Beauty Talks with Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019 Mariana Pietersz

07 May 2020 | Priya Bhardwaj

Beauty Talks with Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019 Mariana Pietersz


Born and raised in Curacao on 26th September 1994, Mariana Pietersz was crowned Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019 in Indonesia last year. Her native language is Papiamentu but she grew up speaking Spanish, Dutch and English at school. Subsequently, she learned French and Portuguese at the university. 

Although Mariana is quite an introverted person and grew up rather shy, she was still taking parts of different social activities, in and outside school; from mostly helping in charity clubs, singing in the high schools’ choir to being part of a chess club. Eventually, when she was only 15 years old, she entered a modeling competition called Curacao Model Search and this is where her modeling career started. There she was chosen to sign her first modeling contract.

However, after that year her parents wanted her to focus more on school, so she didn’t do much until she got older. When she turned 18 in 2014, she moved to Amsterdam to study International Business and Languages at the University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam. In 2016, she started back with modeling and participated in her first beauty pageant which was Miss Avant-Garde Netherlands where she won representing the city of Amsterdam.

After winning Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019, Mariana has been completing her reigning responsibilities. So, here she is, talking about her reign, her dreams, ambitions and guilty pleasures in an exclusive interview with Angelopedia.

Q. How does it feel to be the winner of Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019?

As crazy as it sounds, this is still unreal to me. When I heard the name of my island I couldn’t believe it for weeks after that. Curaçao has never won an international pageant before. So this is huge for our history. Even more, as a woman of color coming from an island that nearly no one knew about yet to win an international pageant. It was more than just a dream coming true. Besides, it felt like after that, like everything is possible now. It felt like dreams can really come true doesn’t matter where you are from, and even more it shows that the pageantry world is not solely on promoting major countries.

On top of that, my focus was to get in the top 5, so I could change the narrative of the beauty standards that is considered beautiful in the beauty industry. I wanted to show the world that there are different kinds of beauty, and that true beauty surpasses colorism and discrimination. I truly believe that literally everyone is beautiful in their own way because beauty really starts from within. It should have never mattered on how someone’s look from outside, based on their height, sex, skin color or your country of origin.


Beauty Talks with Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019 Mariana Pietersz


Q. What inspired you to the world of pageantry?

Before pageantry I was an international model. It was in 2016 that I took part in my first pageant competition and was lucky to win (Miss Avantgarde Netherlands 2016).This was a big milestone as well since around that time my self confidence was low. What inspired me the most in the pageantry world is that it gives women a platform and a voice where they can empower and influence others in a positive way. And even more if you have great ideas or projects that you dreamt about contributing to the community. Besides you get the chance to support your country which is a beautiful feeling as it feels like you become one with your people. Even though I love being a model, as a model I do not have a platform or voice that the pageantry platform gives/empowers us women.

On top of that, I was also inspired by the opportunities given to make friends with different people around the world. Now I know at least 1 pageant sister in more than 40 different countries. As a person that studied International Business and Languages, I was also really inspired by the culture exchange and the diversity that the pageantry world portraits.

Q. What is your advocacy as the reigning international queen?

During my reign year, I would like to advocate on three different topics which are very significant and to me. I would like to focus on women empowerment, mental health and inclusion. In my life, I am fortunate to have wonderful and independent women around me. However, some of them have changed drastically through the years because they’ve been struggle with many issues that has affected their self-esteem through the years. For instance, with their loved lives, family’s problems, financial issues and/or being single mom. Therefore, I would love to do something that would make them feel loved and empowered again.

Furthermore, as a person that has been diagnosed with ADD (ADHD) and suffered from depression when I felt my family behind to study in the Netherlands. I know how tough it can be to fight mental illness. Therefore, I would like to advocate more mental health awareness projects.

Lastly, I would love to advocate about inclusion. In the modeling industry inclusion and diversity has always been a problem. I have experienced sometimes not belonging in some fashion shows, and even international fashion weeks where for example the makeup artists would not have the right foundation shade for my skin color. Seeing that this industry is very particular with its requirements, I have seen many people’s hearts being crushed because they do not have the right weight, height or looks to fit in the requirements and I would like to do something about this as well. Overall, I am hoping that when the current situation of the pandemic is done that I would be able to start with all the projects and workshops that have been planned out to happen.


Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019 Mariana Pietersz


Q. Who is your role model, if any, and what values of his or her do you wish you could inculcate in your own life, and teach the next generation?

In my opinion I feel like one can have a role model in different aspects of their life depending on the topics. When it comes to life role model, I would say that it would be my mom. I really look up to how she managed to push through all the adversities that she has encountered being a really independent young immigrant in an unknown country. If I turned out to be half the woman my mom is, I would be satisfied. She’s a super mom! And she’s the definition of courage, perseverance and determination and I would wish to pass this to the future generations.

