Beauty Talks with Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2020 Arielle Keil

13 Jan 2021 | Priya Bhardwaj

Beauty Talks with Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2020 Arielle Keil


Arielle Keil made history in October 2020 when she was crowned Miss Intercontinental New Zealand becoming the first transgender woman to achieve this feat. Arielle was born in Davao City, Philippines but spent her formative years in Auckland, New Zealand. Arielle has a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and is currently studying creative advertising at the Auckland University of Technology. She hopes her foray into the world of pageantry will help normalise woman like her. 

The stunning beauty about her advocacy, dreams, goals and guilty pleasures in an exclusive interview in Angelopedia.

Q. How does it feel to be Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2020 and the representative of New Zealand in the upcoming edition of Miss Intercontinental?

It feels amazing but it has definitely kept me busy! I’ve posted a bit about it on my story, but I’ve been conceptualising my national costume and evening gown for the competition! I have a degree in fashion design, so I’ve had a blast doing it! My designer also designed the gown for Miss Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman so I am very excited! On top of that I’ve been working with a personal trainer in the gym 3 times a week and have been dieting! And I’ve been practicing my walk and Q&A and speaking skills! There is a lot of work to be done but I’m loving it and living in the moment!

Q. You are making history as the first transgender beauty queen to represent New Zealand at international stage. How does that make you feel?

I actually cried in my apartment last night thinking about it. Most Beauty Queens dream about this when they’re little girls and all they have to do is be of age to compete. I was a little boy and so achieving this dream seemed almost impossible but I’m here, I’ve made it, I’ve made history. It still feels surreal to me. I’m so proud of myself and I hope I make not only New Zealand proud but also my community!


Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2020 Arielle Keil


Q. As a woman of today, what is it that you believe in and would like to advocate at an esteemed platform such as Miss Universe if given a chance?

As a transgender woman I definitely want to advocate for transgender rights and hope that even in a small way I am helping to normalise people like me because at the end of the day regardless of skin colour, sexual orientation, religion or gender identity we are all human beings. Transgender women are being murdered every single year some in the most horrific and heinous ways and it’s something I want to eradicate from this world. 

Q. What inspired you to the world of pageantry?

I’ve always admired beauty queens looking up. To me there was something so special and inspiring about a beautiful woman with substance and an unwavering will to create change in the world. I always wanted to be that.


Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2020 Arielle Keil


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

In all honesty the one thing that keeps me going is my drive and determination. I want to make something of myself, I have big dreams, I’m hard working and determined to make them come to fruition. Through every obstacle my determination to do better and be better has gotten me through even the darkest of places. In terms of what inspires me to be the best version of myself it’s a simple quote “Apologise when you’re wrong. Apologise when you hurt someone’s feelings but never apologise for being you”. It’s a quote I believe everyone should live by and that’s how I like to think I live my life - unapologetically authentic. 

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?

My role model would definitely have to be my Ate (big sister) Abegail. Ever since I was little she’s always been super protective of me and when I would come home crying as a kid because I was bullied all day at school she was the first one to wipe my tears and told me to stand up for myself. From a young age she taught me to be unapologetically myself. 

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

Any childhood moment with my big sister is special to me, she was my best friend then and she’s still my best friend now! If I had to pick though, my favourite childhood memory is probably when I was 9 years old and my big sister put red lipstick on me and put me in a dress and put clips in my hair. Looking back I must’ve looked funny but I remember feeling beautiful and when my sister took photos of me it was the first time in my life I came alive in front of the camera which was crazy to think because I was so camera shy as a child.


Miss Intercontinental New Zealand 2020 Arielle Keil Exclusive Interview By Angelopedia


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

KFC Wicked Wings, Potato and Gravy and Brown Sugar Bubble Tea with Brown Sugar Pearls and triple sweetness! It’s the first thing I’m having when I finish competing in India!

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

I would probably spend the day pulling pranks on my family like make them think their clothes and dishes are flying around the house and just laugh seeing their reactions! I’m a bit of a prankster, I get it from my dad and we both love a good laugh!

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

I’m currently doing a double major at Auckland University of Technology in Creative Advertising and Screen Production. I really would love to one day have my own TV Show or even have a collab with a makeup brand where portions of sales go towards LGBT Charities! 


Arielle Keil


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

The first thing I would wish for is for Covid to be gone. It’s affected so many lives and made things more difficult for a lot of people. I would wish to be able to travel back in time to the Mesozoic Era as a fly on the wall figuratively speaking. I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries on ancient dinosaurs lately and I’d love to see them in real life, they’re so fascinating. My last wish would be to win Miss Intercontinental 2020/21 and to change the world for the better with that platform!

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

I just want to thank everyone who’s supported me it honestly means the world! I’m currently putting in the work for my preparation for Miss Intercontinental and I hope to make you all proud! And lastly remember to never apologise for being you.