6.12.2012

Getting to Know Miss World Denmark 2012 Iris Thomsen


 
IRIS THOMSEN (25, 180 cm, Østerbro) was crowned Miss World Denmark 2012 during the Miss World Denmark 2012 National Final held at Kokkedal Castle on May 18th, by Lisa Lents, director of the "Miss & Mister of Denmark Organization" and National Director of Miss World in Denmark. Iris Thomsen also won "Miss Talent" award at Miss World Denmark 2012 Final. She works as a professional dancer & model. Iris will represent Denmark at the 62nd edition of the Miss World 2012 pageant to be held on August 18th, 2012 in Dongsheng Fitness Center Stadium, Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. Critical Beauty is grateful to Iris and to her national director, Lisa Lents, for allowing this e-mail interview.


What was going through your mind after you were judged as the winner?

     I was very happy. I had this weird feeling that my whole life had led me to exactly this point. All the skills I have accumulated and all the hardship I have gone through culminated in this event. I have always felt that I have a lot to give to the world, and that I want to reach a big audience. Now, after years of hard work, I finally have the opportunity to do exactly that, and I thought to myself “now is the time to work even harder”.   

What do you tell critics who say that pageants are outdated and exploit women?

     I do not believe that is true. The women that enter do it out of their own free will. It is a platform that has started the careers of many women. Young women see this as a chance to show the world what they can do, and to network with others in the business. Of course, before entering a contest, you should always make sure that it is a legitimate business, do your research on the organizers and read the rules/contract carefully before signing! Yes, pageants do have criteria for physical appearances, but so do casters for movies, dance companies, modelling agencies etc. That is part of the entertainment business. But pageants are also very much into personality, special talents, intelligence and a good heart. The Miss World Organization is looking for a spokesperson that can create more awareness around charitable causes and be a good role model to young people. I don’t see how that is exploitation and out-dated. If anything, it’s only more relevant these days with great role models who possess good values and promote the idea of helping others, now that the youth are exposed to so much more than they used to be. 



What three adjectives would your friends use to describe you?

     Positive, good-hearted and hard-working.


What is your best quality? Your worst quality?

     My best quality is sometimes my worst quality. I always want to do my very best with whatever I do, and I can sometimes be too hard on myself. Sometimes it’s good to try and look at yourself with an outside perspective, and realise “this is good enough”, but other times it is also good to just keep searching for that something special to make it just right. 


What do you like to do for fun?

     Sing, dance, eat, travel, play cards, yoga, spend time with my family.


What makes you most uncomfortable?

     Speaking in front of people. I am naturally quite introverted, I think before I talk and am nervous about being misunderstood. I have cried for many of my oral exams in my school years, because my nerves simply take over. Also as a dancer, I am used to expressing myself through movement and not words. I wanted to do something about that, so I started singing and acting lessons a couple of months ago. I have become increasingly better, and for the radio- and TV interviews I have done in relation to winning my title, it has gone really well, so I am very proud of myself, but I still get a little bit nervous before an interview. I love challenges & I work really hard at the matter right now, so I’m looking very much forward to be completely confident I speaking in front of a big crowd although I’m a bit shy.

 

If you were to make a time capsule to represent life today, what would you put in it?

     An iPhone. It symbolizes how technology has become such a big part of our lives, that we can fit the whole world in our hand. We are always on-the-go, and we can listen to music, work, send emails and so many other things with just one device, and the technological development just advances so fast. In 50 years they will look at the iPhone and laugh.


At what point does a girl become a woman?

     The answer to this may vary according to the perspective you choose to look. Some communities say it’s at a certain age, and have a rite of passage that symbolises the transition from child to adult, followed by a new set of responsibilities. Biologically it can be said that it is when a girl gets her first period. Others may say it is when a female gets married or gives birth to her first child.

     I believe that it is when you start being independent and take responsibility for your life. I remember a time when I used to blame everyone else for my misfortune, and I truly wished to be someone else. But this way of thinking got me nowhere and was very destructive. When I started taking responsibility, I realised that I can make the changes I want to make, and I can make things happen for myself. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help – it is also a sign of maturity to know when you need help (and remember to help others when they need it). 

     A woman’s life is filled with suffering and pain and she understands this without running away from it. She understands that life consists of both good and bad times, and that both are equally important to her growth as a human being. Through her experiences, she can give hope and courage to others who are going through the same thing. She can confront a fearful situation and stare it right in the eye. 

     A woman is kind, loving, selfless, enduring, knowledgeable, patient, respectful, empathetic, responsible and comfortable in her own skin. When a girl starts acquiring these attributes, is when her transition into womanhood begins.

What would you say to a young girl who has low self-esteem?

