The beauty of all worlds
Miss Universe 2010, the 59th edition of the pageant, will be held at the Mandalay_Bay_Events_Center in the Mandalay_Bay_Resort_and_Casino Las Vegas
Miss Universe 2009,Stefanía Fernández from Venezuela will crown her successor at the end of this event.
In Las Vagas, there will be two Batswana girls – Miss Universe Botswana, Tirelo Ramasedi and Melinda Victoria Elvenes (23). Okay, Melinda is Miss Norway – but very much daughter of the soil, as her hometown is noted as Maun.
Growing up with one foot in Setswana culture and one in Norwegian, Elvenes shares her experiences in the modelling and competition world after winning the Miss Norway 2010 title on June 26.
Fluent in Norwegian, English, Setswana and Spanish, Elvenes relates her love for the stage, whether as a model or dancer, affirming that nothing beats the ecstatic feeling of being up on stage.
“One thing I really dislike is competition, believe it or not! But when I do take part in competitions, I surround myself with positive energy and confidence. I never enter a competition unless I know I can win it.”
The Voice Correspondent in Oslo, Norway, GONTSE GAREEBINE-BASS caught up with the flawless beauty in their new shared European world.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Melinda and what makes you the person that you are today?
I am definitely my mother Sally Baatlhotse’s daughter. Like her, I am good hearted, funny, bubbly, and always put others before myself. I love to spend time with my friends and believe that it is important to live in the moment. I enjoy life!
Q. Any exciting fashion and beauty tips for the girls out there?
When it comes to both fashion and beauty tips, I believe less is more. I never wear too much make-up. And when it comes to clothing, I think it is important to find your own style that you feel comfortable in.
Q. What is hot this year and what is out cold?
There is a whole lot of fashions from 30 to 40 years ago that are hot and rocking in 2010. Almost all styles from the hip 60’s and all the way to the rocking 80’s have made a comeback. Everything from denim wear to black leather, to stockings with exciting patterns, and waist-high trousers and skirts.
Q. Your fashion statement?
Simple and chic!
Q. You have just won Miss Norway 2010. In a few weeks, you will represent Norway at the Miss Universe pageant in America. How do you feel?
I feel very excited and at the same time a bit scared, as I have never participated in an international competition before. As my expectations of myself are very high, I have already started preparing myself both mentally and physically. The competition is only five weeks away, which is very soon.
Q. How will you prepare for the competition?
I have to talk to former Miss Norway winners, and ask for their advice, as I need to know what to expect. I have to be in good form both on the inside and outside, look into what I will be wearing. The most important part is preparing intelligent answers for any question that might get thrown my way. It is all very overwhelming, but when the time comes, I assure you that I will be ready!
Q. Did you anticipate winning Miss Norway? It currently says on your Facebook page, “2010 is gonna be my best year ever! So far so good!”
I wrote that long before I entered the competition, so I believe that the law of attraction does work. For me, 2010 started with a positive and an upbeat mood. Doors of opportunity have started to open for me, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the year. I can already feel it will be good.
Q. You are born to a Motswana mother and a Norwegian father. What cultural differences would you say exist between the two nationalities?
So many! Luckily I have been able to extract the best from both. The biggest difference has to be the sense of family togetherness that exists in Botswana, and the appreciation of what little one has. In a weird way: the more money or possessions you have, the less you appreciate it.
Q. What do you like most about Norway, and Botswana?
I love the security that I feel and have in Norway, nothing beats that. And when it comes to Botswana, I love the culture and the easy-going, relaxed atmosphere.
Q. The world of entertainment can sometimes be ugly and nasty. You are now in the public eye where anything can happen.
I know who I am, and will not let anyone tell me differently. The most important thing, I think, is to brush off anything negative, and learn to trust in one self. Never get broken down by people that don’t know you. There are always going to be haters out there.
Q. There are people who have negative views on beauty contests, saying that they are degrading to women. What is your opinion?
I have always been proud of the way I look and the person that I am, and wearing a bikini will not change that. We shouldn’t forget that there is more to beauty pageants than just walking in a bikini. The winner has to look good both outside and on the inside. There is no shame in taking care of one’s body and being able to show it off. In addition, everyone who enters such competitions knows what is expected of them beforehand, so it is really a choice taken by each participant.
Q. In your own words, define the words “beauty with brains.”
I have personally never seen myself as more beautiful (in outer terms) than anyone else. Beauty in my terms is something that comes from within. I have been blessed with a special look, that some may say is beautiful, and some otherwise. I have my mother and father to thank for the way I look, for who I am. Inner beauty is a choice. Being beautiful is something everyone can achieve and should strive to achieve. It is important not be selfish, not to hate on others, and just be a good person. Having “brains” is also a choice that one takes. Being smart and wanting to achieve something in life, is what I call having the “brains”. Go to school, learn and develop yourself. Life is after all, one long learning journey.
Q. What has your relationship been like with the other participants in this one?
We have gotten along very well, showing tolerance and respect to one another. We have had a blast, something I think the other girls will agree on. We are all going to keep in touch and want to social reunions in the future.
Q. Every year, Miss Universe leads from scratch a project that is closest to her heart. What field of interest would you follow if you win Miss Universe in August 2010?
I have a passion for helping abused women and children, and would like to look more into the organisation Women Against Rape (in Maun). I also believe that education is important, so maybe I will work more on the subject. A lot has already been done, but I feel it is not enough. There is always room for development.
Q. What is your advice to young women who are interested in fashion and modelling?
Be careful and don’t just jump into it. One needs to know one’s boundaries and be able to make the right choices. Always look into the different agencies and find one that suits you and will take care of your needs. And don’t forget, it is not always as glamorous as one would think. There is a lot of waiting involved when it comes to getting shows and tons of pressure. Be sure of yourself! I am sure of myself and am having a blast!
Q. What plans do you have for the future?
Well, at the moment I am taking it one step at a time. As they say, only the future will tell. But whatever it is, I know it will be fantastic!
Full names: Melinda Victoria Elvenes
Place and date of birth: 30. December 1986 in Maun, Botswana
Interests and hobbies: Modelling and dance
Education: A Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies, and plan on taking a Masters in Social Work
Current work: Waitress at the international Hard Rock Cafe in Oslo, model, voluntary worker at a crisis centre for abused women and children
Fav colour: Purple
Fav make-up: Mac Cosmetics
Shoe and dress size: Shoe size 6, and dress size small (34/36)
Height: 172 cm
Now reading: Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch
Film and music genres: Thrillers and romantic comedies. When it comes to music, I often listen to Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and have grown to like Dutch House.
English, Norwegian, a bit of Spanish and Setswana.
Live each day as if it was your last!
Other competitions entered before Miss Norway:
I came to top 30 in Norway’s Next Top Model.