Friday, July 6, 2012

DENMARK | 2012 Meet the Misses e.9 - Miss World Denmark 2012

Denmark is a Scandinavian country located in Northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland, and the Danish archipelago. This nation, along with Greenland and the Faroe Islands form the Kingdom of Denmark. Denmark has the world's highest rate of income equality and has the best business climate in the planet. It is also one of the most peaceful countries on Earth. The nation is relatively flat with an average elevation of 31 meters above sea level. Historically, Denmark has taken a progressive stance on environmental preservation and was the first country in the world to implement an environmental law. Its capital, Copenhagen, is ranked as one of the cities with the best quality of life, and has a stunning and unique architecture. In Miss World, Denmark debuted in 1951 and produced two first runners-up in 1957 and 1986. Denmark will be represented by Iris Reuben Adler Thomsen, who was crowned Miss World Denmark 2012 on May 18.

 The Times of Beauty proudly presents Iris Reuben Adler Thomsen, Miss World Denmark 2012, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1.    Give us an introduction of yourself, your country and your hometown.
Myself: I was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark. My father is Danish and my mother was born in India, but raised in Israel, so I was raised with 3 different cultures. This mixture really gave me the basis for appreciating others and being open to people who may be different than me. I feel that we can learn from everyone around us. 

I have been dancing all my life, and have experienced many different dance forms. I see dance as a language with which I can express myself and also create something that is visually interesting. I love the feeling of being one with the music, and creating with others. The ability to become part of something bigger than myself is what inspires me.

I view myself as a hardworking, passionate and honest woman. I constantly strive to work on my virtues and become a better person as well as grow as an artist.

Denmark: Denmark is a wonderful, peaceful country. It is a country where all the citizens contribute to the welfare of the society. The richest pay the highest taxes, which demonstrates the saying “with great power comes great responsibility”. We have free health care and education, which, in my opinion, are two of the most important aspects of the Danish society.  Everyone has equal opportunities, no matter what his/her social background may be.

Denmark has a lot to offer to the world.  I am really proud of our work with green energy and the development of resources in that department. We have taken something we have a lot of – wind – and used it to create a sustainable solution to one of the biggest problems facing our environment today.

Copenhagen: Copenhagen is a beautiful city, with much diversity. We have many beautiful parks and architecture throughout the city, and one thing I really love about Copenhagen is that everyone rides their bikes everywhere, even men in suits! Summer in Copenhagen is really fantastic, especially those days when it rains but the sun still peeks out through the clouds. On those days, I enjoy sitting in the park as the rain washes everything clean.

I am very proud and excited to represent my country, Denmark, at the Miss World competition this year! 

2. What are your plans for the future?
Winning the Miss World competition. Right now, it is what I focus all my energy towards, and the life of the winner will be nothing you can plan :) My goal in life is to inspire and help others; how I reach that goal is something only life will determine.

3. What are you most proud of?
Fortunately, I have many things to be proud of; winning Miss World Denmark 2012 is one of them. Another is seeing my choreographic works being performed on stage, especially my two most recent pieces ’Aerolites’ and ’Escape.’

I also want to mention that I am proud of the person I am today. With what I have experienced in my life, I easily could have turned out very differently, but something always kept me on (what I consider) the right path. I have had to keep strong in response to many difficult situations, and I therefore became independent from a young age.  In the process, I have become a strong-willed and clear-headed person, with the knowledge of how to transform adversities into achievements.

4. Which activities make you lose track of time?
Dancing, going to art museums, listening to music, walking in a beautiful park, getting to know someone new, exploring a new city.

5. If somebody was describing your personality what would they say?
I hope they would say that I am a positive person, that I try to do good toward others in my everyday life and that I never give up.  I am open-minded and adventurous.

6. What is something you know you do differently than most other people?
I do not have a conventional education. I studied anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, but decided to take a break from it. I took it very seriously and studied really hard, but in the end I did not like sedentarily studying all the time. I needed to be around people, be more creative and physically active. I now read about all sorts of different subjects that interest me, like anatomy and nutrition, math and business, and I am teaching myself Spanish and how to play the piano. I have traveled around the world, taking different dance courses and attending seminars surrounding spiritual matters. I have talked with many different people around the world, who have each opened my perspectives. I plan to finish my degree one day, because anthropology is a very interesting and wide field with fantastic opportunities, and I always like to finish what I have started. This may well happen in my thirties, but I am not afraid of that.

