What began as a simple Google search for voluntary work at 2am led Charlotte Lucille Chia onto a journey she never had imagined- one that crowned her Miss International Singapore 2019.
Apart from the controversial spotlight the media had put on her the past month, who is she, really? The Female Culture got the opportunity to speak to Chia before she flies off to Japan for the Miss International 2019 finals on October 25.
Scroll along for our exclusive interview with Miss International Singapore 2019!
Why made you join Miss Singapore Pageant International (MSPI) 2019?
Charlotte: I remember googling for volunteer opportunities around 2am when I came across Singapore Women’s Association (SWA), the organisers behind MSPI. The organisation provides opportunities for women to help one another socially, educationally, culturally. One way to join them was through the pageant.
I decided it would be a nice experience to have because it would be for charity and we would be able to do voluntary work with the SWA beneficiaries.
Tell us more about some of the most memorable (and toughest) moments
Charlotte: One of the most memorable moments was during my training. I was walking so much for so long my shoe expanded. When we were practising the walk, my insole actually flew out and dropped on the floor! Our first runner up Francine picked it up and started waving (the insole) and yelled “Go Charlotte!”
Another touching moment was our visit to the Lions Home. The residents and volunteers were singing “月亮代表我的心” and “甜蜜蜜”, and there was an English-speaking elderly who could not understand what was happening. I could relate because my Chinese isn’t that great. We ended up chatting away and even sang ‘Chan Mali Chan’ together. What a conversation!
Being dissed by the netizens
Since you won MIS, there has been comparisons with winners from the regional countries. There were many naysayers and some were frankly not flattering. How did you feel about that and did it affect you?
Charlotte: I only found out about the incident when a Malaysian fan DM-ed me on Instagram, telling me what happened and even apologised to me, advising me not to listen to them.
I just actually didn’t really read comments or anything like that so I personally was not affected by it. Especially since the photo they chose to use is not an official photo. It was my graduation photo from before I even actually started training for MIS.
What’s your take on cyberbullying and the nasty comments others tend to post online?
Charlotte: I don’t believe bullying in any form should be tolerated. Cyber bullying is very hard to police, to stop and it is a growing problem. One of the K-pop stars Sulli recently committed suicide because of the negative comments she received online. After this incident South Korea is now pushing out an anti-cyberbullying called Sulli’s act and I think that’s really good. But I feel that to have someone suffer just for a bill to be pushed is very sad and unfortunate. Just because people feel that they have this anonymity online, they feel that ‘Oh, because nobody knows who I am, I can say anything I want to.‘ I don’t think that that is a good thing.
Throughout this competition, who has been your biggest supporter?
Charlotte: My mum! She has always been so excited (more so than me) and I think she cried a little when I was crowned. I really appreciate her because she’s constantly making sacrifices for me and is still doing so today.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your mum?
Charlotte: Thank you for supporting me. I know I was never the best child. I could have studied a little harder. Sometimes I could be a little bit resentful of how protective you are over me, but I love you mama and thank you!
Can you tell us a little more about the costumes you’ll be wearing for the pageant?
Charlotte: My national costume is inspired by the national flower. I just saw the final product photo yesterday. It is so huge I don’t know how I’m going to pack it (in my luggage) but I’m so excited to wear it. What I can say is there’s red, obviously purple and pink. They are all colours that defined my life as a child so I’m really excited to wear it.
For evening wear, there are two outfits. I’d be wearing a classic ball gown that is pretty Cinderella-ish. The second outfit is a streamlined mermaid dress that comes with a cape!
Yvonne, who’s in charge of both my dresses for the evening gown segment designed them recently. I actually saw her sketch the dresses in person and to see that happening in real time is just.. Woah.
Sneak peek of the national costume
Charlotte will represent Singapore on the international stage during the Miss International finals on November 12, 2019 at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Bunkyo district, Tokyo, Japan.
Featured image: Charlotte Chia, Singapore Women’s Association