The next finalist of our 12 Months of Beauty Finals is Lara Kroonenberg. Lara will shine on the 12 Months of Beauty stage on Sunday, April 24th.
She will compete for one of the titles of Miss Grand Netherlands 2022 and Miss Supranational Netherlands 2022.
I am a 20-year-old Dutch-Indonesian girl, born and raised in Haarlem. In September of this year, I’m starting my HBO (bachelor) studies ‘International and European law’ in The Hague. Besides that, I work in home care with the elderly, as a tutor for primary school children, in the catering industry and as a model. Family celebrations, spending time with my friends, good food, going out in Amsterdam and walking in the dunes make me happy. I think my friends appreciate me because I am a fun-loving person that is loyal to her friends and is also there to share in the less cheerful moments in life.
Why did you enter the pageant of 12 Months of Beauty?
Two years ago, a friend told me she was competing in a beauty pageant. I signed up out of curiosity. I had no idea what I was getting into or if I had any chance at all. I was pleasantly surprised that I ended up in the final! Unfortunately I didn’t win, but I was one special experience richer. I really enjoyed the pleasant and supportive atmosphere among the candidates, it resulted in several new friendships. And I was surprised to see that this wasn’t just about appearances, but also about who you are, what message you have to convey and what you can contribute to society. It inspires you to think about yourself, what you find important in life and what you can do for others. Especially at such a young age, this contributes to your self-awareness and self-confidence. I had been following the Miss Grand pageant for a while and when I saw a call to sign up, I knew this was what I wanted to do! Not just for fun this time, but I’m seriously trying to get the most out of it now. The atmosphere among the candidates of 12 Months of Beauty is once again fantastic. And I am really impressed by the very professional organization and guidance during this pageant. Of course I want to win! But it’s not just about the destination, it’s also about the journey, about the experience. I take on new challenges and learn so much from this. That alone is so valuable that you can only win, regardless of the result.
What difference would you like to make for the pageant world in The Netherlands and why?
In the Netherlands, many people are critical about pageants. They have a certain image of them to be superficial, not really female-friendly, they sometimes call it ‘meat inspection’. That may have something to do with how pageants are portrayed in American movies we see here. That’s a shame, in my opinion. The reality is that all of the candidates are beautiful, strong, self-confident women, each with their own story, with real content. The beauty pageant is a means of conveying your own story and your own message, for whatever you stand for. My personal message is to draw attention to the importance of mental health. The importance of being able to talk about it openly with each other, to get past the shame, and to give it the attention it deserves.
What message do you have for your pageant fans?
First of all I want to say how grateful I am for your support, that really makes me happy. I hope that such an election not only inspires you to strive for more beauty and physical health, but also makes you think about all those other things that are important in life. Like my personal mission is to give a different face to ‘mental health’ and to contribute to more openness and understanding for each other. People with mental health issues can be a finalist in a pageant, making beautiful pictures on social media. They can also be your friends, your neighbours, your family. It is not always visible from the outside, the struggle often takes place on the inside, invisible to others. Let’s not hide it and be ashamed, but open up! Let’s start the conversation with each other and try to be accepting.
Photographer Johnny ten Have
Jewelry by BaroQco
Hair by Sanjay Ramcharan for Addict Haarlem
Make up by Seductive Glamor