Shy Cook Islands mum is aiming to become Ms Aotearoa 2024.
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
A South Auckland mum will fulfill her childhood dream of competing in the Ms Aotearoa beauty pageant in April.
From a young age, Chelsea Samuel was fascinated by shimmery dresses, glittery tiaras and would always look up to women who were elegant and poised.
"I love the feeling of wearing a tiara on my head since I was a little girl, I used to do ballet back then and we used to wear little crowns and tiaras on the stage feeling like a princess.”
The 25-year-old was also an accomplished swimmer competing in a junior national championship but moved from sports and dance to now working as an IT professional.
Ahead of the competition, Samuel believes in having the support of family, friends, and community so she doesn’t lose her identity.
"I am representing who I am and where I come from and what place has brought me here today is South Auckland and my family."
Samuel says much of her motivation and drive comes from her one-year-old son, inspiring her to accomplish everything she can as a young mum.
While she considers herself shy, she is outspoken when representing her culture and community.
“I would like to represent South Auckland as much as I can, as hard as I can to show who we are and what we hold as values and what we believe in."
Her guiding principle is “if not now then when” inspired by Miss Universe 2022.
She is currently campaigning for an organization called I Am Hope that is focused on mental health awareness.
“Mental health is a taboo in Pacific culture and that’s something we don’t touch on and I Am Hope is based on youth where they are setting a foundation for them."
Juggling her roles as mum, IT professional, mental health advocate and beauty queen is quite a handful but she is keen to let other women know that if she can do it anybody can.
Hero Image: Chelsea Samuel says it's a dream come true participating at Ms Aotearoa 2024. Photo/ Supplied