There are not many big international wins for the Netherlands in the beauty pageant industry and for the most we have to go back a long time in history. For example Miss Intercontinental: The last time (and only time) we won this prestigious pageant was back in 1983, when the beautiful and lovely Brigitte Bergman won on the island of Aruba.
Also for some placements as semi or finalists we have to go back to the 70’s, in 1976 Barbara Ann Needs became 2nd runner-up and in 1978, Caroline Hooft became a semi-finalist.
The last time the Netherlands was represented at the pageant was in 2015 by Iris Hertroijs.
We hope that since the Miss Beauty of the Netherlands pageant have taken the licenses for Miss Intercontinental there will be dutch representatives at the pageant.
This year the tall Cathelijne Heppenhuis was crowned as Miss Intercontinental Netherlands 2017 and will later this year go to Sri Lanka and represent our country at the pageant.
Who is Cathelijne? we asked her 10 questions.
Who is Cathelijne Heppenhuis?
Cathelijne Heppenhuis is a hard-working 19 years old woman, who’s currently enjoying living in the bustling city of Amersfoort in the Netherlands, where she was born and raised.
I’m seeing the life always positive. If one door is closing, another one opens. At the moment I’m in my graduation year of my study to become a speech and language therapist. Beside of this I’m working as a model and hostess. I like photography, drawing, spending time with family and friends and I’m a girl who is always in for some adventure!
Why and when did you enter the world of beauty pageants?
Almost a year ago, I received a message on facebook from a woman. She scouted me for the casting of the beauty pageant of my province: Miss Beauty of Utrecht. I was very enthusiastic, because since I was a little girl I’ve always been interested in beauty, makeup, modelling and performing. I was looking forward to learn new things, to develop myself and to meet new people, so I went to the casting. From there, my journey started!
How do you prepare for the international pageant? What area do you need to work on the most and how are you doing in this area?
Preparing for Miss Intercontinental takes a lot of focus and dedication. I’ve been working out and have become more careful about the food I eat, this way I want to be healthier and hope it will also be helpful to achieve my sport goals. Aside the physical preparation, I’m also getting myself mentally sharp. My coaches, who have a lot of knowledge and experience, assist me in my preparations and they help to bring out, the best of me. The area I need to work the most on is the English language. At the moment my English is reasonable, but I would like to master the language better, so I can explain myself and my thoughts in a better and strong way and so I can communicate more easily with my fellow contestants.
Miss Intercontinental 2017 is in Sri Lanka. What do you expect from the pageant and why do you expect from Sri Lanka?
I expect that I will have an unforgettable time in Sri Lanka. It will be a period of hard work, full of preparations, training, photoshoots, interviews, and visiting sponsors, but most of all, making new friends from all different kinds of country’s! I’m looking forward to all the beautiful things that I will experience with all the delegates. I’ve never been in Sri Lanka before, so I can’t wait to explore this beautiful country, sights and culture and hope it will be something that I will never forget!
This pageant is all about female beauty and success. What makes you the ultimate female beauty? What makes you successful?
What makes me the ultimate female beauty? That really is a hard question. I think a beauty is someone, who is beautiful from the inside and from the outside. I’m trying to be the best version of myself. Always laughing, life is too short to be sad. Always helping, because this is what makes me shine.
I would describe myself as a helpful, strong, independent and social woman. When I want to reach something, I’m giving the full 100 percent to achieve my goals. What makes me successful? To improve myself and to be a better person than who I was yesterday.
Brigitte Bergman has been Miss Intercontinental 1983. What will you do to bring the crown to the Netherlands after 34 years?
For me, a true Miss Intercontinental is a strong woman who is ambitious and driven, yet humble and down to earth. She is a leader and she wants to help and to inspire people. But most important – she has a heart of gold and that is how her beauty radiates. I hope the international jury will see those qualities in me! Like they saw these qualities in Brigitte. Beside of this, I think it is very important to stay who I truly am and enjoy every moment. I’m also convinced a good preparation is half the job.
What will you tell your roommate about the Netherlands and what typical Dutch present would you give to her and why?
I would share my favourite memories of the Netherlands with her. The holidays such as Easter, spent picnicking and having a long bike tour with my family along our beautiful tulip fields and meadows with cows. The food such as our stroopwafels, boerenkool and cheese. I would tell her all about our multi-cultural diversity in our country. The different ethnicity, religious, background and political differences, all in one country. Despite this, there is such a strong Entity and sense of community in this country. We really do support each other and that’s what makes me, proud to be Dutch.
I’ll travel to Sri Lanka in december. A few days before I leave, the typical Dutch festive ‘Sinterklaas’ will take place. It’s a family tradition, celebrated with a lot of songs and candies. One of these candies is called ‘pepernoten’. I really enjoy eating these and I would love to bring them to Sri Lanka so my roommate can taste those special delicacy too and be part of my family!
A beauty queen always has a place in the spotlight, but she also has a private life. What do you want to tell us about Cathelijne without crown and sash?
I would like to share something about myself not many people would expect from me. Because beside a beauty queen, there is also a tough girl in me. I’m very adventurous and I love extreme sports. Freestyle skiing is my passion. The speed, adrenaline, falling and rise and challenging myself every time, is something I really like. I worked for 4 years as a climb instructor and I can climb at 22,5 meters high with ease. Beside of this I love to go on vacation to the mountains, where I can make long walks and make mountain bike tours. High-risk is something that suits me and I’m always in for new adventures so I can challenge myself over and over!
Do you think growing up in the Netherlands is a privilege? Why or why not?
I do think it is! In the Netherlands everyone gets an equal opportunity to achieve their goals in life, irrespective of their background, race or creed. There is good education and I’m thankful I was allowed to grow up in a country with safety and liberty, because I’m aware this is not always self-evident.
What about Cathelijne in 10 years?
In 10 years, I’m already working a few years as a successful speech and languages therapist in a revalidation centre. I hope to become happily married with a family and a home. For me that’s what life is about: joy, love and quality time with your loved ones.
Thank you so much Cathelijne for his great interview! We wish you and your organization all the best of luck!