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 Laine Hoffman, from Western Australia 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?
My name is Laine Paige Hoffman, I’m 19 years old, and I’m an aspiring TV journalist/presenter! I work as a part-time model, part-time swimming instructor and casual nanny. I’m currently taking this semester off university to focus on myself & other endeavours – including Miss Universe Australia of course! I felt that I was starting to have a lot of opportunities come my way towards the end of last year in particular, and I basically wasn’t ready to knuckle down and focus on studying at that stage of my life. Taking the six months off has been so beneficial in more ways than one; not only has it allowed me to channel my energy into this incredible journey as well as other aspects of my life, but it has also made me realise just how determined I am to chase a career in that industry! I am more motivated and passionate than ever (and beyond ready to put this brain of mine to use!) which I think is amazing.
I am a massive foodie & really into my health + fitness (as well as treating yourself on a very regular basis and enjoying life to the max!). I like to think of myself as somewhat of a ‘lazy-healthy-foodie’ in the kitchen; I love my food to be as healthy & delicious as can be, and preferably can be whipped up in no more than 20 minutes!
I’m also addicted to the ocean and am lucky enough to live a short 2-minute walk away from the beautiful northern beaches of Perth’s spectacular coastline. Whenever I have a spare 15 minutes in my day, that’s where I’ll be!
Laine Congratulations on making it so far in the such a coveted competition, we have to ask how the overall experience has been so far?
Thank you! I really did not expect to make it this far whatsoever… I keep having to pinch myself! It has honestly been such an incredible experience from day one, and I consider myself so so lucky to still be a part of such a special & inspiring program.
To be honest, thinking back to registration day I really didn’t know what to expect when I signed myself up for MUA. It was a pretty spontaneous decision I made that day to get myself into the city and just give it a crack – but the way I saw it, I had absolutely nothing to lose by doing so, and I knew that it could be an amazing opportunity; little did I realise just how far it would take me and how amazing that opportunity would be!
We have just heard you returned from the Intercontinental Resort in Bali as part of the program, How was the experience and what would you say was your highlight?
Heading over to beautiful Bali with all of the MUA girls was an absolute dream! It was such an incredible experience, and I almost had to pinch myself every single day as I just could not believe how lucky I was to be given such an amazing opportunity.
It would be pretty tough to have to pick just one highlight from the trip… There were so many! Copping a 3 am wake up the morning we flew out of Perth was definitely not a highlight, we were all zombies! But it didn’t take us long to perk back up as excitement for the week ahead took over!
As soon as we arrived at our resort Intercontinental Bali, the excitement was taken to a whole new level, and it all suddenly felt so surreal! The resort was absolutely incredible.
Being the massive foodie that I am, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that one of my main highlights throughout the trip was all the beautiful food we consumed breakfast, lunch & dinner (and dessert of course – because it’d be rude not to!). We went to so many amazing restaurants for dinner: Rockbar, Sundays, Mrs Sippy, Da Maria & of course our very own accommodation Intercontinental Bali. And I can very easily say that I was not disappointed but rather very impressed by the quality (and quantity!) of food as well as the amazing service everywhere we went!
The countless activities we did throughout the week were also no doubt highlights; including Splash Bali, Think Pink Nails, and heading to the orphanage which was such a beautiful and rewarding experience – just to name a few!
But I think the biggest highlight of all would honestly have to have been getting to know all of the other national finalists from the other states. Everyone was so down-to-earth & just really lovely, and I think we all left feeling like we’d just made easy 30-odd extra friends!
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?
I know – how exciting (and nerve-racking!). I’m feeling a whole mixture of emotions about the national final being just around the corner… Both good & bad! I think it’s all the little things you do to prepare which pay off the most: ramping up the workouts, eating as clean as possible – with the occasional indulgence of course (which is important not only for physical health/appearance but also mentally), reading up on current affairs & global issues etc etc! But to be completely honest, I think that probably the most important thing is really just to remain calm, happy & healthy (and hopefully sane!) because I believe that when you’re happy within yourself, that’s when you truly shine & radiate confidence from the inside out! Which is, of course, a very important quality to have & embrace throughout this entire journey. I also think it’s really important to make sure that you remain as authentic as possible and to not come across as being too over-rehearsed! But maybe that’s just my personal opinion.
With so many women all bring their individual flare to the competition, what do you think will set you apart from the other contestants?
Well, if nothing else does, my height (or lack thereof) certainly will! All 161cm of it… (haha). No, but in all honesty, I think that my take on the whole ‘pageant’ maybe sets me apart from a lot of the other contestants in the way that I’ve just absolutely cruised throughout this whole journey with no real expectations for what might happen/how far I would make it! As I said before, I honestly would not have believed you if you told me I’d make the national finals before I even made top 6 for WA, let alone top 24!
