WUR student Rachelle Reijnders was not crowned Miss World during the international beauty pageant last weekend in Washington. The 24-year-old Rachelle, who was selected as Miss World Netherlands last November, did not make the top 20. A total of 120 women took part in the beauty pageant. ‘It was a shame I did not make the top 20, but I had a great time.’
Photo: Rachelle Reijnders. Rachelle (on the left) with her fellow student in Washington.
The pageant’s winner originates from Puerto Rico and was on Rachelle’s team. ‘I immediately noticed her beauty and I understand why she won. We spent a lot of time together. She does not only have a beautiful appearance, but she is also very sweet and intelligent. When she approaches, you really see someone coming towards you.’
The student from Oss was happy to have been given the opportunity to participate in the pageant. ‘I have learned a lot and met girls from all over the world. It was fun to discover how different cultures can be. It was a busy time in Washington; we rehearsed a lot for the final show that we had to walk last weekend. We also had some fun outings, to New York and more.’
Rachelle was in Washington for a month. During that time, she participated in various selection rounds that counted for the final result. Among these were walking the runway, participating in a talent round and give a presentation about a charity that she will support in the Netherlands. ‘I was selected as Miss World Netherlands only a short time before the pageant. That is why, conversely to many other girls, I did not have much time to support a charity yet. I chose something that fits my master’s programme Health & Society. I will be providing tasting and cooking workshops to children in a refugee camp in Oss. This way, I want to introduce them to the food in their new country. I really look forward to that.’
Rachelle hoped to become the new Miss World or make the top 20, of course. ‘You join to win, and finishing in the top 20 is a goal that seems realistic and plausible. It was painful for a moment, but I quickly made peace with it. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I also look forward to going back home. My parents, a fellow student and a friend came over to watch the final show. I really appreciated that. Next weekend, I will celebrate Christmas at home and I hope to start writing my thesis in Wageningen in January.’