Headline — 29 August 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
Jenelli Fraser, 27, wins Miss Universe Belize

She will represent Belize in Thailand at the Miss Universe Pageant

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 27, 2018– On Saturday night, 11 beautiful young ladies competed for the title of Miss Universe Belize at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. At the end of the night, Jenelli Fraser, 27, was given the crown and the opportunity to represent Belize in Bangkok, Thailand for the Miss Universe Pageant.

The pageant began with all 11 girls introducing themselves. Then, they were all asked the first round of questions. When asked why changing the standard of pageants was important to Fraser, she replied by saying that she didn’t have what is considered the standard body size for a pageant contestant, but she worked hard and changed her diet to become more fit. She said that she became mentally and emotionally prepared and she encouraged everyone to believe in themselves likewise.

Former Miss Universe Belize, Rebecca Rath, spoke to the crowd for a bit. In speaking about people who believe that pageants are not for them, she said that once a person has the right people behind her and applies herself 100%, she can make it to the end goal. She continued by saying that no matter what the outcome is, such a person who makes the effort will always learn something new.

The contestants then modeled beautiful pink swimsuits and after that, they donned elegant evening gowns.

The girls had spent about 2 months preparing for the competition, and during that period of time, they got to know each other well. They had to vote on who they would like to be Miss Congeniality, and Nicole Hamilton was awarded that title. Her sash and a $500 gift certificate were awarded to her by Miss Universe Belize 1995, Deborah Wade.

Following this, the top five contestants were announced. Fraser, Kiah Pastor, Ashley Reid, Selena Urias, and Christalyn Castillo all progressed to the next round.

The remaining contestants then picked a question at random to answer. Fraser was asked, if she were to become a mother, what would be the most important lesson to teach her child. She replied by saying that she comes from a loving and spiritual mom whom she would like to imitate. She continued to say that she would teach her child to be confident and to overcome any struggle in order to reach that child’s goals.

After the question-and-answer round, the top 3 contestants were announced and they were Fraser, Reid and Castillo.

Lastly, they had to answer one more question. Fraser was asked what she believes is the meaning behind being “confidently beautiful” in 2018. Fraser’s response was that, in that moment, she embodied what it meant to be confidently beautiful. According to her, this comprises all the emotions she was feeling as well as the journey on which she had to embark to reach that point, which included losing 20 pounds and overcoming fear and negative comments.

Fraser also said that she believes she is the epitome of what her country is: bold, strong, confidently beautiful and culturally diverse, full of wonders and secrets yet to unfold.

It was after this that the winners were announced. Castillo placed third; Reid second; and, as mentioned before, Fraser was given the crown by Miss Universe Belize 2016, Rebecca Rath.

The 67th Miss Universe Pageant is set to take place on December 17 of this year in Thailand.

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Deshawn Swasey

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