Nova Stevens - Be the Pioneer of Change and Challenge the Status Quo (Miss Universe Canada 2020 | Activist)

Nova Stevens

My journey to the crown has not been an easy one. I completed a total of 3 times before winning. After the second time, I told myself I would never compete again based on everything that transpired that year. 

1. Tell us about your background and journey. 

My name is Nova, I was born in Kenya to South Sudanese parents. At the age of 6, my family selected me to go to Canada with my cousin. I haven’t seen them since. 

2. Tell us about your story of becoming Miss Universe Canada? 

My journey to the crown has not been an easy one. I completed a total of 3 times before winning. After the second time, I told myself I would never compete again based on everything that transpired that year. 

It wasn’t until I saw Zozibini Tunzi (Miss Universe 2019) win. That was when I saw myself through and made the decision to compete again as myself. 

3. What was the first thought that came to your mind after wearing the crown of Miss Universe Canada 2020? 

I honestly was in shock. I don’t think I realized I won for a good 30 seconds. Then it was a sign of relief and gratitude. 

4. What is your opinion of body image & beauty standards created by the media and how hard is it to put up with it? 

I think it’s important to know that all body types are beautiful. It’s impossible to live up to society’s expectations of what is beautiful because beauty is so diverse; but often in times, only one type of beauty is celebrated. The important thing to note is that we are all beautiful and should practice self-love. 

5. How important is social media validation in your profession? 

Not important. I’ve realized that you can’t please everyone nor should you try to. At the end of the day, social media is a tool that you should use wisely. Use it to promote your business, causes, and to spread awareness. 

6. How can one take care of their mental health in this high-pressure glamorous field? 

I think taking a break from social media is a good start and surrounding yourself with positive people in your life. 

7. What message would you like to give the world about beauty pageants and the girls who want to be a part of them? 

Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. Even if you think you’re the type of beauty isn’t appreciated. Be the pioneer of change and challenge the status quo. Be unapologetically yourself and you will succeed. 

8. What next for you? 

I’m currently preparing for Miss Universe and writing a children’s book as well as setting up a nonprofit. 

Instagram ID - @thenovastevens

Nova Stevens

Nova Stevens

Miss Universe Canada 2020 | Activist

Interviewed By - Aditi Ashok

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