Thursday, August 1, 2013

Eye For Beauty Blog's Miss of the Year 2012 - Iris Thomsen

Photo: Christina Anaya
Every year, hundreds of thousands of women from Taipei to Toronto, Cape Town to Caracas, Jakarta to Moscow compete for beauty titles. Some do it for fun, some do it as a challenge, while others hope to make it big in the beauty industry. For most that dream gets shattered pretty quickly, for it’s only a select few that make it big in this ultra-competitive industry. In fact, even winning one of the biggest titles in the World (or Universe) does not mean you’ll make it big. If you don’t claw your way to success by doing everything you can to capitalize on your five minutes of fame, you sink back into so-called obscurity pretty quickly. So, among all these hundreds of thousands of women, how do you even select one that you want to acknowledge?!

Well, for me it’s pretty easy. Yes, being beautiful is important as we are dealing with beauty pageants. Yes, you should want to make the world a better place, and strive for world peace. No jokes, the world can be really nasty and any form of good being done is welcome nowadays. Representing your city, state, or country should not be seen as a burden – it should be welcomed with open arms. It should be a thrill, a challenge, and a blessing. Being competitive is great but using the experience to better yourself and enjoying every moment of it is something that is probably most important of all. After all, the odds are stacked against you – 1/120; 1/80, 1/51! Why not just enjoy the experience while hoping for the best!  So, basically when I look for contestants that touched my heart, I usually keep all of the above in mind. The deal breaker is then of course some form of personal rapport that I built up with some of the delegates that I adored during a certain year.
Photo: Charlotte Baker
In 2012, I adored and admired a whole lot of girls but in the end it pretty much came down to two amazing young ladies. The two beauties that really caught my attention were Iris Thomsen, Miss World Denmark 2012, and Koini Vakaloloma , Miss World Fiji 2012. I admire Koini for the way she handled the whole drama surrounding that happened when the girl that initially won her pageant was dethroned and the grace with which she assumed the title, and made it her own. But I only really got to know more about her a few months after Miss World, so it was a tough call but EYE FOR BEAUTY BLOG’S (INAUGURAL)MISS OF THE YEAR 2012 is IRIS THOMSEN, MISS WORLD DENMARK 2012!

On May 18, 2012 the lovely Iris Thomsen was named Miss World Denmark 2012. She beat 19 other hopefuls to win her national title at the Kokkedal Slot in Copenhagen. At a towering 1.8m in height, she was one of the tallest contestants at the 2012 Miss World Pageant. Thomsen traveled to Ordos, China in mid-July where the contestants would stay for 1 month in preparation of the 62nd Miss World Final. Throughout the competition, she was in our Stairway to the Crown prediction lists.

Throughout the competition, I was hugely impressed by Iris’s amazing attitude and vibrant personality. She stood amongst all the delegates simply because she radiated positive energy and she looked totally relaxed and happy. She soon became one of the most photographed delegates at the event.  On almost every photo that appeared, Denmark was somewhere in the mix. It also appeared that she was very popular with her fellow delegates. See what South Africa’s Remona Moodley had to say about Iris:

A great attitude goes along way – especially in a beauty competition. Yes, these competitions are tough but they are often a once in a lifetime experience, so I really appreciate girls who want to make the most of this experience. Through Iris’ photo updates and amazing blog posts, the fans could share the journey with her. She kept it real and honest – it was a true reflection of what a rollercoaster of emotions a huge pageant like Miss World is but most importantly, it always remained positive. Here are some of my favorite exerts from her blog posts:

July 19, 2012:

I finally met my roommate, Miss Israel. She arrived late at night, after I had already gone to bed, so when she stepped into the room I just started talking to her in Hebrew with my eyes closed (I had taken out my contact lenses and couldn’t see anything, anyways), and she was so surprised to hear someone speak her language! So of course we started talking and I explained to her how my mother is an Indian Jew that immigrated with her family to Israel in the sixties. We bonded immediately, she is so sweet.

