With the Miss Universe 2018 competition starting in 14 days, we had to get another interview with one of the ladies heading over to Bangkok, Thailand to vie for the international crown. Katrin Lea was born in Siberia, Russia but raised in Iceland almost all her youth. Being fluent in Icelandic, English and Russian, she is passionate about languages and also is learning Danish, Latin & French. She volunteers assisting teen immigrants with school work as well as helping them with challenges they may be facing. This became her passion as she is able to connect with them as a one-time immigrant herself. She has established a program called “BeBrave” which focuses on helping immigrants adjust to a new country and culture. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading the classics, going to the theatre and traveling abroad. She looks forward to visiting Asia for the first time and learning more about the Thai culture.
Hometown: Reykjavík, Iceland and Omsk, Russia
Occupation: Caretaker in a nursing home for the elderly
Age: 19 years old
Hobbies: Going to the theatre (enjoy dramatic plays), running long distances and international travel
Favorite food: Italian food; pasta, pizza and lasagne!
Favorite movie: “The Secret”
Three words that sum you up: Patient, confident and very brave
Song you have on repeat right now: Imagine Dragons -Whatever it takes
Dream job: I want to become an immigration rights attorney and one-day work for the United Nations.
One thing you can’t live without: Carbs! I can’t live without bread, pastries, pasta etc.!
“Only the one who does everything on time and makes the effort can enjoy the real success”
– My mom, Elena
Having a national title must keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
Every morning starts with a run for at least 15 minutes and my workout routine at home or at the gym. When I am done with exercises, on working days I am usually volunteering at the Icelandic high school, where I am assisting teen immigrants with their homework and personal difficulties. On the evenings I work as a caretaker in a nursing home for the elderly or if I am not working I am preparing for Miss Universe Competition; reading and watching news and working on my swimsuit and gown walk.
Tell us about your experience at nationals!
Miss Universe Iceland was my first pageant and I must say it was the most exciting, memorable and pleasing experience I ever had in my life! I tried to participate two years ago, but because of my young age I wasn’t able to take part. While waiting for my time, I prepared for every single part of the competition, hoping to win one day. I will never regret my decision of spending so long time of dreaming about it and win it because I learned a lot not only about myself but also about a true beauty, women empowerment and a real sisterhood.
What are you looking forward to the most at Miss Universe?
I am very excited to see and experience Thailand, Thai people and Thai culture, because it is my first time to Asian country. I also look forward to meet other marvellous beauty queens, the crew and staff members of Miss Universe Organization and I am very excited for what life might bring to me after the finals on the 16/17th of December!
What are some things you are doing to prepare for the Miss Universe?
There are many different subjects I have to be prepared for. But the most important one for me is the mental preparation. Every morning I start with saying affirmations to myself, about the things I am thankful for in life and what I love about myself. For me, Miss Universe is a modern woman, who is aware of the issues in our society and has her personal opinions of them. Therefore, I am always following global news and constantly listening to powerful speeches from independent minded people and experts.
Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
Yes, I do! I was actually bullied in elementary school when I started to wear glasses. There was nobody else with glasses that is why I became a perfect spot to bully. What I did in this case was to talk with the people I trusted, who were my family and teachers. Both my parents and school took this information very seriously and just in a few days together they organized a presentation for the whole school to explain for the students what a challenge it is to not see well. After that nobody mistreated me again.
According to my story, I advise everyone to report bullying to people you trust. It is the situation which a person should not handle alone.
Tell us about your platform:
Something I am very passionate about is immigration. As an immigrant myself, I understand first-hand the difficulties encountered with moving countries and adjustment to a new language and culture. Therefore, I have established a program called “BeBrave” with focuses on helping immigrants maintain multiple cultures and languages, adjust to a new environment and encouraging women and men to Be Brave in a participation of development of themselves. I hope, with my participation and winning of Miss Universe 2018 I will be able to tell the whole Universe about the ideas of the “BeBrave” program and bring it to an international level.
The instagram page for the program is @bebrave.official
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
I am a huge book lover. I love to read motivational and empowering books that make you want to work harder leading to your dreams. The book I am reading now while preparing for Miss Universe is Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen. I recommend to read this kind of the books in the morning, before you start your day to get an amount of motivation for a whole day!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received was “Don’t seek for an unrealistic perfection, by being unapologetically yourself you are already being perfect!”
Keep up with Katrin at Miss Universe: