Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Miss Universe (Canada) should be someone who represents this country (or world) most royally, with utmost beauty, generosity, and intelligence. And who better to do that than Mariana Valenta, an aspiring teacher - and educated one at best - who plans to complete a total of three degrees (French Studies, Early Childhood Education, and Teacher's College) - not to mention loyally attain her grandmother's mission, by creating BASE (Brazilian Association for Social and Educational Support) in 2006, a charity that assists children in Brazil. Participating in the Miss Brazil Canada in 2005, winning the title of Miss Latina Canada 2007, and starting a personal training studio "The Fit Loft" (now the official training studio of Miss Universe Canada), with her fiancee Michael Valente Mariana's success begs the question: Is there anything she can't do? Read my Q&A with her and find out here.

V.B. Entering pageants to continue your grandmother's beautiful ritual is an inspiring thing. How exactly do you plan on helping children with this newfound power?

M.V. My family and I have been organizing annual Dinner and Dance Fundraisers, in order to raise funds to build shelter for abused children in Brazil. After winning the title of Miss Universe Canada, I was able to have the support of a lot more people. With a title like this, you have a voice, so I used that voice to help in a much bigger scale.

V.B. I see you enter many pageants that reflect your ethnicity. What does your heritage mean to you?

M.V. To me, my heritage is everything that I am. I love being able to say that I have 2 homes, 2 cultures mixed into 1. I’m born Brazilian and Canadian by heart.

V.B. Having all this experience with pageants, would you say there are downfalls to pageants i.e. weight/physical requirements or cattiness amongst other girls? What is your advice to girls who would like to follow in your footsteps?

M.V. During my experience with pageants, I realized that these competitions give women an opportunity to show that we are smart, beautiful, and can make a difference at the same time. To me, it is only a positive experience, if you are able to stay true to yourself and see this as an opportunity to grow as a strong woman. So my advice to other girls would be exactly that - enjoy it, and stay true to yourself.

V.B. What is your take on "toddlers in tiaras?" Of course, younger children should have a chance to participate in something that allows you to make the world a better place, but what about the whole pageant scene? Like young girls waxing their eyebrows, suntanning, and getting cosmetic surgery - or the pedophilia often associated with it?

M.V. I have to say that as a child, you are not exactly aware of the influence competitions have in your life. It could be a positive experience, if done as a fun, dress-up kind of game. Like everything in life, if things are taken too seriously - where it affects your health and takes the childhood experiences away from a child - then it turns into something negative.

V.B. You decided to open a personal training studio with your fiance. How do you train the contestants? Do you have a certain strategy?

M.V. My fiancĂ©, Michael, and I opened a personal training studio called The Fit Loft. We are the official training studio of Miss Universe Canada. With my experience as a titleholder and Michael’s experience as a trainer, we train the winner both physically and mentally.

V.B. How do you keep so fit? Do you have a certain diet and/or exercise regimen?

M.V. I’m naturally thin, but exercise is a big part of my life. I love being able to push my body to new levels. With Michael being a trainer, and now myself in the industry as well, it becomes second nature to workout. I don’t follow a diet, but I do eat healthy.

V.B. With your expertise in pageants, if you were to create a newer pageant, what would it entail?

M.V. I think that if I were to create a new pageant, it would involve exactly what we have today. The way pageants are today women have an opportunity to compete and demonstrate their intelligence; but at the same time, they are exposed to life changing experiences. It truly becomes an experience of a lifetime.

V.B. What are your future goals, in terms of modelling and/or other areas?

M.V. For now I’m concentrating in growing in the fitness industry. Modeling will always be part of my life, but just as a hobby. The personal training studio is my focus now.

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