Then during the day we had our first rehearsals for the opening show. I was so excited when I heard the music and we started doing our catwalk, and hearing all the country names called up was such a surreal experience for me. I’m in the Miss World pageant!! I get to show myself as a person and as a performer, where else would they be interested in both? It is definitely a great experience for me. Some girls already miss home, but honestly, I haven’t gotten to that point yet. Not because I don’t love them and I like being away from them, but simply because I am having such a great time, and I love every second of it. (I didn’t think I was a pageant girl, but apparently, I am!)

July 21, 2012

Today was a really long, but very exciting day. First we had breakfast, then we did the rehearsals for the opening act of the final show. After that we were told that we an opportunity to walk for a famous designer. This famous designer is none other than Graeme Black with the brand 1436! We were told to walk naturally, as if we were walking down the street. All 120 girls got to walk, which is an amazing opportunity for us! It took a long time to see all the girls, but it was interesting to see more of the girls and learn from each other

A great example of how popular Iris is with the other girls. She was invited by Miss Canada to visit her this past February. Tara Teng invited a few title holders to do some charity work with her. Miss Gibraltar, Miss Hungary, Iris, and Miss Canada are photographed in a snowy Vancouver in this photo.
July 22, 2012

Then we had a meeting with Mrs. Julia Morley. She is an amazing person, and every time she speaks I get really emotional. She just has that thing that inspires people and I can't help but feel super grateful that I get to experience being around such great people that genuinely want to make a difference in this world. Sometimes it is so easy to feel like a small fish in the water that is of no importance, but we can all make the world a better place in the way we know how. I try to do that through my work and my art and just by being nice towards other people. You can never know how great the ripples effects of your actions are, I truly believe this.

July 24, 2012

Today we got the morning off, so I slept until 8.20 then I went for a quick breakfast. Then after a small chat with my beautiful chaperone I went to the gym and pool. It was so nice to move the body and have a little time to myself. Then I packed my bags for the show tonight and tomorrow we are leaving for Shanghai, so I packed a little bit for that. Then we had lunch, rehearsals at the stadium for the opening ceremony and then we went back to the hotel to get ready for the show!

After the show we had our welcome dinner in a huge and fancy restaurant. We ate traditional Mongolian food, it was very delicious. I tried as any things as I could, bearing in mind that I try to keep kosher while I am here. In very short that means I don't eat pork and shellfish, and I don't mix dairy and meat. But there was a nice variety. Again all the Chinese guests, staff and press kept taking pictures of us, I'm just enjoying it, posing with whoever wants to have a picture with me

Photo: Jack Høier
July 31, 2012 

We drove for about an hour to get to the desert, and we realised how cold it was because the sun hadn't risen yet. We rode a ski lift to get to another mountain then a huge jeep to get to our destination. It was so much fun, like being in an amusement park. The drive drove really fast and the cold wind woke us all up. We had some breakfast, and then we got divided in to our 4 groups for different activities. My group went to see the sand art, it was so stunning. There were huge sand sculptures, I guess you can compare it a bit to Legoland but with sand. I felt inspired to do some yoga and draw some nice shapes in the sand, so I did. I tried to distract from the photographers and just be in my own zone. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere 'Just Dance' by Lady Gaga blasted out the speakers, and we all started dancing and having fun. We formed a circle and one by one we danced in the middle. I busted out some breakdance moves, and I don't think any of the girls expected that, so they went crazy and cheered for me
August 23, 2012

What can I say? I miss having breakfast with my 115 friends, I miss having rehearsals with our absolutely wonderful choreographers, I miss my chaperone, I miss my busy schedule! I am so grateful for this experience, and I am looking forward to what may lie ahead for me.

It’s truly amazing to see a girl enjoying a pageant so much and really embracing the opportunity and experience. However, Iris was not just there to have a good time. She also wanted to compete and make her country proud… and that she did. She made it to the top 16 of the Performing Talent Fast-Track, and she was in the top 47 of the Miss World Top Model fast-track. On the final night, it was revealed that she was one of the top 30 quarter-finalists of Miss World 2012. That is top 30 out of 116 countries!!!  Unfortunately she did not progress to the top 15 but for on paper, it was Denmark’s best placement in 20 years.

