This year we will see the 50th Miss Intercontinental being crowned. Like the last edition, this year the winner will be crowned in Egypt. The Netherlands will be represented by the beautiful Miss Intercontinental Netherlands 2022, Melissa Bottema.
Melissa was Miss Intercontinental Groningen last year and became the first runner-up for Miss Intercontinental Netherlands 2021, at the finals of Miss Beauty of the Netherlands 2021. This year there was no Miss Intercontinental segment during the Miss Beauty finals. So Melissa was asked by the organization to go to Egypt and of course Melissa said yes.
Will Melissa be crowned Miss Intercontinental like Brigitte Bergman was in 1983? We will follow her during the international pageant.
But first we asked Melissa 10 questions.
Who is Melissa Bottema?
I grew up in a small village called Winsum. I live there with both parents and my younger sister. Since my early years I always have a great passion for gymnastics and till this day I still practice gymnastics. Besides that I am also a gymnastics coach and trainer and I work with young women towards their competitions.
Gymnastics is an elegant sport, it taught me discipline and to never give up.
When and why did you enter the world of beauty pageants?
From a young age I ALWAYS wanted to participate in beauty pageants. I can remember how I put marks on the floor in the living room to practice my routines. There little Melissa was walking on high heels through the living room, with a big smile on her face and making eye contact with the jury. I can still see myself walking, thinking back about this. And in 2 weeks I will stand on an international stage. I think it’s safe to say: Dreams Do Come True
How was it when the Miss Beauty of the Netherlands organization asked you to represent the Netherlands at the Miss Intercontinental?
I didn’t doubt for a moment, the beauty pageant girl has always been part of me, so to get a chance to represent the Netherlands feels like a big honour. I am very grateful to Tessa le Conge (president of the Beauty of the Netherlands Organization) to give me this chance, and I will look back at this beautiful experience, my whole life!
How are you preparing for the international competition? What is it you have to work the most on?
I try to keep calm in my head as much as possible, I think that that is one of the most important things. Being mentally strong is key. Besides that I had a lot of support from my provincial coach, Christina Lazaros. Together, we recorded my introduction video in Amsterdam, had several catwalk trainings and made a lot of content for social media. I had to work hard on my Q&A skills but thanks to John Thaddeus Sarmiento I’m getting much better now !
Furthermore I try to enjoy myself the utmost, everything has been arranged properly and I am ready to go !
Since 1983 the Netherlands did not win this pageant, what wil you do to change that?
I think my disciplined nature can get me far in this beauty pageant. I hope that during the pageant, the jury can see who I am, as a person. My goal is to make a difference in the stigma there is around the conversation about mental health. I believe Miss Intercontinental is the perfect platform for this topic. Now it is a matter to show the MIO what I have in store and with my positive mindset, this should work. Let’s Do This !
The finals will be held in Egypt, what are you looking for the most to see and who to meet?
To be honest, I am looking forward to the whole experience. I will be having a network around the world and I will meet women from several continents. I mean, how cool is it to have this experience ! I also look forward to the final show on October the 14th.
Are you watching?
Many say the Netherlands does not have the sash factor at beauty pageants. How can we change that?
I am convinced that the Netherlands got the potential to win an international title ! The Netherlands have the most beautiful, intelligent and strong women. But unfortunately that is not sufficient. I think it is a matter of development. If we look at for example the Philipines, there beauty pageants are huge, they have lots of loving and caring fans and as a beauty queen, you have a large team behind you. In the Netherlands beauty pageants are still often associated with “being the prettiest” , “meat inspection” and “ you just have to walk in pretty dresses”. We are living in 2022, it’s not any mire only about being the prettiest.
What message do you have? How will you tackle this social problem? What is your legacy as a beauty queen? These are relevant questions, a beauty queen has to think about.
I hope the pageant community in the Netherlands will focus more on personal growth and team building between queens, so we can take away the prejudices about beauty pageants. Because a beauty pageant is so much more than appearance ! It is about beauty but even more about the brains !
Everybody has a color of their life, what is your color and why?
I am a person who cannot sit still and who is sporty and active, so I would say the color RED. But I can also enjoy some moments of rest and some time for myself. Then I lean towards blue. If I combine these colors, you get purple. This color is the perfect description of Melissa. I am a social and spontaneous person, sporty and energetic. But I also have a serious side, which likes to learn new things and which takes her rest when necessary.
What about Melissa in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself as a graduate in my current studies. I am studying at the Hanze Hogeschool Groningen, and I am studying Social Work. Next semester I start my minor in psychiatry, I am really looking forward to this ! After this study I would like to proceed to study psychology at the university. Furthermore I hope to have a beautiful home in a cozy village with my partner and kids. And of course working as a psychologist!
What message do you have for your fans all over the world?
What I would say to my fans all over the world is: thank you for all the positive reactions. I have been in contact now with a girl from the Philipines, it’s great to see how supportive she is towards me, even though I am from another country. It’s heartwarming to get support from all over the world, and I would like to thank them and we’re going to have a great adventure together.
We asked Melissa to answer these questions quit late, but she did it!! This tells a lot about this beauty queen! Melissa thank you so much and we wish you all the best of luck at the international finals! But is you handle the pageants as you did these questions, you will succeed for sure!
Roy Froma and The Light Portraits.
crown by Baroqco