TRINIDADWEDDINGS.COM (TW) INTERVIEWS ACHE ABRAHAMS, MISS WORLD TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Interview date: December 2, 2022
TW: Did you know you would win the title? If so, when was that moment?
Ache: I had no idea that I would win although I believed in myself. It was unpredictable because this year we had some amazing women involved. So, to win this one is even more flattering because it wasn’t easy. On finale night, people were coming up to me and saying “You know, I didn’t come to root for you but you deserve it,” and that was so fulfilling. The moment I knew I could win was when I answered my final question and heard the crowd’s response. Even thinking about it now, I get goosebumps because I felt the energy change. At that point, it wasn’t Marabella versus Maracas versus whoever, it was…this is who we want for Trinidad and Tobago. It was that moment of solidarity and that was the moment I felt I won.
TW: Now that you’ve won the title, what’s your daily training schedule like? Maybe give us a glimpse into “a day in the life” of Ache now…
Ache: I always wake up and give thanks. Every day is different – a new adventure, which I love because it keeps me on my toes. I’m being introduced to a new aspect every day in terms of events and connecting with people. Training is happening – whether it’s walking, general knowledge, current affairs, etiquette and working on my “Beauty with a Purpose” project, since we have very limited time to execute!
TW: In previous articles, you talked about your struggle with self-esteem – when was the defining moment when you felt you had to change your inner dialogue?
Ache: I would say around 16 or 17 and that was after years of experiencing self-esteem issues. It became evident that I had to change something and take my power back. I think during adolescence is when we experience moments of self- doubt and self-criticism and especially now, with social media. There’s so much comparison on social media – people whose lives look amazing but it’s mostly filtered. It’s so easy to compare your reality to someone’s façade. That’s why it’s important to be open and honest about things like this. People won’t know the stress behind some of my days or my experiences before. It’s ok if you have a bad hair day or a pimple. It’s perfectly fine to be yourself. You don’t have to be anyone else.
TW: Do you find that the social media scrutiny on you is more now? And every photo is being dissected?
Ache: Yes, and it comes with the territory. You have to assess the pros and cons with any choice you make. I had to be ok with that, within myself. Even before I went to screening, I had to come to terms with that.
TW: The interview section of the pageant, is no doubt one that distinguishes the eventual finalists. How did you prepare for the Q&A session for the finale?
Ache: The interview section is what makes it so much more than just a beauty pageant – it’s what you speak about, how you speak, what you stand for, what you believe in. I’m not afraid of the Q&A. I love it! You can use the platform to shine light on a topic and be a voice. When you want to be a voice for people and draw from your experiences, it becomes fun and it comes from the heart. I have been blessed to work with Richard Young and Adrian Raymond, who have both been involved in Q&A prep. On finale night, I didn’t prepare for that question at all but in that moment, I had to let go and just trust in myself. I just had to speak from my heart and be real.
TW: Looking back, what advice would you give your 14-year-old self, who participated in the Miss Beauty Plus pageant?
Ache: I chickened out from that pageant when I was 14. It was dream of mine. I was always a princess in my head, running around in Cinderella or Show White dresses. I started off being OK with being in that space but the closer I got to going up on the stage, I just felt I wasn’t ready. Now, I’m 23 years old and representing T&T, so there has been growth in my development. It‘s so easy in beauty to be critical and compare yourself. I always say flowers don’t compare themselves, a rose grows and a sunflower grows and they’re both pretty. I knew at that point when I dropped out that it wasn’t for me. I had to take a step back and it was me being aware of what I needed at that time and it was the right choice for me then.
TW: Our audience would love to know about your daily routine and beauty secrets. Can you share some?
Ache: Beauty is about how you feel within yourself and how you carry yourself. My advice is to keep your skin clean and clean your makeup brushes. Never go to sleep with makeup on – it’s so easy to say one night won’t hurt me…but it will! Beauty comes from your comfort level, so find what makes you feel the best and wear what you like. Any true style icon is different and they have ownership of their identity. Stand up and be uniquely YOU!
In terms of exercise, I’m working with the Fitness Centre and I won the Fitness challenge at the pageant. With fitness, it’s more than just exercise, it’s how you eat and if you’re hydrated.
I would recommend Sacha’s brow enhancer, that has been great. I also recently started using a Vitamin C oil.
TW: What are your favourite Trini foods?
Ache: My team laughs at me because they say “Ache, you eat the most out of anyone here!” I love food. Last night I had pizza but there are days when I have salad and baked chicken. I eat doubles almost every day and I love callaloo and buss up shut.
TW: Did the age-old stigma of beauty pageants being “all about beauty” phase you at all? Or do you think pageants in general are becoming more holistic in approach?
Ache: Every Miss World candidate has to have a “Beauty with a Purpose” project. Every country has a project. This concept started in 1972. There is a stigma but we want to change that narrative.
It’s important that when you want to prove people wrong, you do it through your actions. I just want to go out there and represent us really well. Even if it’s not winning the crown, I want to bring my country a sense of pride. I knew it was more than just beauty when I entered. It’s representing something much bigger than you. It’s a privilege to me and I’m going out there with so much pride.
TW: What is your “Beauty with a Purpose” project and when did it get started? Tell us more about your future projects with it?
Ache: My focus is on mental health and making it an important conversation in T&T. Since the pandemic, mental health problems have risen. Some people are unaware of their problems and some people haven’t processed what happened to them during the pandemic. The key to de-stigmatizing mental health is through public awareness and education. There are teenagers out there who are saying they are ok and they’re not. I want them to know there are people who have experienced how they feel too and there are people out there who want to help them. Right now, we are focusing on the awareness campaign, going to school to school and having different events. We are planning a 5K run to bring awareness to mental health and foster a national movement. It shows that we can come together and acknowledge that issue. Through physical health we can tap into mental health.
TW: How have your parents been through this process?
Ache: My mom was shaking when they announced my win. It’s the best thing when you make your parents proud. It’s such a satisfying feeling. My parents are so supportive and happy for me. You’re blessed with parents for a reason. They want the best for you. And they have seen my evolution!
TW: As the newest country ambassador, what aspects of Trini heritage and culture are you most excited to share about in the 2023 pageant and with other delegates from around the world?
Ache: First thing that comes to mind – Carnival of course! I love it. I may have to leave during Carnival for the pageant next year and I’m going to have tabanca for sure! It’s so much more than the music and the dancing, it’s really coming together and being unified and not thinking about politics or race, or anything like that. I just want to show the world what we have to offer – which is harmony, peace and vibes! Music-wise we have steelpan and it’s symbolic of T&T. Many people don’t know that it originated here.
I keep thinking about being up on that stage and seeing the flag in the audience. I just want to make us proud!
TW: What does the crowned Ms. World do?
Ache: Firstly, you travel with Ms. Julia Morley, Chairman of Miss World, for a year and you do charity work, events and press tours. But the heart and soul is “Beauty with a Purpose” – that’s the platform to speak and reflect what Miss World’s values are, which are giving back and having a voice. You continue your “Beauty with a Purpose” project with them, as well as supporting other charities.
TW: Since your win, have you met up with Giselle La Ronde-West (1986 Miss World)? If so, did she have any advice?
Ache: I’ve been speaking to her a lot – she’s been incredible. We have plans to meet next week. Just the fact that she went out there and did it in 1986 is inspiring. I told her, “I hope I can just continue what you started for us.” She’s the only Ms. World from T&T. To see that she sees potential in me, it just pushes me every day.
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