Tree Hugger

Kelsie Bodden, Miss World Cayman Islands: A Beauty With A Purpose

Kelsie Bodden is the current reigning Miss World Cayman Islands.  She is a true beauty with a purpose.  Kelsie has embarked on a journey that is inspiring to others.  She is proud to raise awareness about local environmental issues.  Since her return from competing in the Miss World Pageant 2018, held in China, Kelsie has been meeting with local environmental organizations to find out how she can contribute to educating the community about conservation and environmental issues.  Kelsie has participated in local beach cleanups with The Nation Trust of the Cayman Islands and Plastic Free Cayman.  She has taken Plastic Free Cayman’s 345 Pledge to reduce her use of single-use plastics.  Most recently, Kelsie volunteered with Eco Divers Reef Foundation to help with their coral nursery program.  As a means of raising awareness about environmental projects she is working on, Kelsie started her “Be Kind To The Environment” series on her blog.  Kelsie is looking forward to other environmental projects she will be working on later this year.  Stay tuned.    

Q&A with Kelsie Bodden: Looking Back On Her Trip To China

What was going through your mind when you were en route to China?

KB: When I left for China I was filled with mixed emotions! I was anxious, excited, for both the flight and competition. I knew I was about to represent Cayman and I wanted to do that the best that I could but still enjoy the experience.   

What was day one like?

KB: Day one was pretty chilled, I arrived in Sanya with other contestants and as we exited the airport the Miss World organization was there waiting which made being on the other side of the world in a country that doesn’t speak english much easier. 

As we got to the hotel our rooms were ready and we got to unpack, eat dinner and mingle with other girls. 

How were you able to share with others about your environmental platform?

KB: Prior to Miss World in China I made a short clip speaking about some the organizations that MWCI works with locally and some of my then future plans, such as my “Be Kind to the Environment” series on my blog and speaking with kids about little things they can do to help out. We often spoke about our platforms and I was able to share about mine and why it’s so important especially for Cayman and other Islands.  

What were your favorite eco-friendly items?

KB: Before I left for China I was sure to stock up on some eco-friendly must-haves such as my bamboo toothbrush, reusable water bottle/straws and a cute sustainably made swimsuit from Sage LaRock! 

Did you get time to do some sightseeing?

KB: We did! Many of our days were spent at rehearsals/filming but we did have days off to explore Sanya a bit. 

I was able to see a bit of Sanya and while I was there I did see beautiful beaches.  My favorite place was going to the night market where we got to try some of the street food in China.  There was this one ice cream that was very delicious!  We also got to see a park that was once a landfill. It was repurposed into a park where people can now go and ride their bikes, picnic, take runs and just take in the beautiful greenery of this new park. 

 

What lessons/tips did you learn from the other contestants?

KB: I  was able to learn a lot from my fellow contestants. We each shared information about our countries, culture and some other personal information like future aspirations. I think the best thing I learnt was that despite our being from different parts of the world, we all wanted to make a difference in our country and share our message to the world. 

How did it feel representing the Cayman Islands? What was your biggest takeaway from the whole experience?

KB: My biggest take away was how important it is to be 100% true to yourself. I was with 117 other women who were all different but not afraid to be themselves and that’s what made them all so beautiful. My favourite thing that Mrs. Julia Morley the Chairman of Miss World said was, “No two queens are alike” and that stuck with me through the competition and even now.  This is why my advice to my future successor would be to be unapologetically authentic to herself. I would like her to find her own passion and run with it because that is what makes a Miss World.  

What was your biggest struggle while being in the pageant?

KB: The food lol … there was nothing wrong with it but it did get a bit repetitive, but this was something we all bonded over. 

What advice would you give to girls thinking of entering Miss World Cayman Islands 2019 pageant? 

KB: I would say definitely do it!  You’ll learn so much about yourself, meet other girls, get exposed to loads of new things and experience something not many others get a chance to. 

Photo Credits: 

Miss World Cayman Islands

Kelsie Bodden