Addressing rumors to taking a walk down memory lane of her Miss World 2017 journey, Jessia Islam spills the beans in conversation with Maisha Tarannum
Photograph by Riyad Ashraf
From the very beginning, Lovello Miss World Bangladesh has been the talk of the town. As much as the show was making headlines for participating in the international platform of Miss World 2017, for the first time in history, there were other spectrums that made heads turn during and after the pageant. Being aware of the rumors all too well, Jessia still cherishes the memories of the biggest turning point of her life. ‘’In spite of all the controversies surrounding the pageant, I still believe, there is always a scope for improvement. For the first time in Bangladesh, such a big event like this took place and there might have been some mismanagement which we can’t change right now. But what we can do is make sure things only get better from now on. And that is what I am working on,’’ she promptly replies.
One moment she was the second runner-up and the next moment she was crowned Miss Bangladesh. Jessia experienced a sense of mixed feelings while reflecting back to those moments. ‘’When I was initially crowned second runner-up, I actually felt a little disappointed as I was so close to my destination yet couldn’t win the crown. But I guess the stars were in my favour after all, and the rest is history,’’ shares Jessia.
Jessia always wishes to look ahead in life and let go of the past. “I have heard so much from people about how this year’s Miss World Bangladesh was in the news for all the wrong reasons. But as the search for next year’s Miss World Bangladesh has already set to begin, I wish all the best to the entire team so that mistakes like these never occur again,’’ adds Jessia, hoping for the best.
For the first time in the history of beauty pageants in our country, someone was going to represent Bangladesh in an international platform like Miss World. However, Jessia’s natural ease and passion for doing something for her country made the job easier for her. She explains, “I knew what I was going into and I was ready for it. The platform itself was a dream for me. And every moment that I spent in that journey will always be the most memorable moments of my life.”
When it comes to filtering out constructive criticisms from hate comments, Jessia surely knows which ones to keep in account. “I simply don’t pay attention to unnecessary feedback that is not fruitful. As long as I know I am doing my bit and the people that I am working for are satisfied with my work, I don’t have to listen to everyone’s opinion about me.”Clearly, her maturity showed.
Jessia wants to use the opportunity that she has been given to give back to the society. As she mentioned in the head-to-head challenge in Miss World, she wishes to build institutions in rural areas to help women learn specific job skills, and she is working her way through to make this dream come true.
This beauty with brains concludes by sharing her concerns for the future contestants that will participate in the pageant. Being the perfectionist that she is, she hopes in the coming year the focus would be given more to the grooming of the contestants than just focusing on singing and dancing. ‘’The platform of Miss World is huge. The girls that participate from all around the world are extremely talented and well groomed. So to compete with them, we should focus more on how to sharpen our intellectual abilities too.”