     I would tell her that all the people, including herself, that are telling her she is not good enough, are lying. Then I will ask her to write down the things she thinks she is good at, or wants to be good at. After that I’ll tell her to focus on those things and keep working on them, and promise her that one day, things will get better, because I have been in the same situation, and I know this for a fact.

What would you say is the biggest problem facing the youth today and how do you resolve it?

     It’s become very trendy to be ‘bad’. Being cool typically involves excessive drinking, doing drugs, smoking, not doing well in school, being promiscuous etc. and these activities can have a very big effect on how your life pans out. Religion has become something dangerous that a lot of people cannot relate to, and that is their choice to make. But you cannot abandon spirituality and the development of virtues. Each person needs to find his/her way of doing this, whether it’s through a religion, art, study of philosophy, yoga or something else completely. 

     Even though times have changed and we seek role models outside of the family, I still believe that the parents have the greatest impact on their children. We now know more about parenting than past generations have, and we must make sure that we are good role models and that we show the love, support and discipline that children need. 


What are the three things you would never do to the person you love?

     Lie, cheat, abuse.


If you showed me around Denmark, where would you take me and why?

     I know most about Copenhagen, since I have lived here my entire life, so I would show you the best places here. Obviously I would take you to the places tourists have to see: The Little Mermaid, the Queen’s castle, The Round Tower and the Harbour. Then to a nice café to show you how the Danes “hygge”, which kind of translates to “being cosy/doing cosy things”. After recharging I would take you on a walk around the lakes surrounding the inner city, then show you an area called Nørrebro, which is ethnically diverse. As a finale I would take you to the Royal Ballet. That building is simply stunning, and the shows are breath taking. 


How are you preparing for the Miss World 2012 competition?

     My national director, Lisa Lents (who was Miss World Denmark 2008), is helping me to prepare mentally for how the competition is going to be held – the pressure, the long days, the rehearsals and the stress of being judged 24/7 for a whole month. I feel that I am prepared for that, also through my training as a dancer. I already work out a lot doing ballet, yoga and Pilates, and I eat quite healthy. It has always been part of my life, so that has not changed. 

     But I do need to learn more about how to present myself physically as a beauty queen. I am learning to do my hair and make-up, so that it highlights my best features and also expresses certain aspects of my personality, which are: professional, elegant, confident and gracious. 

     Finally I am working on my presence and my ability to express myself, as I mentioned in an earlier question, I am naturally quite introverted. I have always thought it to be a positive thing, but it that can be interpreted as me not wanting to be social or not enjoying the conversation, and it can easily result in me being overlooked, and I don’t want that to stand in my way in this competition. So I’m working on how I can show the judges and the world, my personality and what I have to offer. I want them to see how driven I am, and that I am a good choice as the face of the organization. I want them to see that even though I have gone through some tough times in my life, I have picked myself up and gone for my dreams. As I mentioned earlier, I have had some practice doing this through the interviews I have given, and they have helped a lot! 

     And of course making sure I still see my friends and family, keeps me grounded, and their support will send me off with the right attitude and mind-set.


Why do you want to become Miss World 2012?

     I want to help and inspire people. I have so much to give to this world, and so many things I want to do with my life. Winning the title will help me achieve my wildest dreams, and give me the opportunity to make a greater difference in this world. I feel that the life of the Miss World winner is the perfect balance between the two worlds that I am already in: one being the entertainment business, and the other working with children and giving them everything that I have. The Miss World Organization stands for all the same things I stand for, and with their help I am confident that I can do great work.  


     How do you see yourself five years from now?

I will definitely still be dancing and working with children. I will have become a certified yoga instructor and helping others achieve the benefits of this form of training. I will be married and thinking of starting a family. Maybe I will even have my own dance company by then. I hope I will be busy; I like having a lot to do.



Iris's Favorites

Singer/Musician – Linkin Park/Evanescence/Fallulah

Actor – Edward Norton/Ulrich Thomsen

Actress – Penélope Cruz

Color – Light green

Fashion Designer – I do not have a favourite one, there are so many good designers out there! And I have never been able to afford designer items, so I have had to not look at those things to not get tempted or depressed. I love whatever looks good, whether it’s H&M, vintage or by a designer.

Perfume – Escada – Rockin’ Rio. I got it as a present for my graduation, I love the freshness of it!

Flower – Iris J

Writer – I don’t have a favourite writer, but I have a favourite genre: psychological thrillers!

Book – “Undtagelsen” by Danish writer Christian Jungersen

Movie – The Pursuit of Happyness

Quote – Martha Graham is my hero. She said so many great things, which have inspired me and helped me to continue through bad times. If I have to choose one quote by her, I choose this one:

”There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you.”








IRIS WITH NATIONAL DIRECTOR LISA LENTS


Photo credits: Miss & Mister of Denmark Organization.


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