Miss Universe Singapore 2018: Pastry chef Ameerah Smith wants to bring people together with food
PASTRY CHEF, 23
Born to African-American and Arab parents, freelance model and pastry chef Ameerah Smith has always looked up to them and sees her nurturing family members as the greatest source of support and comfort.
One day, she hopes to settle down in Philadelphia in the US together with her extended clan.
The 23-year-old has had many modelling opportunities - from gracing magazine covers to walking in fashion shows - ever since she was first runner-up in last year's The New Paper New Face modelling competition.
But her greatest passion lies in the culinary arts, drawing inspiration from influential figures such as the late US celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
What cause do you want to champion in MUS 2018?
In my modelling stints, I have worked with many LGBT people from all walks of life and the community is so inclusive and lovely. But it's very sad that some of them have to hide their sexual identity for fear of homophobia or exclusion.
After all, they are still human. To me, everyone should be evaluated based on competency regardless of sexual orientation.
I have met so many talented people from this community - from hairstylists to models to make-up artists and even my own friends - and they truly deserve the same respect that a straight person would get.
I wish people were less judgmental of one another. I want to change how cruel superficial judgments can be.
What is the most interesting thing about yourself, and how does this set you apart from the other contestants?
I'm a pastry chef. Celebrity chefs such as the late Anthony Bourdain and Matty Matheson sparked my love for food. They shared their passion for the food industry with the world and how it is able to bring people together easily. It inspires me to do the same with my passion for the culinary arts.
If you could change anything in this world, what would it be and why?
I wish people were less judgmental of one another. I want to change how cruel superficial judgments can be. It is not our place to judge someone else based on their social status, educational background and more.
We never know what a person might be struggling with, be it personal problems, financial problems - anything. Not everyone is blessed to be born into a good life and sometimes, some form of struggle is needed to pave the way for success.
I’m a pastry chef. Celebrity chefs such as the late Anthony Bourdain and Matty Matheson sparked my love for food.
Who are your personal icons of beautiful and empowered women?
I admire US comedienne Ellen DeGeneres because she doesn't take herself seriously and yet values her opinions enough to voice them aloud without worrying what others would think of her - no matter how silly they might be. She continually does the things that she loves, and she's a successful woman while at it. She's a great personality and talk show host too.