A Beauty Bound for Harvard

An Interview with Miss World Singapore 2013
Second Runner-Up Rachel Leng

Having beauty, brains and a thirst for doing charity work is what personifies Rachel Leng. She was a Miss World Singapore 2013 finalist and went on to clinch the Second Runner-Up and the Miss Beauty with a Purpose titles at the end of last month.

I recently did two interviews with this talented and charming young lady (see A Beauty with Brains and Beauty with a Heart), but many readers still wanted Rachel back, so I managed to catch up with her again before this young lady flies off to the USA.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Leng

Photo courtesy of Rachel Leng

I talked to Rachel about her thoughts on the pageant and her plans for the future. Read on, to find out what this Miss World Singapore Second Runner-Up has to say.

Congratulations, Rachel! You did well in the Miss World Singapore contest. What are your thoughts on being Second Runner-Up and getting the Miss Beauty with a Purpose title?

I was not expecting it at all! This was my first beauty pageant so I was thrilled at having been selected Second Runner-Up and winning the Miss Beauty With A Purpose title.

How does Miss Beauty with a Purpose title describe you?

I try to have an approach to beauty that depicts both the inside and outside of me. I work my hardest everyday to help others around me and to get as many people as possible to contribute to society. This embodies me as being a beauty with a purpose.

What have you learnt about beauty pageants?

My experiences in the pageant were very different to what I have been normally exposed to every day. The environment was very different to my usual comfort zone. I am usually a reserved and shy person. But in the pageant world, you cannot be any of that. You must be super confident and over the top and dramatic sometimes. You really have to work on a lot of self-esteem issues because if you are the least bit insecure or reserved and not putting yourself out there, people will get the wrong impression of you and will overlook you.

You must be able to present yourself well. For example, if people think that you are antisocial or bitchy, they may just ignore you completely. You must really know how to present yourself and get noticed or you won’t be able to achieve anything at all.

Do you feel the pageant opened up a different side of you?


Photo courtesy of Rachel Leng

Yes, it definitely opened me up a lot because I am not used to being over the top. It took a lot of effort for me to change. You are going to be on stage in a bikini so you are pretty much “naked” in front of thousands of people – including those online and the media people, so you are baring yourself to the whole world. You have to be so sure of yourself and be very confident. But pageants are really a lot more than showing off skin. You must believe that you are a winner. In the future, I can use this training when I need to do something out of my comfort zone. You have to also interact with a lot of people that you normally would not come into contact with, or with people who have absolutely no shared experiences with you whatsoever.

Any plans to enter more pageants?

No, not at the moment. I won’t be doing so for a while, because there was just so much stress and work that came with this pageant that I don’t think I would want to put myself through this again. Also, I am going back to studies soon, so I won’t have the time to take part in another one.

How has being crowned Second Runner-Up affected your life in general now?

It has definitely made me more confident and has made me understand more about myself and to present my strengths in the best possible light. This would definitely help me at

work, where you really have to play up your strengths all the time. No matter where you go, you must be able to put yourself up in front of an audience.

What are your plans for the next couple of months?

Going to Boston and starting my graduate studies at Harvard!

When will you be leaving for the United States and how do you feel about it?

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Leng

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Leng

I’ll be leaving in the next two weeks as my studies start at the beginning of September. I’m definitely looking forward to this new phase in my life! The change in scenery would be good and it’s always great to start someplace new as well!

Anything else you would like to say to readers?

Thank you all for your support and for following me on this journey to Miss World Singapore. I trust that even though the pageant is over, I will still be working hard in everything that I do and giving it 110% – and I will do my best!

Once again, thank you all!

Read more about Rachel!


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