The 22-year-old, who arrived in South Florida at the age of 10 and dabbled in modeling when she was just 11 months old, says that being crowned Miss Universe 2022 would mean expanding her social project with which she wants to help immigrants integrate into the society, in addition to publicizing the natural beauties of Chile.
The most famous beauty pageant in the world, which in October became the property of the Thai businesswoman Anne Jakkaphong, is held on Saturday, January 14, in New Orleans. Telemundo will broadcast the competition live.
Some 90 candidates from different parts of the world, with diverse cultural backgrounds, dreams and aspirations, will meet at the Morial Convention Center, in Louisiana, seeking to be chosen as the most beautiful woman on the planet.
DIARIO LAS AMÉRICAS spoke with Miss Chile 2022Sofía Depassier, about her preparation for the grand final, and to learn a little more about the personality and purposes of this contestant.
-What does it mean to represent your country in this edition of Miss Universe?
It is a pride. I am extremely happy to represent my country abroad, as I have done for many years. I am working very hard to leave my country on high and that the universe knows what Chile has to give, that they know its people and its food.
-What is the main thing to know about Chile?
The landscapes. Chile has many wonders, in the north is the Atacama desert, which is the driest in the world. In the south of Chile is Patagonia, where the Torres del Paine are located, a national park with a spectacular view. We also have the Easter Islands, which I don’t know, but I know that at some point I will be there. And Chile has many other things to offer the world, mountains for skiing, beautiful beaches.
– Was competing in Miss Universe a dream of always?
Of all my life, since I was little I never missed a Miss Universe. And it was always a motivation to get ahead and fight for my dreams. I am living a dream come true. Miss Universe has many things to deliver, they are women from different parts of the world, with different ideas and values, who come together in one place. So being part of this group of such impressive women is a pride and an honor. And it’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life.
-How is that preparation towards the big day from the moment you are crowned Miss Chile?
It is a very complete preparation, they are long days that require a lot of effort. Since I was crowned Miss Chile, I have taken mandatory runway classes, makeup, every day. You have to watch the news, go with a physical trainer, with a nutritionist, maintain a balance between the physical, the psychological and the emotional. It is a very comprehensive preparation and I am very happy to live this.
-How would your life change if you were crowned Miss Universe 2022?
It would be a dream come true. It would also be Chile’s second crown in Miss Universe. So I would be proud to bring that crown to my country, for the world to know about it, and to publicize my Universe without Borders project to help many people, to have more reach. With a larger audience, I know it could help change many people’s lives.
-Tell me about Universe without Borders, why did you choose the cause of immigrants, among many others?
I identify very much with that cause, because I am an immigrant and I know what it is like to leave your country, family, school, and start over. And I had the opportunity to come to this country with a roof to live in and with the support of my family. But I know that many people do not have that fortune and have to start from scratch, without knowing how to communicate, how to apply for a job or enroll children in school. Those beginnings can be very difficult when you arrive in this country. And I want to give them the tools and the security so that they feel part of the society that they now integrate.
-You were little when you were discovered to have scoliosis, you had to undergo surgery from which it took you a year to recover, what did you learn from this experience?
From that I learned that I am stronger than I imagined. It helped me see life from a different perspective, and that things can change overnight. So, it is extremely important to do what we really want, fight for our dreams, work where we want, live with our loved ones, enjoy and see the most positive things.
-How did you discover that you liked acting, modeling and that you wanted to participate in beauty pageants?
From a very young age. I remember that she was very shy, she couldn’t even ask for a fork in a restaurant, I would cry. In first grade I participated in my first play. That helped me to bring out the personality that I didn’t know I had inside and to feel more sure of myself. I had that dream from an early age and I had role models, people I saw on television with whom I felt identified.
-Beauty pageants have caused debates, how would you say the role of these pageants has changed?
The role of these contests is to look for a woman who represents leadership, with values, respectful and who is the voice of many people who are shouting today and is not heard, and who can be a helping hand.
– Do you think they continue to impose beauty canons?
I think pageants are evolving, they change every year and they open doors for women who tell their stories. We are living in times of change. So she trusted everything that Miss Universe does. They work to leave a woman who connects with people and who helps the world, who contributes her bit. And that is very nice.
-Now that the new owner of the contest is a trans woman, there is also talk that they could change the rules regarding the contestants, do you think that trans women also have the right to participate?
Of course, why not? A trans woman is already a woman, she and she is the same as each one of us. Each candidate who participates in this type of contest You have to work extremely hard and sacrifice. And that is not going to detract from other women, trans or not. We have to work hard to get to where we want to be. All this requires a lot of effort.
-Connections are created in these contests regardless of who wins, what would you like to keep from this experience?
I think the lessons. Living this experience is something unique, which happens once in a lifetime. And all this preparation helps you show your best version and gives you tools that you can use in the future. And that is what I take with me: learning and friendships.
-What other projects do you have for 2023, in addition to your participation in the contest at the beginning of the year?
I have a lot, but everything will depend on what happens in the final on January 14. I hope next year to be selected as Miss Universe, to be able to represent my country and expand my Universo sin Fronteras social project, to be a voice for many people and to be able to help in the best possible way.
-How have you received the news in Chile that it is a Chilean who lives abroad who is going to represent the country in the contest?
At first there were people who did not feel identified with me because I did not live there. But the fact of being Chilean living in another country does not make me less Chilean. Chileans who are outside of Chile have the responsibility every day to uphold our country, to show our values, to teach people everything that Chile has to offer. So for me it is an honor and an advantage to be able to be outside my country and represent it at an international level. The place where we are from is in our blood and in our hearts.