When people say, well, you are the most beautiful woman, I am like, aah, I don't care, says Stefania.
Reigning Miss Universe, nineteen year old Stefania Fernandez is currently in India to campaign against female foeticide and AIDS with designer Sanjana Jon. The Venezuelan beauty gets candid in a short talk with Ashok Kumar of IndianExpress.com
Being the hottest woman on earth, how tough was it to cope with the heat of the Indian summer?
Oh the weather, it's very humid for me, but, for Miss Universe the weather is great. Though everyone else was sweating because of the heat, I was always cold, so for me it was okay, not really hot.
How does it feel being involved with the social causes like saving the girl child and awareness campaign against the HIV?
The people always follow me and acknowledge that I am doing something different going around the world.
When did you first get to know about the bias towards the girl child in India in particular and the world in general? How do you think can this bias be eradicated?
I got to hear about the bias in society towards women for the first time by the fellow men, so I was like very surprised. Now, how can this bias be eradicated is I feel, people have to change their mindset. Men should understand that they need a woman, so they should think about that.
In your personal opinion what is the surefire way of tackling the menace of HIV which is prevalent globally?
Getting tested is the best way to fight the menace of HIV. So, everyone should endeavour to get tested. Getting tested for HIV is the most important thing and it is very easy. People saying no to 'HIV Test' is the most dangerous thing.
In what ways do you find people from your country different from India?
My country is very similar to India, the only difference between Venezuela and India, according to me is of the culture and language.
What difference has the crown made to Stefania Fernandez?
(Laughs aloud) I feel like the same person which I was before being crowned Miss Universe. When everybody says, well, you are the Miss universe, you are the most beautiful woman, I am like, aah, I don't care. Well, but of course I enjoy a lot as I have a great opportunity to go to a lot of new places.
In what ways has the Miss Universe title added to your responsibilities?
There have been many added responsibilities. I don't speak English so well, so when I won, I was told that I have to learn English, I was like, Oh my God! Learning English for me was pretty hard. Conversing in English has been the most difficult part ever since I have become the Miss Universe.
How tough was it for you to learn English?
For me, it (learning English) was a little bit hard, when I started and I had to practice a lot, but I have tried to learn.
Have you got introduced to any Hindi words during your tour in India?
Chalo, Chalo, (Folds her hands, and gleefully utters)...Namaste!
What Indian dish do you like the best?
Giggles...I like the Dosa (Indian Masala Dosa).
How does it feel to preach on social issues like HIV, to people who are much older than you in age?
Smiles..Aah..the people wonder, if am really a nineteen year old girl. When I talk to them they seem to think of me like a twenty-five or a twenty-eight year old girl.
What is the most beautiful thing that happened to you after being crowned the Miss Universe?
Talking to people is something I always loved, and this platform has given me ample opportunities for that.
If not Miss Universe, what would Stefania Fernandez be doing?
If I were not to be the miss Universe, I would be doing business. I would still like to study communication.