Today we are catching up with Alexandra Lim of Victoria, one of the 24 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2023 at The Sofitel Melbourne on Collins this Friday.
So, Alex why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I try to not describe myself in terms of what I do but in terms of what I truly value which are connection, contribution, and growth. This has led me to study a degree of Global Studies at university for its focus on leadership for social change, and to explore my passions in creative fields and working with young people since graduating.
Having gone through struggles with mental health and depression, I have become an advocate for youth mental health in high schools, speaking about my mental health journey through an organisation called Batyr, facilitating social and emotional wellbeing workshops around vulnerability, empathy, and empowerment with Oneself Organization, and mentoring young people through the Raise Foundation. I am also a member of Batyr’s National Youth Advisory Group, where I work with other young leaders with lived experience to advocate for change within Batyr and the mental health sector.
On top of this, I’m a model signed with Brooklyn Management and a professional dancer. I started dancing when I was 15 after going to casual classes and falling in love with it. Currently, I dance Belly Dancing, Bollywood, Bhangra, Latin, and Fire Twirling at events, and teach Ballroom and Latin to adults and hip-hop-inspired dance to primary school kids. As you might be able to tell, I’m very drawn to various activities that fuel my curiosity and passion for growth.
We all have motivations, mine usually around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
My motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia was really to become the most confident and empowered version of myself.
Having grown up in an emotionally unstable family and being constantly put down and criticised by my older sister throughout childhood, I struggled with low self-esteem, self-doubt, and insecurity. I was so tired of feeling like I wasn’t achieving my full potential or being of service to the world when I knew I had so much more to offer, so I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and compete in a pageant in Italy last year representing Australia.
Unfortunately, instead of feeling confident and empowered from it, I left feeling disempowered and humiliated because of how the organisation treated the contestants. However, I didn’t want that negative experience to stop me from my goal and knowing I deserved better, I took the leap of faith to apply for Miss Universe Australia despite thinking that I had little chance of being accepted. Since being a part of the program, I’ve realised how all along, my why has been to show the little girl (my younger self) in me who had big dreams, that she is special and good enough.
As part of the program, you recently went on the National Finalist Trip to Vietnam at Furama Resort Da Nang, what was the experience like?
Getting to be flown over to Vietnam with Miss Universe Australia was such a dream come true. I had such an incredible time at the beautiful Furama and enjoyed the delicious buffet and food maybe a little too much! I loved that we were able to experience so many different things, from water sports, volleyball, our swimwear shoot, to the charity visit, NIDA presenting course, and walking workshops.
There were a few days when I felt a little overwhelmed, as I’m someone who usually spends a lot of time with myself, so being with 50 people for one week was a new experience to me. I also felt a bit of self-doubt and put too much pressure on myself at times. However, I’ll never forget the level of care, support and love that many of the girls showed me on the days I felt down. It really felt like a sisterhood as everyone just uplifted each other, so I’m so grateful to all the other girls.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
Letting my hair down, dancing with the girls, and swimming in the pool that overlooked the ocean at Esco Beach Bar on the Saturday night celebration. It was quite surreal for me because I had gone to the same bar earlier in March this year when I was in Da Nang for a dance camp, not knowing that I’d be back just 5 months later as a National finalist for Miss Universe Australia, partying with 30 other beautiful women and having the time of our life. I remember feeling really blessed and grateful that night for all the friendships I had made and the new experiences we got to have thanks to the Pink Tank team.
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the program, what is something that sets you apart from the other finalists?
My ability to be vulnerable. I’m not afraid to share my weaknesses or struggles with others, whether that be online or with the students I work with as I believe it helps others to feel seen and less alone with the struggles they face too.
Another thing that sets me apart is my unique experiences as a migrant. When I was young, I wanted to assimilate with other Australians because of the shame I felt of being Asian. However, now being a proud Asian Australian woman, I want to be true to myself and be a role model to other young girls who may not realise how beautiful it is to be different.
If you could ask our current Miss Universe Australia, Monique Riley, one question, what would it be and why?
I would ask Monique if she ever felt the pressure to be ‘perfect’ since many people, especially young women, perceive and look up to Miss Universe contestants as role models and leaders, and if so, how she dealt with it. The reason why I would ask this is because even as a National finalist, I have felt a bit of that pressure too, and because as humans, we all naturally have flaws and insecurities.
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?
I’m really passionate about personal growth, emotional wellbeing, and mindfulness because of the profound effect that it has had on my life. I first came across TED talks on YouTube when I was struggling with my mental health at 15, and they really helped me to switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Since then, I’ve really prioritised my healing, from attending a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat to working with a life coach specialised in shadow healing. I’ve seen the power it’s had in helping me overcome limiting beliefs, so I hope to one day become a life coach and help others in these areas too.
To finish up the interview we have a few quick questions
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would love to live in Japan. I’ve studied Japanese for 8 years and love everything about the culture, food, and landscapes, and the fact that you can have the most diverse range of experiences there.
What’s your ideal way to spend a day off?
An ideal day for me would be waking up early, practicing my self care rituals such as meditating, journaling, going for a walk in nature, and going to a Megaformer class, and spending time with my partner and friends truly connecting or sharing a delicious meal together.
What makes you laugh out loud?
People who have no filter and just speak their mind without caring what others think, even if what they say is controversial.