bug. I absolutely love competing. Besides, there are the opportunities to improve your communication skills and boost your self-confidence.”
Faye: How has it been, the road to Miss World as Saint Lucia’s representative?
Moffat: As a teen I always wanted to do Miss World. It’s the planet’s most prestigious and grandest pageant. At the heart of the Miss World foundation is something called beauty with a purpose. It’s a platform which offers women the opportunity to make real-life contributions to the world. I chose a platform called “Raise Your Voice St. Lucia”. It’s a feminist organization that exists to promote the needs and rights of victims of sexual violence, founded by Catherine Sealys. I had to promote my charity on a national platform.
Faye: What are your main inspirations in life?
Moffat: I would love to be a successful entrepreneur, maybe operate my own bridal boutique. I also have a passion for anything under the umbrella of journalism and the arts.
Faye: What contributions do you hope to make to society, your country?
Moffat: Last year I was crowned Miss Commonwealth International in London and I credit my grandmother, who adopted me at an early age, for instilling unforgettable values in me. I am currently working part-time as a marketing consultant in London and hope to offer awareness of the rape crisis. I’m very lucky to have a voice and I will use it to bring awareness on rape. There is a rape crisis and it needs to be dealt with. I would also like to represent my beautiful island to the best of my ability. As an ambassador of Saint Lucia I would love to show the world how vibrant and warm and welcoming our people are. Ultimately, in regards to the pageant, I hope to bring the crown to my homeland.
Faye: Would you like to have a family some day?
Moffat: I haven’t thought much about this. One of the qualifying rules governing international pageantry bars applicants from being wives and mothers.
Faye: What are your peeves?
Moffat: Rape! Although it’s much more than a peeve. When someone is pressured or forced to have sex when they don’t want to, that’s a crime. One of my closest friends was a victim of rape and ever since it happened I have spent time volunteering to help raise awareness and funding for rape victims. I volunteer whenever I am able at a sexual clinic in London, an advocacy group, and I’m part of their volunteer network. One of the things I’m passionate about is assisting and extending my arm in whatever way I can. I also enjoy getting to know patients and survivors on a personal level.
Faye: Do you think of life after pageants?
Moffat: Many Miss World contestants went on to become politicians, doctors, lawyers and so on. Some of the most successful women turn out to be former pageant contestants. Halle Berry represented the US and Sarah Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant in Alaska. Even at home in the Caribbean we have Lisa Hanna who is an elected MP in Jamaica. For me, success has a number of different elements. It’s about having achieved a specific goal or goals and enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done; having achieved one’s purpose. It is also the recognition of that achievement by others. Success is a significant motivator for me; I have a desire to achieve success in all that I undertake and to contribute to the best of my ability. This is my biggest propellant.
Be sure to watch Latoya Moffat as she struts her stuff for Saint Lucia in the 2016 Miss World, December 18 on Channel E.