“There will be moments in your life that seem surreal, like a dream. There will be experiences that you can never truly put into words. That was the experience I had when I was crowned.” Miss Anika M Christopher reflects on being crown Miss BVI 2023 on Sunday, 6th August 2023 in front of a pack Multi-Purpose Sports Complex and thousands more watching live and on radio.
BeYond BeauTi sat down with Anika post pageant to learn about her journey to the crown, lessons learnt and how she intends to impact the Territory during her reign and beyond. A look into the sensitive side of pageantry, through the lenses of a beauty queen.
BB: Getting to the crown is quite a journey, share with our readers how you prepared.
MBVI: The road to the crown is indeed a journey. From modeling practice to etiquette classes, the preparation involved numerous training sessions and many long hours. There were even many times where I practiced during the day and straight into the night.
BB: As you look back over your life, what would you say helped you gain the confidence to enter pageantry?
MBVI: I would definitely say it’s my general love for the stage and performance, which requires a great amount of confidence, that pushed me in this direction. My confidence also grew from the first pageant I ever competed in when I was 15.
BB: Is this your first pageant? If no, what other pageants did you participate in and how has the experience shaped you?
MBVI: Miss BVI was my third pageant. I previously competed in Miss World BVI in 2018 and Mr. & Miss BFEC in 2015. The experiences I’ve had with those competitions taught me the value of losing and how losing is just as important as winning. I learned that losing provides an opportunity for personal growth and progress. It allows you to assess your weaknesses, improve and come back even stronger. To have lost something and tried again is a true testament to someone’s resilience and strength.
BB: What have you learned most about yourself from the Miss BVI pageant experience?
MBVI: I learned that I am much more resilient than I give myself credit for. Despite all the challenges, I was able to overcome them all.
BB: Miss BVI is the most respected pageant in the Territory, what was your overall experience throughout the entire process?
MBVI: My experience was both exciting and challenging. As you rightfully said, it is the most prestigious pageant title one can win in the territory and so that comes with a tremendous amount of pressure. However, I embraced the challenge of competing because I knew it would be worthwhile. With this experience, I was able to meet many incredible people, forge new relationships and build my network.
BB: Tell us about your platform, why is it important to you and how do you intend to use your title to ensure your message is heard throughout the territory?
MBVI: My platform is climate change education. After witnessing the devastating impact of the storms of 2017, I became increasingly passionate about climate action because I recognised the very real threat that climate change has on our natural environment. With the title of Miss BVI, I intend to use this platform to engage both our young children in the school system and the general public.
BB: Dispel the myths of pageantry and tell our readers what, according to you, is the most important part of a beauty pageant?
MBVI: For me, the most important part of any beauty pageant is you. That’s it, you. As simple as it seems, I find that too many times people enter pageants and allow the negative opinions of others to shape them. Pageantry is meant to be a tool for personal development and an opportunity to utilise one’s own ideas, talents, and abilities to make a positive difference. If we give too much credence to negativity, we will abandon our true selves as a result.
BB: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
MBVI: I see myself continuing to be an advocate for climate change and making both a measurable and meaningful contribution to shaping a more sustainable future for our beautiful Virgin Islands
Wearing the prestigious crown, Miss BVI Anika Christopher plans to engage the public, residents and visitors in her ongoing 5 part mini documentary series called, “We Sea Change” that documents the impact of climate change on our communities. She looks forward to engaging with primary and secondary school students during her visitations, as she shared and educate them on climate change.
Miss BVI Anika Christopher offers these parting words to aspiring future Miss BVI contestants, “Often times, we allow fear and self-doubt to deter us from realising our dreams. To the young ladies who will one day consider competing for Miss BVI, my simple advice is to push past that fear and go for it. You will be surprised by what you can accomplish.”
Don’t miss the opportunity to participate, support and follow her journey. Follow the Miss BVI social media pages (FB, Instagram and Tic Tok) for updates and events, including fundraising initiatives to raise funds for a climate action project.
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