03 junho 2010
Miss Universe Canada contestant balances brains with beauty
University grads feel it all the time.
The glory of the degree mixed with the reality of remaining in the part-time job that got them through university.
What to do next?
For Fawnia Robitaille, striving to become a beauty queen between shifts serving at the Old Spaghetti Factory was the obvious choice.
The 22-year-old Gordon Head resident is among the 63 women selected nationally to compete for the Miss Universe Canada title in Toronto next month. The Canadian winner will go on to the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas.
“Because of the economy I couldn’t really find a job [related to my education],” Robitaille said. “I’m planning on going back to UVic in September to do my second undergrad and my pre-reqs for med school. It’s going to be a long haul.”
Robitaille speaks three languages – French, Cantonese and English – and has a bachelor of science from the University of Victoria, with a minor in public administration.
Biochemistry and microbiology will fill her timetable in the fall, so it was only natural she spend her year off by working out every day and promoting herself during an extensive interview process to land a spot in Toronto.
“A lot of people hold that image of beauty pageants as having girls who don’t have a lot of education, but I think it’s changing. Most of the girls hold degrees. One girl from B.C. has her master’s.”
Meeting new people and travelling topped her reasons for competing in the Donald Trump event.
Robitaille grew up watching Miss America pageants on television, but she didn’t foresee competing until she came across the Miss Universe Canada website. She has since worked off 20 pounds at the gym and boosted her confidence through training and workshops with her agent.
“They interviewed about 300 girls from B.C. and the president took 15 of us,” Robitaille said of her initial invite to Toronto.
On June 6, she leaves behind the support of her friends, family and co-workers for one week of intense pre-show training with the other contestants. They’ll be rehearsing the walks and dance numbers of the Broadway-style show for six hours each day.
“I used to dance so it doesn’t make me that nervous, but dancing in heels is a completely different thing,” she said, previewing a tiara-worthy smile.
Now on the eve of her departure, Robitaille is nervous and modest about the whole endeavour. (She forgot to mention that the public can vote for her online at www.beautiesofcanada.com to ensure her a spot in the top 20.)
Asked what she will perform during the talent segment of the show, Robitaille shies from the question, insisting that component is optional.
However, if you tune into Entertainment Tonight Canada June 14 and spy an evening-gown clad beauty, balancing an arm-load of plates on a service tray, you won’t have to wonder who’s on stage.