My Thoughts as Miss Singapore Supranational 2020/21

Event Photographer Turned Pageant Queen — Shifting from behind the lens to in front of one

Rachael Annabelle

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I was the photographer for the Miss Singapore 2018 Pageant. I remember a couple of people at the gala dinner asking me why I wasn’t getting ready for the show, mistaking me as one of the contestants.

I laughed — the girls were in swimwear and 6 inch heels, I was in a tee, jeans and sneakers. I never thought I was model material — I’ve always been more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front of one anyway.

Here’s one of the shots I took back then:

September 2020 — I’m back from New York, out of college, building a travel-tech product, and kickstarting a career at Google. I was somehow convinced to give the pageant a shot by Eileen, my college friend who was crowned Miss Singapore in 2018 after hearing her story.

One of the biggest doubts I had other than being able to juggle multiple responsibilities, was whether representing Singapore for Miss Supranational would be a career limiting move as a female founder — would investors or employers take me seriously, or think I’m a bimbo? People have certain perceptions and opinions towards certain things. They also associate a lot, to make it easier for them to understand the world. They frame the world in a certain way based on their own experiences and knowledge.

If you work at FAANG, you’re probably an intellectual. If you’re unemployed, you’re probably not that great (at whatever you’re doing). Granted, these are fair associations, but they are may not be the complete and whole truth.

I have come to realize that these things don’t matter — if people want to understand you, they would put in the effort to.

It hasn’t the easiest journey, but has been an interesting one. Here are some of my biggest takeaways:

We Are Never Enough, Until We Feel We Are

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Rachael Annabelle

knottedbrains.com | googler. founder @gullie.io. photographer. creative consultant. pasta fanatic & occasional nerd.