Those of you who lapidated 2012 Miss Haiti Universe, Christela Jacques, a 19-year-old with no prior pageantry experience, with a litany of pointed criticisms or felt that she let you down, I’m writing to tell you ‘shame on you.’ Jacques did not disappoint Haiti, rather you with your tactless and mediocre actions. In spite of all her remarkable efforts, you found it convenient to attack the young woman through various social media outlets. I’m therefore writing to tell you: shame on you.
Yesterday, I came across this repulsive video published by a man claiming to represent the Haitian media, interviewing the very stressed, unprepared Miss Haiti Universe on a mobile device. His condescending, cold, and facetious tone made it impossible for Jacques to hide her vulnerability through her almost teary eyes. During the interview, she admitted she didn’t think she deserved to represent Haiti in Miss Universe’s tough competition, sadly walking away from the camera, as if carrying giant weights that were too heavy for her small frame.
As I watched the video I saw a beautiful, lost and very honest young woman who seemed exhausted, and simply didn’t know how to handle all the attention and pressure that came her way. I also saw an amateur interviewer asking Jacques irrelevant questions designed to shatter her already frail confidence, rather than bolstering it ahead of the biggest competition of her lifetime. I felt even more flabbergasted to read some of his subscribers’ remarks about Christela’s performance.
My reaction to this amateurish interview is not about applauding mediocrity, far from it. Evidently, she was both stressed and lacked confidence, as she participated in a competition at that level. She courageously conceded to many of the flaws pointed out during the interview. Jacques even admitted feeling self-conscious about not only her own beauty, but also about her ability to make it to Miss Universe’s top 16, as she compared herself to the other contestants. We all heard her say it, and we felt it in her voice. Nevertheless, her concessions, even in those words, did not embarrassed or shamed me. After all, they chose her to represent Haiti. It did however show her true essence, which is purity, honesty, and innocence.
For those of you who don’t speak French, I took the liberty of translating and transcribing the interview. (Please see below.)
GD: Hello Christela. All is well?
CJ: Hello. All is good.
GD: OK, tell me are you very excited to be in Vegas to represent Haiti in the Miss Universe?
CJ: Very excited!
GD: You’re excited, but are you also confident?
CJ: A little bit. I’m a little stressed.
GD: Stressed, why?
CJ: There are so many pretty girls who are very interesting. They can do everything to make it.
GD: And you? You’re not very confident in your abilities or your beauty?
CJ: I tell to myself sometimes that it’s not going to work. I can’t really do anything. I have some friends who tell me to gain more confidence and everything will work…
GD: What are some remarks that the coaches here have told you about your performance?
CJ: At times they tell me to smile more, and I will look more beautiful.
GD: You don’t smile enough? You don’t have enough confidence?
CJ: No. It’s my first time.
GD: Well, it was the first time for Anedie Azael and Sarodj Bertin, but they were more confident. And how is the experience at this moment?
CJ: Really well.
GD: Really well, how? You’re amusing yourself and discovering new things?
CJ: Yes with the girls, and we’re practicing.
GD: But in terms of performance or competition, it’s not working?
CJ: No, it’s working! Just a little bit.
GD: No, but for you?
CJ: Yes, it’s fine.
GD: Do you think you’ll be part of the final 16?
CJ: I don’t know yet, but I would like that.
GD: There’s no hope? Do you think you worked hard enough to be in the finalists?
CJ: Tomorrow, we will see. I will give my all.
GD: So this is not only a “tomorrow” thing. It’s a long process. So with everything you’ve done so far, do you think you’ve performed well enough to be in the finals?
CJ: I don’t know.
GD: So there’s really no hope to think that Haiti will win the title?
CJ: I can’t really say anything.
GD: What does that mean you can’t say anything? It you! Everything depends on you! It’s you who represents Haiti.
CJ: It can happen that I will not be part of the final 16.
GD: OK. There’s something I don’t understand. There’s really no competition when it comes to choosing the Miss Universe for Haiti?
GD: How does that work?
CJ: The casting happens really fast. The same day, they did the casting for Fashion Week. Some girls came for Fashion Week and others came for the Miss Haiti Universe.
GD: How many were there?
CJ: There were about 10 or 9.
GD: Who made the selection?
GD: All alone?
CJ: Other people, Dayanne Danier, Jimmy Moi…
GD: It was not open to the public?
GD: Normally, it doesn’t happen that way. There’s a big competition. Everyone sits down, and gets to see the performance of everyone and then, a judge makes the selection. But in this case, that didn’t happen?
GD: OK. Do you think you deserve to represent Haiti?
GD: You don’t think you deserve to represent Haiti?! Are you sure of this answer? I’m filming you.
CJ: Yes. Yes.
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Written by Paola of findingpaola.com