20 years after Anja Brond placed at Miss World 1992, Denmark shone again
Eye For Beauty Blog’s Miss of the Year, Iris Thomsen, is truly an inspirational woman who not only has a positive attitude but also a kind heard and a genuine interest in people. Any future beauty queens could look at the way she presented herself, and represented her country, at Miss World 2012 and try and do the same. We are very happy to have her as our first Miss of the Year!
The Miss & Mister of Denmark under directorship of Lisa Lents
will once again be in charge of this year's Miss World Denmark contest on Aug 3
Iris was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:
1. What are the most special memories you have of representing Denmark at Miss World 2012?
Wow, this is a difficult question since the entire month was so surreal from the very first second to the last and filled with crazy stories!
The truly special memories, though, are the moments I had with some of the girls that I really formed a special bond with. Shani (Miss Israel) and I were roommates and instantly we felt like sisters. I loved that moment when she first arrived to the room and it was late, so I was already asleep, but I heard her come in and immediately started speaking to her in Hebrew, she was so surprised! She didn’t expect a Danish girl to talk to her in her language.
Also one night in the desert the Miss World Organisation had made a bonfire party for us, and Bama (Miss Mongolia) and I danced together in a battle against some Chinese dancers… it was great fun. I would also practice English with her, and on the second to last evening she came to me and told me how much she appreciated it, and we both started crying and hugged each other intensely. These are just some moments, there are plenty to share! I really miss all the friends I made. Remona (Miss South Africa) and Mariana (Miss Brazil) were also very close to my heart… just to name a few! They are really all such lovely girls. That is the downside of it all – we all go back to our countries afterwards.

2. What have you been up to since competing for the Miss World title?

Well, I’ve kept on working on my modelling and my dance career simultaneously. I formed a contemporary dance company named Alforria with 2 of my good friends, and we have been working on creating material that we will be ready to perform with soon.

As for the modeling I changed agencies, so now I am represented by Diva Models and things are going really well. I have become one of the faces of the Danish brand ’House of Amber’, which makes stunning jewellery out of amber and they have stores in China as well, so that is fantastic. I also got the opportunity to travel to London, New York and L.A. and do various photoshoots. At the same time I visited some of the girls at these places, including Sherlyn (Miss Seychelles) and My (Miss Vietnam).

Then I went to Vancouver, Canada, along with Nives (Miss Hungary) and Jessica (Miss Gibraltar) to visit Tara (Miss Canada) and get involved with the charities that Tara works with. It is amazing the work she does to end modern day slavery. We learnt a lot about the human trafficking industry from and her family since they are all very involved with the cause. One day we visited the women’s shelter on Valentine’s Day and gave them cupcakes that we had baked and got to know the women.. that was a very powerful moment to us all. I was not aware of the extent of human trafficking in the world, and now I try to talk about it with more people, to make them aware of it as well. We need to stop this horrific industry. One of the steps I have taken in my own country is to become an ambassador for the NGO ”CARE Denmark” and help raise money and awareness towards helping women in Niger and Nepal. I am very excited about this campaign we are running over the summer called ’Walk in Her Shoes’ that focuses on the great distances women and girls in Niger and Nepal, for example, walk to get water for their families. This is time they could spend on their own business or on going to school. Giving them an opportunity to do exactly that, is what will bring change to these parts of the world. To learn more about the campaign go to

3.Do you have a special message you would like to share with your fans around the world?

Thank you all for supporting me and for sending me such beautiful messages, I am very touched by the fact that I have a fan base out there.
I am very humbled by the opportunities this title has given me – it has given me a platform from which I can do great things, and I am very proud of my achievements so far, though it is important to notice that nothing comes without hard work or without help from others around you who believe and trust in you.
Photo: Andrew R. Moore
Follow Iris on Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram:
Twitter and instagram: @iristhomsen

Iris will be crowning her successor, Miss World Denmark 2013, on Saturday August 3rd. We wish Iris all the best for the future! May this be the end of one exciting chapter and the beginning of a brand-new one for a very special young lady!!!


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