An interview with Raquel Pelissier, Miss Universe Haiti 2016

She has beauty, she has brain.  Since her crowning has Miss Universe Haiti 2016, Raquel Pelissier is making headlines.  Out of her now very busy life, she took a few minutes to talk to us.

Photo:  Frederick Alexis

Photo:  Frederick Alexis

Raquel Pelissier since 2010 you are living in Spain and you are still studying there.  So what make you come back here and enter the Miss Haiti pageant?

Actually in 2011, I moved to Madrid to attend the Complutense University of Madrid where I graduated. I have always wanted to participate in a pageant however I had decided to prioritize my education first. This year I had many goals and winning the miss universe Haiti title was one of them. Living abroad had made me realize the image the rest of the world has of Haiti and I wanted to change that. This a great opportunity for me to show the beauty of Haiti and its culture.

You have a degree in Optometry, master in Scientific research, you do aerial dance, you speak 4 languages, now you are Miss Universe Haiti 2016… What do you think of yourself?

What do I think of myself? If there is one thing I know for sure is that I love challenging myself. Whenever I feel that I am getting to use to my routine, I add something new to it so as to get me out of my comfort zone again. I believe that is the only way to grow. 

“Confidently Beautiful”, what does that mean to you?

Being ‘confidently beautiful’ is about embracing my beauty inside and out so as to make all the women embrace theirs as well. God created beauty in all shapes and colors. We should always recognize our worth first in order for others do to so. 

How would you describe your wardrobe and your beauty routines? 

I like to keep it simple and classy when it comes to my clothes and make-up. I believe less is more. 

As an avid reader, what book do you think a person should read at least once in his lifetime?  

I would definitely suggest ‘1984’ by George Orwell. It’s a dystopian novel in which he paints a world suffering from a totalitarian regime in which the streets and houses are filled with screens so as to control the population at all times. This book has made me realized that the world he is describing is not much different from  the world we are actually living in since, with the use of technology, our privacy is at stake. It also made me see the thin line between security and privacy and why some governments use our safety as a pretext to control us, especially after a terrorist attack.  

Beside the crown of Miss Universe Haiti, you were also elected Reina Hispanoamericana Haiti 2016.  How do you think that competition will help you in January?

I have never participate in an international pageant before so I believe that going to Bolivia to compete in Reina Hispanoamericana will give me experience and everything I need to know in order to make a greater impact at Miss Universe, in the Philippines. 

Do you have a platform? What is it?  And how are you working on it right now?

The project I am working on right now is about teaching the youth good manners and values such as respect, not only for oneself and others but also for the environment. I want the schools to add community service in their program so as to everyone can contribute for a cleaner Haiti. 

Miss Universe has changed format this year.  Do you like the way it was before or do you prefer their new vision of beauty?

 Miss Universe’s new format is more appealing to me. It is not just focused on superficial beauty anymore. Now, it promotes women empowerment and also helps women raise awareness on various issues or diseases around the world. I personally think I fit better in that new format because, in my professional life as a scientist, I am fighting to find a solution for blindness though my research projects. 

A message for all the very well prepared Haitian women out there who are reluctant on participating in a beauty pageant for Haiti?

 My message would be a quote from  Marianne Williamson  that has inspired me so much and that I found to be true. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” That quote helped me realized that I have what it takes to accomplish anything I want in life and not to let fear stop me from my goal. I want this quote to motivate others as much as it as motivated me.