October ‘15
Insight Interview

October ‘15
Amina Ashraf
Amina Ashraf


    


They say simplicity is the mother of beauty and her simplicity, good heart and shining smile are the essence of her eternal beauty. Being a role model for all young girls out there, she's a true representation of all that's magical and charming about Egypt. Amina Ashraf, Miss Egypt World gave us a piece of her heart and mind regarding what makes her the unique girl she is'¦

What can you tell us about yourself?

I can tell you that I am a different girl almost everyday because of the vast majority of experiences I had the pleasure to go through, I have obtained a lot of different views and perspectives along the way. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to live this life but I am most grateful for the talent of 'thinking and analysing', which made me gain the most from each experience.


What attracted you to the pageants world?

It was my need to explore and my addiction to what's new that drove me and without hesitation to the pageants world. I enjoyed making friends with the contestants and wearing my sweats in the gym as a sign to my hard work and was rewarded with the title 'Miss Fitness' along with other titles like 'Miss Charity and Goodwill', 'Miss LTCP' and 'Miss Style'.


How did you take the first step towards this dream?

Let me go back to when I entered the modelling field independently. I found photographers online who believed in my talent without even having a CV and they agreed to shoot me and so I had professional pictures to start with, and that gave me a boost. I gained enough confidence to audition for Hany El Beheiry's Fashion Show casting. The casting was full of professional models, this sight almost choked me but I was dedicated enough to my challenge and embraced every inch of fear with bravery and so I was chosen to be one of Hany El Beheiry's models and had my first real modelling job! I remember the opening wedding dress of the fashion show was given to Miriam George, Miss Egypt 2005. Instantly that became my next goal, I wanted to be special in the modelling world. I worked hard till I earned the opening wedding dress for Hany El Beheiry's fashion show in Alexandria and that was merely my 3rd modelling job! I modelled for a year, till the poker face and the catwalk were pleasurable but not challenging anymore. This is when I challenged myself to audition for Miss Egypt 2014-2015 where I will not only be cat-walking, but also talking and showing more of my identity to thousands of people. My next challenge was very interesting but required putting myself out there and taking all the risks that came along. As big as my next dream seemed, I was ready to explore how my character will change and enlighten with it. During the two months pageant, for the first time ever, I worked out in the gym and followed a very strict diet.


The world of beauty pageants is incredibly competitive, how do you maintain a balance between wanting to be the best, yet still retaining your morals and good nature?

Honestly, it is a very hard equation that should be balanced or else will make the whole glamorous field self-destructive. I think we, as humans, will never realize and appreciate good till we see bad, we would have never recognized white if there weren't black. Being within 121 beauty queens, each representing their country can be very competitive that it might even suck all the fun that comes along but I chose a different path. In a pageant where you have beauty queens applying make-up 24/7, dressing up in designer clothes to walk through the hallway and wearing high heels almost to the bathroom things might get very pressuring given that each beauty queen represents her country. I chose to represent Egypt's beauty with humbleness, innocence, genuineness, smartness and love. Being myself and showing natural beauty made me enjoy the pageant. And for the first time ever Egypt was in the top countries for the 'Beauty With a Purpose' project. I am very thankful for the people who helped me make my project come to life.


How did you feel the moment you were crowned Miss Egypt World?

As I reached the top 5, my mum was dying in her seat and whenever the audience called my name and cheered in the hall my heart skipped a couple of beats. I was in another world till I had the crown being placed on my head and the sash being rolled on my body! This minute of glory is priceless. My inner voice said 'Here you go Amina, now your Egypt's ambassador of beauty... You made it!' From this point on my life changed 360 degrees. I was blessed with people's love and I had a whole year of exploration ahead of me.


Talk to us about your experience in 'Dancing with the Stars'.

After appearing with Tony Khalifa in his program, I was called by 'Dancing with the Stars Middle East' to be one of the participating stars in season 3. The biggest challenge was leaving my family for four months and living in Lebanon. I prepared myself emotionally and flew to Lebanon where I landed straight to go party with my roomie Miss Lebanon! Soon did I realize that the challenge of DWTS was far more than just emotional, it required dancing in front of an audience, which is something, I never did except in my room! I challenged myself physically as we had daily 4 hours dance training, and it was very rewarding to see my followers on instagram increase rapidly and seeing the fan pages grow everyday. I was the youngest star on the show and I enjoyed making new friends. I lived for 4 months with celebrities and enjoyed being called one.


Can you walk us through an average day in your life?

I love this glamorous life but an average day in this life requires a lot. Because when I chose this path I did not want to give up on my normal life but rather chose to have a bit of both. So it is challenging to make time for family gatherings, studies, duties towards my scholarship and responsibility to my title and friends. I chose to enjoy every step in the way and not change my identity. It is not surprising that make up is not a necessity in my life and I do upload pictures on instagram makeup-free and I am happy that I have made such a decision. I love my friends and I'm blessed with having childhood friends and close friends all around the world; thanks to social media ;).


Can you share with us your beauty and health secrets?

I wouldn't call myself an expert but rather an experienced girl in the field, so when it comes to my fitness I would advice people to maintain a healthy diet but not a strict one because once you follow a strict diet like the no carb diet you lose weight very quickly but also gain double the weight you lost fast. So a healthy diet shouldn't be starving your body but rather keeping you healthy. Also, having a workout buddy is useful. Most importantly, give credit to yourself and do not think that others are better than you. When it comes to makeup, here is what I think is the best advice: Wear makeup when you want to pamper yourself but do not make it a habit. Love yourself for who you are, believe me, we are all beautiful in someway.


What advice would you give to any girl wanting to become a beauty queen?

To all the girls who want to become beauty queens out there, do not let fear hold you back and do not postpone your dreams. I know it is scary, I admit I was scared too, but be strong. Nothing is as scary as it seems. It is a life changing experience and we all deserve a part of it.