A week ago on Oct 11, 24-year old Manuela Bruntraeger won the title of Miss Universe Singapore 2017. It’s a whirlwind time now for the petite beauty who will be leaving for Las Vegas in a couple of weeks to represent our island state in the Internationals of Miss Universe on Nov 26.
“I’m hitting the gym almost every day to stay in tip top shape for the internationals,” says the Lasalle graduate, who describes herself as “courageous” and “undaunted by constant comments that I’m too short or small to make it”. She’s also very close to her Eurasian family and actually really loves the calm and solitude of watching a sunset.
Photo: Aneirin Flynn
We squeezed in 10 questions for the busy beauty queen.
1. You have a pretty unique name. What does it mean and what are its origins?
Manuela means “God is with us,” and Bruntraeger is of German origin, meaning “the Queen’s Protector, or Carrier.” And I like to think that by carrying this Miss Universe Singapore crown, I’m now protecting it and all of the responsibilities that come with it. My father is German. My mother is Singaporean of Portuguese descent. I was born and raised in Singapore amongst a large Eurasian family.
2. Any regrets in life?
As the famous song goes, “Non, je ne regretted rien!” It’s important to regret nothing in life. Everything happens for a reason, and every experience in life is an opportunity to grow and learn.
3. You mostly do your own makeup, even backstage at the Miss Universe Singapore finals. What are essentials in your pageant makeup pouch?
A red lipstick (an instant confidence booster for me), highlighter (because I want my inner glow to be reflected on the outside too), eyebrow pencil (because everyone looks better with great eyebrows), and concealer.
4. What is your makeup routine?
5. Latest book you've read and one takeaway from it.
I just read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. “Money can’t buy you love or friends” is my one takeaway from the story.
6. Is there a special someone in your life?
Yes, I am attached. I’m very lucky to have found my soulmate already. He is someone who strengthens me, supports me, and helps me grow into my potential.
7. Have you ever felt intimated during the competition?
Of course I felt a little bit intimidated! I was amongst 19 of Singapore’s most beautiful, intelligent, and eloquent women. However, we all connected quickly and the feeling of intimidation went away.
8. What are your guilty indulgences?
Kinder chocolate and cream puffs. And my favourite hawker food – chwee kueh.
9. Is there anything you would have done differently if you had the chance?
The time before I knew how to fill my eyebrows properly. Haha. But seriously, if I could have done one thing differently, I would not have let the opinions of others get me down when I was younger.
10. You will be traveling a lot as Miss Universe Singapore, what are your travel essentials?
A good comfortable pair of six inch heels. A pair of flats. A neck pillow. And a hot water bottle. My rosary. A bottle of water. My makeup bag. Axe brand oil.