Vaimalama Chaves: Miss France is not just a pretty face
She has the grace of a beauty queen and a personality to go with it. A woman of character, Vaimalama Chaves contrasts with the universe of beauty contestants, no matter how gorgeous, whose first names we don’t always remember. Like Michele Obama, whom she particularly admires, the lovely Tahitian with a master’s in management upsets the codes and speaks frankly. And that’s fine with us. Interview.
Tell us about that first time, that first moment of emotion at the Miss France final, when everything changed for you.
It all happened so quickly. The only thing I remember is the emotion I felt. It was a mixture of surprise, joy, intense happiness and a great deal of pride for having succeeded in bringing the crown home!
In what way has this sudden immersion in the world of fashion, beauty and the media changed you?
I keep saying it and I’ll say it again: I’m not the one who has changed. It’s the people around me. Being in the limelight makes you discover another facet of the people who are looking at you. And in that sense, we adapt to the way they have changed.
What is your best quality?
My best quality is my curiosity. It’s the interest we show in various subjects that allows us to develop a viewpoint on society in general!
And your worst fault?
I’m very demanding. And I also like to have the last word!
Did fashion teach you how to be sure of yourself?
Not at all. Because I still have no style! (laughter)
Photo © Sandra Fourqui
Do you have a particular beauty ritual?
Beauty ritual: sleep and drink plenty of water! Always. That’s what’s most important. Someone who sleeps well is more radiant and drinking lots of water and regularly moisturizing the skin are primordial. For myself, I use Sothys moisturizers, one for the face and one for the body. As for diet, I eat lightly in the morning because I take a lot of time to start the day, better at lunch, mainly white meat and vegetables; in the evening I drink tea. But I allow myself one day a week when I eat whatever I want!
What is your relationship with your body?
As long as the body is well, everything is well. But I’m careful to keep it that way with sports, as much exercise as possible and eating well, even if I admit that sometimes I eat whatever I want!
To social media?
Social media allow people to express themselves. They don’t always do it right and they sometimes express their opinions in a virulent manner. I know who I am and what I want, they can have their views but theirs will never override mine!
What is the most difficult thing about doing your job as Miss France?
I’d say that there’s nothing easy about keeping pace. However, my job is to make people smile and I must admit that this always motivates me.
You went straight from Tahiti to Paris, what does that mean to you?
Freedom. Before I lived with my parents and I didn’t have my own home. Now I live alone in a nice apartment, I’m still learning to live in metropolitan France and still discovering the joys of being free. I’m happy.
Being chosen from all the pretty girls in the world, is this an opportunity?
It’s hard to believe that now I’m Miss France! And I’m so very happy and proud to be the ambassador of a country with values that are as noble as France’s.
What are your plans?
We tend to be too nostalgic or look too much to the future and not live enough in the present moment. I want to enjoy today, seize the opportunities that arise and learn as much as possible. Even though my final objective is to teach marketing, my path will probably be full of ups and downs!
Alone we go faster, together we go farther.
By Laure Delvigo