"Remain positive in whatever you set out to achieve": Miss Seychelles 2015 contestant Alanah Barallon
Miss Seychelles...Another World Contestant 3, Alanah Barallon (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Despite being only just over one and a half metres tall, Alanah Barallon decided that she would not allow her lack of physical height to prevent her from participating in the Miss Seychelles…Another World beauty pageant.
The 1.53 m aspiring beauty queen was encouraged to take part by friends and family members for the last two years, and this year she felt she was ready to take up the challenge.
“I finally decided that the time is right. And when I found out that there was no height requirement, I said to myself, why not take part and show people that good things come in small packages too,” Alanah told SNA in an interview.
STB announced earlier this year when launching the search for potential Miss Seychelles contestants that while nearly all Miss World winners have been at least 1.70 metres tall, at the local level, it has been decided not to use height as a criteria, so as not to discriminate and to encourage as many young girls as possible to participate.
“I also have to say that one of my idol is [American actress] Eva Longoria, because she is quite short like me, yet she has managed to do so much, participating in beauty pageants and becoming an actress,” Alanah added.
A passion to promote animal rights and protection
The 19-year-old, who has been lucky enough to feature among the 13 contestants battling for the prestigious crown and a chance to represent Seychelles at the Miss World beauty pageant later this year, describes herself as being a friendly, funny person and easy to approach.
On top of pleasing friends and family, another reason for the young girl’s participation in the pageant is to showcase her love and devotion towards helping animals.
She explained to SNA that it was her passion for animals that has helped mould her 'beauty with a purpose' community upliftment project which she started well before participating in Miss Seychelles.
Each contestant has to come up with a project proposal to benefit the local community, in line with the Miss World pageant’s objective of seeking ‘beauty with a purpose’.
Alanah is already working with a number of organisations caring for animals, namely 'Pet Haven', where she already volunteers as a member of the marketing team.
“Pet Haven is a charity group, we take care of animals especially feeding. We are aware of where to find especially stray dogs and cats and we go out at night to give them food,” she told SNA adding that they receive funding from local companies that provide food for the animals.
The aim of her project Alanah says is to promote animal rights and protection while adding that she wants to push for a review of certain laws relating to hurting animals which she feels are currently too lenient.
For her, the project is something she will keep at even if she ends up winning or losing the contest.
Aiming to have her own business
With two brothers, Alanah is the only girl in her family. Nevertheless, she confided in SNA that she has never felt like the odd one out but instead enjoyed many of the same activities the boys did.
One of her other passions aside for caring for animals is a love of cars, so therefore it is not strange that she works as a manager at a car hire company.
“I had the choice either to continue with my studies in the business field or managing a car hire and I opted for the work because this is what I always wanted to do,” she told SNA.
Although she has to put in a lot of long hours at work, Alanah says she enjoys the challenge as it allows her to be independent and gives her a sense of belonging as she knows certain things cannot be done without her.
In terms of career aspirations, Alanah hopes to one day have her own business in more or less the same field, possibly even managing her own car hire business.
As for hobbies, she is very much into kickboxing, an ability which she showcased in the talent segment of the Miss Seychelles…Another World beauty pageant.
Despite her busy schedule, the Miss Seychelles contestant says she manages to have a good work-life balance.
“I wake up feeling confident every morning not allowing anything to stress me out. I stay calm and go with the flow because I always see the positive side of things even when life knocks me down,” she said.
The young girl who hails from Anse La Mouche in the southern part of the Seychelles main island of Mahé enjoys various types of music and she also loves to read.
When it comes to fashion Alanah highly values the uniqueness of Italian designer Giuseppe Zanotti's designs, who is also one of her sponsors for the pageant.
Miss Seychelles is a once in a lifetime opportunity
In spite of being thrust somewhat into the limelight as one of the contestants of the Miss Seychelles pageant the down-to-earth contestant sees herself as the same person she was before while commenting that the training and coaching she has been through these past few months has allowed her to better herself.
As she braces herself for the upcoming pageant, 19-year-old Alanah Barallon encourages everyone to remain positive in whatever they set out to achieve and not to allow anyone to bring them down.
“You only live once, take advantage of every opportunity you get and use it to the maximum,” she said.
“For pageant night, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I want to go out there, do my best and have fun.”
The crowning night of the Miss Seychelles…Another World 2015 contest is May 30, at the Ephelia Constance Resort at Port Launay in the westernmost part of the main Seychelles island of Mahé.