Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.23 - Miss Mundo Portugal 2011

Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe and it is located in the Iberian Peninsula. The Portuguese Republic consists of continental Portugal and the Atlantic archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores. The country have been settled since prehistoric times. It was occupied by Celts like the Gallaeci and the Lusitanians, integrated into the Roman Republic and later settled by Germanic peoples and was conquered later by the Moors. During the Reconquista, Portugal established itself as an independent kingdom. In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result from the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded west and established a global empire that included possessions in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. Portugal is a developed country offering a high quality-of-life standard, a top health care system, and it's also one of the world's most globalized and peaceful nations. Mainland Portugal is split by River Tagus that flows from Spain into the Atlantic. The northern landscape is mountainous towards the interior with several plateaus indented by river valleys, whereas the south is characterized by rolling plains. Madeira is a popular year-round resort noted for its Madeira wine, flowers, landscapes and embroidery artisans, as well for its annual New Years celebrations that feature the largest fireworks show in the world. The Azores is home of Mount Pico, the highest point in Portugal, at 2351m. Portugal debuted in Miss World 1959 and finished in third place in 1971. This year, Bárbara Franco, the winner of the Miss República Portuguesa pageant will represent her nation in London.

The Times of Beauty proudly presents Bárbara Franco, Miss Mundo Portugal 2011, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself.
I’m Bárbara Franco, I am 19 years old and come from the island of Madeira. I love sports, traveling and fashion events.

2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
Portugal is a lovely country situated on the westernmost promontory in Europe, sited on the Atlantic Ocean. My country is known for its miles of golden beaches, with Europe’s most picturesque coastlines and tasty gastronomy, with great regional variety. In addition to continental Portugal, the actual country additionally consists of the Azores and Madeira. This last island is where I live! Just a quick glance of it and you will be amazed by its landscapes with diverse flowers, kind people and serenity places to relax in.

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
It means so much to me because my dream became reality! Representing my country is representing my people so it's a huge responsibility but very remarkable. To be at the 61st Miss World finals is a dream but also as I said it's an enormous responsibility.

4. If you have to choose a song to describe yourself, which would you choose and why?
The song would be No More Keeping My Feet On The Ground by Coldplay because it always makes me feel good.

5. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
My typical day is going to the school, running with my dog, listening music, hang out with my friends, study, watch fashion TV (Occasionally I also do fashion shows or fashion photo shoots)

6. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself working harder and harder in a prestigious vet office and working for fashion magazines and fashion shows.

7. Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
The person that I choose and admire every single day is the model Sara Sampaio. Because she was a simple girl that won the Pantene Hair contest and since that day she became an internationally recognized model. To achieve that she had to leave her family and follow her dream with a lot of persistence, like I’m doing now.

8. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
Definitely the Czech Republic and specifically Prague. Several of my family members have been there and told me so many things about this place that I believe I will really enjoy it. I love winter time and the winter is very intense there and with snow, which is something I never saw in my life. The other reason is that I really like urban areas and appreciate buildings’ architecture. I think it's a mix of things that make me think that if I go there someday maybe I would say: This place really fits like a glove.

9. After the Sendai Earthquake, nuclear energy has become a focus of attention. Are you in favor or against the use of this kind of energy as a way to reduce the dependence on oil?
That is a very important issue and one that concerns me. I am in favor of nuclear energy because I think of it as an advantage to the world. Well-operated nuclear power plants do not release contaminants into the environment and I believe, they could be a good option to replace oil and coal in the future. However I think that all measures should be taken to avoid the situations that we witnessed in Japan, Chernobyl and other places. Namely, I think nuclear plants should be under a much stricter control and it would be essential to have a big investment to improve the security conditions in that kind of facilities so that we could have safer and cleaner energy sources than what we do today.

10. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
A have to say Somalia’s situation right now. It was estimated that tens of thousands of Somalis died and that more than half a million children were on the brink of starvation. For me that’s the worst kind of human prejudice happening now and it’s a condition hard to imagine.

11. What are your duties as Miss Mundo Portugal?
My duties as Miss Mundo Portugal are to represent my country the best way I can, embrace humanitarian causes, attend specific events and to be an example for girls and women.

12. What role can social media (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc) play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
I think social networks can really contribute to the improvement of a beauty pageant titleholder because people are all connected in the same “page” and there everybody can offer an opinion about a certain subject and we can be aware of different opinions and strive to become better representatives of our people. With that we can participate better in the international contests and have higher goals.

13. What does it mean to be a human being?
There’s a question that everyone knows but no one answers easily. It is just very hard to find the right words. For me a human being is someone who has the ability to interact with others, someone that can think and use reason properly and that’s what distinguishes us from animals. Unfortunately sometimes we see some human beings behaving in a way that does not correspond to that definition.

14. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
My purpose is to have a role in the world in helping people and also to strive to provide better health conditions for homeless animals.

15. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
I just want to say thanks to all the people that are supporting me in this journey and all I can promise is to do my very best and hopefully make all these people that are with me and brought me here, proud of what I could reach.

and finally...
Personal Motto: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." Mahatma Ghandi
Personal Goal: Be a successful vet and a model
Personal Dream Destination: Prague, Czech Republic.
Favorite Food: ''Bacalhau com natas'' It is a traditional Portuguese food and basically it is codfish with potatoes and layers of cream in between, cooked in the oven.
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Song: Adele - Someone Like You
Favorite Movie: Into the wild
Favorite Book: Twilight saga
Favorite Singer/Band: Coldplay and Adele
Favorite Actor/Actress: Angelina Jolie
Favorite Hobby: Traveling
Favorite Sport: Basketball

Isidro de Brito, National Director of Miss World in Portugal
Bárbara Franco, Miss Mundo Portugal 2011

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