She is living every eighteen-year-old’s dream. Walking the high fashion ramp, living in a plush apartment in New York City and wearing the title of Miss Universe 2009. But Stefania Fernandez has proved that there is more to her than just a beautiful face.
Stefania, who is busy touring the country, spreading AIDS awareness and promoting the Save The Girl Child campaign, says that working towards social causes and awareness is something she would like to pursue as a full-time career option. “There is something so beautiful and enriching about being able to connect with people and let people known that there is something one can do to give back to the society,” Stefania says.
This being the second year in a row and the sixth time that a Miss Venezuela has won the Miss Universe crown, one wonders about the secret formula that all Venezuelan women have? “There’s no secret. It’s all about luck and preparation,” she laughs.
Winning the crown has been Stefania’s childhood dream. She says that every girl in Venezuela shares the same dream as hers. “In Venezuela, winning a beauty pageant is like entering Bollywood here. It’s everything to a girl and training starts from a very young age,” she says and adds, “I have always been the tall one in class and my passion for fashion started when I was very young. I would always go in for the high heels and pretty dresses. It was almost like everyone knew that I would attend the pageant.”
One of the greatest challenges she faced during the pageant was knowing the English language. “Only Miss Caribbean and I didn’t know the language during the contest. But that didn’t really stop us from getting to know each other. Once I won, I underwent a two-week coaching class before my tour started and now I have pretty much picked up the language. Yet, I find English a bit scary since I’m not totally confident about it,” she adds.
From all the experiences and cherished memories, she has of the contest, Stefania says nothing can beat the crowning moment. “To be crowned by someone from one’s own country is a great moment that I know I will cherish all my life,” says she.
So is Bollywood on the cards soon? “Right now I am totally dedicated to the causes I believe in. As for Bollywood, maybe someday, who knows?” she laughs it off.