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MANILA, Philippines – Karolina Bielawska of Poland took home the title of Miss World 2021 during the pageant’s finals night in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday, March 16 (Thursday morning, March 17 in Manila).
She bested 97 candidates to be the second Polish beauty queen to win the title, following Aneta Beata Kreglicka’s win in 1989.
A self-confessed “adrenaline junkie,” Karolina is always seeking her next adventure when she’s not busy with beauty pageants.
She started her modeling career at the age of 14, when she participated in the Elite Model Look competition and won second place. She has signed in different prestigious modeling agencies since then, and has even walked for Fashion Weeks.
At 23, Karolina holds a bachelor’s degree in management while also pursuing a master’s degree in business. She hopes to become a TV host and motivational speaker in the future.
In her Miss World blogs, Karolina wrote that traveling is her biggest passion. She enjoys swimming, scuba diving, and playing tennis and badminton.
“Enjoying the world and its beauty brings me a lot of joy. Discovering new places, meeting new people, and learning about their culture makes my life fuller,” she said.
“Hans Christian Andersen said that ‘To travel is to live’ and I completely relate to that. Trying new things, enjoying the wilderness of nature, and learning from people different [from] me is what makes me feel alive,” she added.
As to the three adjectives that describe her best, she mentioned “open,” “passionate,” and “positive.” And if she was going to be an actress, her dream project would be with Hollywood star Margot Robbie. “I heard many times that I look like [her], so I would choose her to see if it’s true, as well as, it would be amazing to meet and learn from this wonderful actress,” Karolina said.
Karolina’s passion for charity work
Karolina shared that she focused on charitable campaigns during her reign as Miss Polonia 2019. “I knew that it gives me an opportunity to reach bigger audiences, inspire and lead by example. That’s why I decided to engage myself in many charitable actions, support foundations, and just try to be a better person.”
“We all have a voice that matters, so we should use it in [a] responsible way and stand for good causes,” she said.
For her Beauty With a Purpose project, Karolina highlighted the “Zupa Na Pietrynie” group, which provides constant help to numerous homeless people in Poland.
“It’s an amazing incentive that provides the necessities like food, drinks, protective gear for the pandemic, warm clothing to survive the winter, and equally importantly, help people to feel more valuable. The feeling that there is someone who wants to be there for you, wants to help and gives you time is very important,” she said about the project.
Karolina continued, “Since I volunteer, I’ve seen a lot of people suffering from cold, hunger, and poverty. Sometimes when we don’t struggle and experience those things, we assume that those issues are not there. This year was a huge lesson [on] empathy and gratitude for me. Every day I’m grateful for what I have and thanks to empathy I want to share it with others. While sharing and spending time with the ones who are not similar to me, I also enriched [myself] and learned a lot from them.”
She also said that their group organized a COVID-19 vaccination drive for homeless people, wherein over 600 homeless people were vaccinated.
“I believe that the most valuable gift is our time. It is the most significant thing we can share with someone in order to show how we appreciate and value them. When we share kindness, interest, and empathy, a simple conversation can make a whole day better,” she said of the experience.
Karolina said that the phrase “Beauty With a Purpose” means living with “gratitude as we serve others with love.” “Life is not only about what we’ve accomplished, but who we’ve lifted up. It’s about what we’ve given back,” she emphasized.
Miss World 2021 performance
Prior to the coronation night, Karolina was included in the Top 13 of the Top Model fast-track event. During the talent segment, she performed a spoken word poem that she wrote herself.
“Gift of words is very meaningful and powerful, while words can move us in the right direction and are great attributes of all leaders,” she said about her piece.
Karolina also wrote about the sisterhood formed during the competition. “Creating friendships with so many beautiful souls from different parts of the world is the most valuable experience. It allowed me to learn so much from them and it enriched my life with empathy, better understanding, love, and lots of laughter. I’ve learned that we are all equal in the fact that we are all different,” she said.
During the pageant night, Karolina was asked about “the most important discovery yet to be discovered” in the question and answer segment.
Her winning answer was: “Every day we learn something new. We all have unique experiences and all of us can learn something about ourselves. What I’ve discovered is that it costs us so little to enrich the lives of others. This is the cause we can all afford, and believe me, it’s worth its price.
If you would like to discover something new, just try to learn to be rich in more empathy, in compassion, in gratitude, because we can all do what, as I mentioned before. We can all be great because everyone can serve. And this discovery feels so simple, but it’s actually [life-willing].”
After being crowned, an emotional Karolina said: “When I heard my name, I was shocked, I still can’t believe it. I am honored to wear the Miss World crown and can’t wait to get to work. I will remember this amazing chapter in Puerto Rico for the rest of my life.”
As Miss World 2021, Bielawska will be representing the organization until she eventually passes the crown in the next edition of the pageant. – Rappler.com