The search to find the next Miss Universe Australia is underway, with National finalists preparing to touch down in Melbourne later this month ahead of the national finals held at the Sofitel on Collins June 29.
We are chatting with Genie Koulaeva, from Victoria who will be competing for the 2017 title of Miss Universe Australia,
Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Hawkins, Rachael Finch, Tegan Martin & Jesinta Campbell.
First of all the introduction, Why don’t you tell us about yourself?
I’m a Melbourne girl and grew up running between Dancesport training, swimming and aerobics. I’ve competed Nationally and Internationally in Dancesport, and look forward to heading to the Blackpool World Dance Festival in the next two years. Since finishing university, I’ve been working in the public hospital system as a Doctor, and am currently spending most of my days in the operating theatre doing plastic and reconstructive surgery. Outside of work and dancing, I’m close to finishing my first owner-builder home, built mostly from recycled materials and with a very high energy rating, something that has been a childhood dream of mine!
Genie Congratulations on winning a Wildcard and making it so far in the such a coveted competition, we have to ask how the overall experience has been so far?
It has been pretty amazing! I thought I was out for this year at the state final, and to have had so much support shown and to then go on and win the wildcard has been incredible and somewhat surreal! It’s also been wonderful to have so many great sponsors on board, like Hurt Locker Richmond and Bodyography, which have meant that the Victorian team has been able to get close and spend time together at events throughout the year in the lead up to the Finals.
It’s not long now until the finals, how are you feeling in the lead-up and what sort of preparation are you doing, before the finals get underway?
Not long to go now! I’m super excited, and being a wildcard, I haven’t had as much prep time as the other finalists, so the last few days have been a bit of a blur, but a very exciting blur! Preparation for me is continuing my regular exercise, which includes cycling, boxing and dancing, clean eating and keeping a positive mindset!
…as well as the occasional massage of course!
With so many women all bring their individual flare to the competition, what do you think will set you apart from the other contestants?
I have a pretty killer catwalk, hahaha! But seriously…Every girl this year has brought something different and unique to the competition, and we all have a lot of special qualities. I think pressure, stress and performance anxiety are big challenges in this type of competition, and having grown up competing Internationally, as well as working in a high stress and demanding job, I am used to it, and hopefully, bring a calmer atmosphere to the room, and am always happy to help backstage.
Speaking of unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret?
Skin is really sensitive to a lack of moisture, and so drinking plenty of water is a definite must. But I have to say my favourite beauty secret is using freshly ground coffee beans with a bit of olive oil, brown sugar and even some mustard seed as an exfoliator (especially for my face) a couple of times a week work wonderfully!
What inspired you to enter in the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
I’ve been watching the international Miss Universe pageant since I was little, and have always loved the question and answer section. As I got older, I noticed more and more how much we pigeon-hole people and have many times myself had people dismiss my opinion or intelligence based on my looks. I think it really is about time, we as woman especially, STOP judging and belittling other women based on appearance, and I wanted to show that a smart, intelligent, experienced, and beautiful girl can be all that, and can win a pageant and be a positive role model and representative for Australia on the International stage.
Speaking of inspiration who or what inspires you most?
Education is something that we in Australia are very privileged to have access to, and that I have been very fortunate to have had. Sadly, there are many countries in the world where this is not the case, and there are currently over 30 million primary school-aged children who have never attended school. More than 2/3 of the world’s illiterate population in all age groups are women, and this makes me sad, but also inspires me to advocate for education. My inspiration for this is the incredible Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate, but more importantly, ONE girl who stood up for what she believed in – a woman’s right to an education – and made a difference.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
I don’t mind spiders, am totally ok with snakes, but I hate cockroaches…just can’t
stand them. They are so squirmy and creepy…eugh.
I love to bake decadent cakes but unfortunately don’t often get to eat them…well maybe the occasional slice!
What does the average day look like for you?
Usually, an early start, anywhere between 4.30 and 5.30 am, with a healthy breakie and coffee, followed by either a ride to the beach or boxing, then I head to the operating theatre, and depending on the list that day might not finish until the evening. On my days off, you’ll find me either at the beach, pilates or dancing, or
doing some odd job to finish the house off (most recently I have been painting walls!).
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
The beach. I love cycling along the beach track, it clears my head and is so beautiful and peaceful that it usually brings me back down to earth. Otherwise, my all time favourite place to go and get away from it all is a small garden in the Dandenong Ranges, it has been beautifully designed and maintained, and there is definitely something about the fresh air up there!
What is something you find yourself saying all the time?
‘Seriously’…I just can’t help it; pops up my most of my conversations
If you could give yourself one piece of advice five years ago what would it be?
Never hold back, and don’t let fear of failure stop you from doing what you want or achieving your dreams. If you don’t do something because you’re afraid, you’ve already told yourself “No” before anyone else has had a chance to say “Yes”.
And finally what are the five things you couldn’t live without?
My family, especially my mum and grandma, coffee (and I don’t think anyone actually, wants to see me without me it), my Shearers Uggs, a good Wi-Fi connection
and bad “Dad” jokes!