It’s not a secret that Friesland houses some of the most beautiful women and successful models of The Netherlands. Not excluded are the two models who participate in Miss Supermodel Worldwide Africa (MSWAfrica), a national beauty pageant for women with an African background. The winner of MSWAfrica progresses to Miss Supermodel Worldwide, an international pageant in India where she will represent The Netherlands. One of these Frisian misses is Carliza Correia Dos Santos, an 18 years old student with a mission and vision.
By: Valerie van den Berg
I was born in Cape Verde, and moved to The Netherlands at the age of 7 together with my mother and brother. I’ve been living in Franeker ever since. Franeker is quiet and peaceful, but there’s also a lot to do. I consider people in Friesland to be very friendly and everybody seems to know each other. Frisians are known for having their own language, which I enjoy hearing. When somebody talks to me, I can immediately hear whether they are a real “Fries” or not.
Growing up, I felt pretty insecure about the way I looked. I rarely met people who looked like me and I often endured bullying because of my skin color. I’ve always wanted to be a model and a few months ago I decided to go after this dream. I posted a request in a Facebook group for tips on how to get started and where to look for. Valerie, one of the organizers of Miss Supermodel Worldwide Africa, told me about this pageant and I decided to participate.
My reason for participating came from the experiences I’ve had living in Friesland. As I grew up feeling insecure and different, I have made it my mission to show others with a darker skin color that you should be proud of who you are.
I proudly represent the beautiful African islands of Cape Verde at the MSWAfrica competition. This contest is much more than just being beautiful. Most of what we have done and learned reflects on your inner self, personality and presentation. As a miss, you need to know what you stand for and what you want to achieve. It is important to be able to transfer this message and goal to the audience, as you become a role model to many.
If I win Miss Supermodel Worldwide Africa, I will try my best to help the youth in Cape Verde by providing school utilities and uniforms to kids in need so they can have a brighter look on the future, without worrying too much about the present. I would also like to go to schools in Friesland (and the rest of the country) to show kids that no matter how different you may feel, it is okay to be you. Love yourself just the way you are and never be scared to go after your dreams.