Life has been a whirlwind since the crowning of the gorgeous Miss World Bahamas 2016, Ashley Hamilton. I’m so grateful to snag a moment to chit chat about what to expect for this amazing year as Miss World Bahamas, preparations for her international competition and pretty much everything that’s royal. She’s such a fantastic queen, check out her interview!
PD: Ashley! It’s so great to finally get a moment with you, you have to be the most busiest queen in the world right now 😉
MWB: Firstly, thank you so much for the interview. I am a HUGE fan of your blog and the perspectives you bring to pageantry in The Bahamas! Keep up the good work.
PD: Awww, I am seriously humbled! Thank you so much (I’m really blushing). Let’s get to the good stuff! Tell me exactly what you were feeling when they announced your name as the winner! I’m sure there are no words to describe it!
MWB: You are definitely right! There are NO WORDS to describe that feeling. I just remember a lot of tears ( I AM A HUGE CRY BABY J ) and huge sigh of relief knowing that all of my preparation and hard work was recognized and paid off. For days, I walked around in utter disbelief, but I did have some recollection that my life from now on would no longer be the same and my course would shift for the better.
PD: What preparations did you undergo with your journey to the crown?
MWB: Bahamians don’t realize that pageantry is a sport that requires a lot of money, time, practice and a huge amount of determination. You don’t decide one day that you are going to just enter a pageant. Honestly, I began preparing in 2009 after I gave up my crown as Theodore Elyett’s Teen Bahamas Earth. I felt that gathering the most life, educational and travel experiences as possible would make me a better-rounded contestant. So I went abroad for education (Lester B Pearson United World College and the University of Florida) I also volunteered and travelled to Europe. I encourage any pageant girl to gather as much life experiences as possible.
When I officially entered Miss Bahamas, I began training with my District Director Andrew Knowles who offered countless hours of media and question and answer prepping, as well as tips and techniques on wardrobe and stage presence. Andrew is the BEST! I also had a #TeamAshley who offered countless hours of coaching as well!
Pageants are also extremely stressful so I began meditating and doing yoga. Physically I ate more (shocking I know) so that I maintained a healthy weight. And maintained my daily skin regiment.I tried to get as much rest as our schedules allowed.
PD: You’ve mentioned that your father has passed, my deepest sympathies, do you feel as though he was by your side the entire time?
MWB: Thank you, and most definitely he was. My father always encouraged my sisters and I to follow our dreams by any means necessary, and he would always ensure that he would provide for us to do so. It may seem strange, but in many ways throughout my road to the crown, doors opened for me that I could not have opened for myself; and I knew that God and my father were working together and over time for me. That’s why my platform of Heart Disease awareness is so personal and important to me. (My father died suddenly of heart disease)
Each preliminary I dedicated to my father before I hit the stage. Final night I was not nervous at ALL because I truly felt his presence on stage with me.
Funny fact: During my teen pageant my father literally found his way backstage to comfort me because he knew I was about to pass out from nerves. Final night of Miss Bahamas World, my mother and I joked that if he was alive, he would have probably found himself onstage with me somehow. That is the kind of amazing father I had.
PD: That’s so sweet Ashley. I have no doubt he was with you every step of the way! If there was anything that you could do over about the final night or even preliminaries, what would it be?
MWB: I think that every experience in life happens for a reason, and every decision I made got me my title. Although, if I had to do anything differently, I would have not allowed the opinions of others to steal my shine. Sometimes we get caught up in the negativity around us and let it affect us. Luckily, I was still able to SLAY!
MWB:I love it! Every family has its ups and downs and so far it has been all “ups”. Every member of this organization is so talented in their respective fields, and I truly feel loved by each of them.
PD: Give our readers some insight into your platform and how you are going to use your crown to make an impact!
MWB: My platform is called Heart Disease and Heart Health Awareness.
As I said earlier, my father passed away from heart disease, and my paternal uncle and maternal grandfather all have heart conditions. One in every six persons are born with some heart condition, and many others develop heart conditions over their lifetime due to various reasons.I just want Bahamians to be aware of their heart health and make healthy lifestyle choices to help. Right now, I am working along with the Sir Victor Sassoon Bahamas Heart Foundation, and I plan to collaborate with the efforts of other health programs dealing with the heart.
The passion has been in me since my dad’s passing in November 2014, and having the crown to make an impact is truly a blessing.
PD: When does the preparation for Miss World begin? Do you have any Bahamian designers in mind that you are looking forward to possibly be working with?
MWB: Preparation for Miss World happens every day. But it will intensify closer to the date. I am always eager to show the world what this Bahamas has to offer, so every designer that I am given to wear, I will do so with pride. I am especially excited to debut my Theodore Elyett gown and Chevette Williamson jewelry on the world stage.
PD: How awesome is that?! On a scale of 1-10 how excited are you about competing in the Miss World competition?
MWB: I am ecstatic to be representing our country in one of the oldest beauty pageants in the world. I have never been a track star, so I cannot dive for the gold like our Shaunae Miller did, but I hope to bring the Miss World crown back to The Bahamas, and compete to the best of my ability. I encourage each Bahamian to join me on this journey to the crow. Your support means everything to me.
PD: You undoubtedly have my support! If you could sit down and chit chat with any former Miss World queen, which one would it be and why?
MWB: Without any question it would have to be Lisa Hanna, Miss World 1993. To me, she is the embodiment of Caribbean Beauty. I stalk her Facebook and Instagram pages, and if I ever get to meet here face to face I don’t know what I would do. What I admire the most about her is that her “reign” did not end in 1994, but she continued the beauty with a purpose mission of Miss World even to this date. She now serves as one of the youngest females to ever serve in Jamaican Parliament. Definition of a Girl Boss in my eyes.
PD: What can we look forward to for the rest with Ashley Hamilton, Miss World Bahamas 2016?
MWB: I think that Ashley Hamilton, Miss World Bahamas 2016 (I love how that sounds!) brings a different flair to the crown that The Bahamas has not seen before. I strive to give my 100% with everything I do. You can look forward to me being socially engaged with Bahamians from all walks of life. I truly believe that we can learn from anyone and anyone who takes the time to speak with me and allow me into their lives is humbling I am truly grateful.