7. Have you done anything memorable lately?
This is a difficult question, because it is other people that determine whether or not something I do is memorable.

I think that deciding to start doing ballet at the age of 23, and actually succeeding to impress my initially very sceptic ballet master within 5 months, is something the people around me at the time, still remember.

I would also say winning the Miss World Denmark competition is memorable, yet I am not the first or the last to claim that title. It is easy to just be ‘another one in the row’. It will be the work I do from now on that will decide whether I will become memorable in years to come. I have always striven to be a good influence on the children I have worked with, and this new title gives me a bigger opportunity to do greater work and widen my sphere of influence. I plan to use my story to help and inspire young people, and to continue to try and make a difference.

8. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Why?
Never trying. It is only called failing the second you stop trying; until then, it is always a valuable learning process.

9. If you could teach anyone anything, what would that be?

Stop hating each other. It sounds like a ‘pageant-cliché’, but war is the worst thing that has ever happened to mankind.

There is this quote from the Baha’i Faith that says ‘if someone offers you poison, offer him honey instead. ‘

This is very hard to do, in my opinion, but it is something we can all think about and work on, even if it is on the smallest scale like smiling to a grumpy bus driver. Imagine the difference it would make in the world, if we could take it to a higher level. Just look at what is going on now in Israel and Iran; the citizens are sending each other messages of love, trying to prevent the war that is building up between the two governments. This is powerful stuff!

Both love and hate create ripple effects, let us make sure love is the one that gets all the way around the world. 

10. How do you define beauty? How will you prepare for Miss World to achieve your vision of beauty?
I think a beautiful person is someone who is selfless and does whatever she/he can to help others. It is someone who keeps on working on her/his virtues. It is a person who has accepted her/his flaws and knows how to work with them, maybe even to her/his own advantage. After all, our “flaws” are what make us who we are, and they set us apart from others.

Physical beauty is subjective. The perception of beauty even varies between cultures and throughout time. My father always said: “How you look is not your own fault,” and this is true, in both directions. I cannot help but to look the way I do. What I can control is how I present myself. Whether we like it or not, we all express something through our exterior.
I think it is important to take care of ourselves, and to try to enhance the features of ourselves that we like the most. One thing that I think is universally beautiful is a big genuine smile, and when emotion is shown in the eyes. That is where the inner beauty is shown to the world, and it can light up a whole room.

For the Miss World competition, the winner needs to possess both inner and outer beauty.

For my outer beauty, I want it to reflect my inner beauty. I want to express elegance, confidence, professionalism and grace. Therefore I am learning more about how to do my own make-up and hair to reach that goal. I also train a lot by doing ballet, Pilates and yoga, which actually is a combination of both inner and outer fitness.
My inner beauty is something I have worked on all of my life, so I am not doing anything extraordinary about that for the competition. What I am working on is how I can show my inner beauty to the judges and the world. I am naturally a bit introverted; I think before I talk, and I like to check out the room of people before I can fully relax. Although this is a good quality, unfortunately it also means it is easy to become overlooked. So I am working on how to show people that I have a lot to offer, without sounding arrogant. I have had some practice lately with the interviews that I have had the opportunity to do, and it has gone well, so I am very happy about that.

11. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
Outer beauty really means nothing without inner beauty, therefore I am glad you took the time to get to know a little bit more about me.

and finally...
Personal Motto: Through passion, hard work and patience, any dream is possible
Favorite Food: Pasta Bolognese
Favorite Color: Light Green
Favorite Song: At the moment, it’s ’End of The Dream’ by Evanescence. It has a very powerful message about not giving up, and going after your dreams, no matter how painful the road is to getting there.
Favorite Movie:  ‘Pursuit of Happyness’ with Will Smith / ‘Lars and the real girl’ with Ryan Gosling / ‘Wall-E’ by Disney
Favorite Book: ’Undtagelsen’ by Danish author Christian Jungersen. I love a good psychological thriller!
Favorite Singer/Band: Linkin Park, Evanescence and Danish singer Fallulah
Favorite Actor/Actress: Edward Norton/Penélope Cruz/Danish actor Ulrich Thomsen

Lisa Lents, National Director of Miss World in Denmark
Iris Reuben Adler Thomsen, Miss World Denmark 2012


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