For Lauren Natasha Campbell, beauty pageants are a journey through which she grows and develops as a person. We speak to Singapore's shining star about tiaras and sashes, and all things girly!
Beauty pageants aren't just about the fancy costumes, showcase of talents and looks. They're much more than that.
For 5-year-old Lauren Natasha Campbell, beauty pageants are a journey through which she grows and develops as a person. She is able to challenge herself to do better with every competition she takes part in. For someone so little,
I had the chance to meet and chat with Lauren and her mother, Hani, who told us more about this journey as a pageant mum and about Lauren's latest achievement - representing Singapore as a finalist in the Face of the Globe 2016 Mini Category at Disneyland, Paris.
How long has Lauren been taking part in beauty pageants?
Hani: She first took part in her first pageant, Little Diva, at age of 3, as a trial to see how confident she was. She came in as first runner up. She then entered Little Cinderella last year and won!
Image credits: Little Cinderella Facebook
Tell me more about her upcoming competition in Disneyland, Paris! It sounds so exciting.
Hani: She is a finalist and will be competing with 20 other kids from other countries, and she is the only one representing Singapore! The actual pageant takes place on 7 April at Disneyland but we will be there before that so she can train. We are really thrilled to be part of this experience.
What sparked Lauren's interest to join pageants?
Hani: Two of her older sisters, aged 10 and 12 are models. After seeing them in competitions, Lauren's interest spiked and she expressed the want to join.
How does she juggle between training and school? When she’s away in Paris, how will she cope with missing out on her classes?
Hani: She's in kindergarten now, and attends My First Skool. We balance her lifestyle so if she has school, she has to attend and focus on school. She has ballet on Tuesdays, reading class on Thursdays, Chinese theatre class on Fridays, and Tahitian class on Saturdays.
She still has time to watch Youtube and play, like any other kid. When it’s time for her to go for classes, she will. Whenever she has homework, she will come back and inform me that she has homework and will get it done.
I try not to let her miss school as much as I can. For instance, she has an interview/shoot today, so she will attend school for half a day, and go back in the evening. I have informed her teacher about the pageant since last year, so the teacher will email/update me then so that Lauren can do her work and not miss out.
Does fame get to Lauren's head? How do you keep her grounded?
Hani: No, I’m surprised that even though her friends tell her that she’s on TV or in the pages of magazines, she’s not boastful. She smiles and keeps quiet. I’ve taught her to be humble and to say thank you and smile, and she has been very modest about her fame all this while.
We've heard that Lauren does community service. Do tell us more!
Hani: We've visited an orphanage in Batam to show her the lifestyle of unfortunate kids. She sees how they live, the food they eat and where they sleep. It teaches her to be appreciative. Even though there is a communication barrier between her and the kids, she can get along with them just fine.
She went to the old folks’ home as well. Though she was afraid at first, she soon opened up and enjoyed herself. She asked me questions about these people, so I’ve to explain to her about the living situation of these less fortunate people and how lucky she is.
What lessons have you learnt from her journey as a parent?
Hani: I have learnt a lot. I've received criticism but I know that I have to be strong for her. People have told me things such as, “She’s not that talented, how could she have won the pageant?”
As a parent, you have to be the main pillar of strength for your kids. I’ve received support and encouragement from friends as well, who have helped me to help her build her confidence as well as mine. And I am thankful for that.
How do you ensure that she practices and train at home?
Hani: With every contest, they want to see how she walks and how well she poses. I have sent her for a week-long course in Malaysia which helped groom her. We also have a professional trainer to train her for a month, so that she can improve.
Click on the next page to find out how little Lauren feels about all this!