Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares, Miss Venezuela 2011, has been crowned Miss World 2011, on Saturday night, at Earl's Court in London. The 21-year-old, who was the favorite going into the final rounds, beat out contestants from over 100 other countries to win the title.
After the win, Colmenares told AFP her victory showed that being orphaned at a young age was no barrier to achievement in life. Colmenares' parents died when she was 8; the young girl was raised by nuns in a convent in Cojedes for five years. In fact, so influential was this period in her life that she once dreamt of becoming a nun. She eventually gave up the idea, when she realized she wanted the fame and success that being a model could bring.
Unfortunately, I lost both my parents at a very young age, which led me to study for five years in a nunnery. I spent my five years in there and my dream was to become a nun, said the new Miss World. Speaking through a translator, she said her victory in an extravagant ceremony in London proved that people's circumstances in life can change.
This has taught me that life, although it may be bad, doesn't have to end badly. Although I no longer have my parents it has taught me to be stronger, Colmenares was quoted as saying, in the AFP report, Winning means everything to me and I hope to take advantage of being a winner in a productive manner.
I would like to help people like me. I am an orphan. I would also like to help the elderly and troubled teenagers. As many people as I can, added Colmenares, who hails from Guanare in Venezuela's western Portuguesa state.
As the reigning Miss World, Colmenares will spend the next year visiting and supporting a range of charity projects supported by the Miss World Organization's Beauty with a Purpose program; the efforts of the program have raised $800 million (580 million euros) in its 40 years.
The Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, was quoted by AFP as saying that Colmenares would prove a popular winner.
We're going to Ghana to work on a project there and I know that she's a down-to-earth person and she won't be afraid to get her hands dirty, said Morley.
The Miss World pageant was held in London this year, the first time in a decade that the competition was held in its birthplace. However, not everyone was happy with the organization and its goals. Demonstrators gathered outside the venue, protesting with placards that read: Objectification won't achieve world peace, Being a woman is not a competition and Sexism is pretty ugly.