Q. What is the one thing that keeps you going and inspires you to be the best version of yourself?

It's definitely my family and the people I inspire around me. They are my rock and my inspiration. They are the ones who believed in me when I didn't and push me to become a better person every day. Another way I keep myself motivated is by making a vision board every new year. I am a visual person, so every beginning of the year I make a new vision board. Here I would set my goals from different aspects of my life and I would connotate these with a picture that would inspire me to achieve these goals. Besides, every end of the day I would sum up my day in a journal and I would write 3-5 things on a piece of paper that I am grateful for about that day. It can be from a small thing to something really significant that day. These activities together with the push of my loved ones are my “why” to keep moving forward and become the best version of myself.

Q. Would you like to share your most special childhood memory with us?

Having to choose one special childhood memory might be difficult. I grew up from humble beginnings where we had to move several times to find a permanent house. However, I was fortunate enough to grow up with both my parents in the household and 3 brothers (1 year older brother and twin brothers of 21 years old). Even though we did not have much when growing up, we’ve had the best experiences and adventures together that I would cherish for the rest of my life. In Curacao it’s always summer so we would spend family days at the beach, days playing games and enjoying the sun and quality time together. Most of these things were for free, we didn’t need technology or money to enjoy them. Hence, this really made me grow up appreciating the little things in life that are completely for free.

I can still share a short funny story when I was about 3 years old. One day my father left me with some family members to babysit me for the day, since he had to work and my mom was out of the country. All of a sudden it happened to be that I was chewing gum, and somehow, the gum got stuck in my hair. Apparently, because I thought that it would help my hair to grow. When my father arrived to pick me up and he saw what happened he went immediately away to get some things to remove this from my hair but when he was back he saw that my head was completely bald since the caretakers had shaved my head completely to remove the gum and he couldn't do anything about it anymore. In the end, when my mom arrived back from her trip she couldn’t recognize me. Till the day of today when she tells me this story we have to always cry laughing hard about it.


Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019 winner Mariana Pietersz


Q. If you could be invisible for a day, how would you like to spend it?

Now would be the perfect time to be invisible for a day due to the rules that came with this quarantine and social distancing isolations. For a day I would have loved to be invisible with my friends too and family so we would go to the park, enjoy this beautiful spring weather, have bbq on the beach and enjoy our time together again. Appreciating all the things we took for granted for one day that we didn’t value before.

Q. What is the one thing you can label as your guilty pleasure?

The one thing I know that is not good for maintaining my weight but I’m super guilty of eating, most of the time is chocolate. More specifically, white chocolate, cheesecake flavor with chunks of raspberry that melts in your mouth. Next to that I would also eat oreo cookies dipped in white chocolate.

Q. We’re sure that this competition is another milestone in your life. What is that one thing that you ultimately want to achieve?

This was definitely a milestone for me. But ultimately it would be more than just a dream coming through to be able to represent my beautiful island in Miss Universe and be able to get in the top 5. Since the last time we were in the top 5 was in 1997 and 1968. Seeing that, in the last 5 years we’ve had one candidate that got in the top 10 (Akisha Albert) after many years and this brought so much happiness and pride to my island. Therefore, this would be a tremendous milestone not only for me and my family but especially for Curacao.


Beauty Talks with Miss Tourism Worldwide 2019 Mariana Pietersz


Q. If you are granted three wishes right now, what would you ask for?

This is a difficult one, since there are many things I am wishing for. However, if I would have to choose only 3 I would start with, me being able to start with my own non- profit organization (NGO). A NGO that provides educational help to the children in Haiti which is where my Mom is from. Since I know that the poverty rate there is extreme due to the lack of education and causes lack of jobs. Furthermore, I would wish to have my own modeling academy so I could continue empowering women with the work/projects of my advocacy. And finally I would wish to buy my mom her dream car.

Q. Lastly, is there any message that you would like to give to your fans of Angelopedia?

First of all, I want to thank you guys so much from the bottom of my heart for all the support that you guys have given me. I would not be able to get where I am today if it was not because of the unconditional support that I received from you guys. You are my inspiration to become a better person. I cannot wait to meet more of you when I go back to visit my home Curacao and during the projects/workshops that I will be holding after this quarantine. I hope to meet more of you also in Hong Kong in the next Miss Tourism Worldwide competition that will be held around the end of November.

As for now, please let's have a little bit more patience for these hard times. Stay home, and be safe, take the given warnings from our medical leaders and wash your hands with soap more often. So we can be stronger together helping our frontliners and caretakers to fight this pandemic. It’s all really unfortunate but let's try to see the opportunities that this time has given us. Soon everything will be over and we will all be able to go back to our normal life.

As a final word, I want to encourage you all to believe in your dreams too as crazy as they might sound one of mine biggest dreams has become a reality. That's why I want to encourage you guys to use this time to try to work or plan your dreams. Be courageous enough to believe in the impossible, be persistent and determined to work for it. Don’t let falling discourage you, always try seeing the opportunity between the adversitness. Get to know yourself and believe in your capacities. And be kind to yourself and to others because as they say people won’t always remember what you did or what you are wearing  but they would always remember how you made them feel as a person.