Multi-talented Jerrie-Lee Ngareta Hill has returned from the Ms Woman of the Universe pageant in Dubai as Miss Divine.
A year ago Jerrie-Lee flew the flag for Te Puke, Kawerau and Te Teko at the Ms Woman of the Universe NZ 2022 pageant in Auckland that gave her a spot at the world event last month.
The Miss Divine title was awarded for her outer and inner beauty.
“I felt very excited [when the award was announced] but at the same time, because of all the hard work that I had put in, felt I was deserving,” she says.
Once she had a chance to gather her thoughts, she realised it was a reflection of her and the community and country she was representing.
“We are known not just for our outer beauty, but equally the inner beauty as well because Kiwis are lovely and have got a great attitude.”
It is a trait highlighted more by being overseas and by not hiding her “Kiwiness”.
“When you are overseas and engaging with other cultures you realise how unique our culture is and even our personalities.”
She says the whole experience was both enjoyable and stressful at the same time.
“You are under the spotlight all the time. It was very extravagant, which was a nice change from what I’m used to from my everyday life, but at the same time it was a little bit stressful because at the end of the day it was still a competition so you had to consider that whatever you did.
“Even while having breakfast they literally had people coming in and judging you and making it quite obvious they were judging you.
“But it was a great opportunity for me as a mother of five to do something completely different to what I normally get to do.”
Jerrie-Lee would like to enter another pageant and says she does it not only for herself but to inspire others who might give it a go.