Speaking of unique flare or style what would you say is your best style or beauty secret?
To be completely honest I’m probably much more on the low maintenance side when it comes to beauty + fashion… Especially compared to a lot of the other national finalists, not surprisingly! I am definitely more into natural beauty (for convenience purposes as well as the actual look!), and I actually generally tend to feel a whole lot more confident when I don’t have a full face of makeup on, as opposed to being done up like a doll! My go to ‘beauty regime’ for a simple daytime look is a touch of tinted moisturiser/BB cream on my face for natural, glowing skin, a lick of mascara and lip balm (I’ve got an addiction to it!). I definitely like to dress my face up more when I head out at night, however!
I’d probably describe my fashion sense as generally being pretty simple & effortless… However, I do have a bit of a love affair with clothes! I can just never bring myself to spend crazy amounts of money on designer clothes – as much as I hate to admit, I do love a good bargain! (I blame my Mum for that one). But occasionally I’ll splash out and treat myself with something I adore – I seem to be doing so more & more these days! Not quite sure whether or not that’s a good thing…
What inspired you to enter in the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
Good question! I was actually inspired by former Miss Universe Australia 2011: Scherri-Lee Biggs. She inspires me in so many ways – I think she is absolutely beautiful inside & out and just strikes me as being so genuine + down-to-earth. However, she has particularly inspired me to take part in MUA with how well she has done for herself in her career! I am an aspiring TV journalist/presenter, so she more or less has my dream job, and after emailing her a few years back as a 17 year old deciding what exactly I wanted to do with my life, thanks to her I realised just what an incredible platform Miss Universe Australia can be (is!).
Speaking of inspiration who or what inspires you most?
I’m not sure that one person or thing inspires me the most; I think I rather tend to draw inspiration from a number of different people/things, for a number of different reasons. There are definitely certain people who inspire me big time – whether they’re in my life on a personal level or someone I don’t know but look up to all the same, in so many & completely different ways!
I draw inspiration from certain models/personalities such as Steph Claire Smith who has just done so well for herself with her modelling career/social media work, and I love that she promotes such a healthy, happy, balanced (i.e. realistic) lifestyle. She’s definitely someone I aspire to in a way, simply because I love her vibe and what she’s about!
I definitely draw inspiration from certain people in my personal life as well, including one of my best best friends who I just think is such an incredible person, inside & out! She is the most loving, caring, hilarious, fun/adventure-seeking & just all round beautiful girl (person!) I know – and I am beyond grateful to have her in my life. She inspires me to chase life & fun and to just completely live for the moment! Which I think is so important just to get the most enjoyment you possibly can out of life.
What is something people might find interesting about yourself?
The fact that I’m a bit of a midget definitely seems to shock a lot of people when they meet me for the first time in person (if they’ve seen photos of me – particularly professional images from shoots that I’ve done, prior to meeting me!).
It’s hard to pin-point one thing that I feel would stand out as being an ‘interesting fact’ about myself – but as more of a general statement, I think just my fun-loving nature & my entire outlook on life is pretty unique. I’m so chilled out and great at just living completely in the moment – all I really want out of life is to just enjoy every minute of it & experience as much as I possibly can! I seem to have this ability to be so comfortable doing whatever I want with my life; I don’t let anyone tell me what I should be doing, but rather make decisions based solely on what is best for me (e.g., deciding to take another 6 months from studying to focus on other things that were far more important to me at the time!).
What does the average day look like for you?
I generally like to start my day with a workout of some sort (if I have the time & if I feel like – I love to exercise, and my body craves it. However I hate making it feel like a chore, so I never force myself to!) – whether that’s an intense, sweaty HIIT circuit or a much less intense half jog/half stroll along the beach on a beautiful day or a bit of yoga; just moving your body in whatever way it desires is the best way to start the day, I believe! Regardless of how short I am for the time depending on what my morning/day looks like, I’ll ALWAYS manage to make time for a nutritious & delicious breakfast! (It’s all about priorities right?). Then generally I’ll have some sort of work on during the day – whether that’s swim teaching, modelling, nannying or whatever it may be! I’ll always set aside a bit of time at some point throughout the day to sift through any emails/social media that needs to be taken care of, and I’ll generally always find time for a catch-up with a friend – no matter how long or short it may be! I hardly get to see one my best friends as our busy schedule always seems to clash, but whenever we find even just a short 20 minutes we’re both free, we’ll always make time to go for a quick coast walk or just sit by on our favourite beach & catch-up on each other’s lives!
Where is your favourite place in the world to wind down and relax?
I’d have to say the beach. There’s just something so peaceful & calming about our beautiful ocean (especially over here on the west coast!) – there’s honestly nothing else like it to me! Whether it’s at home or some exotic place overseas; it all speaks the same calming language to me!
What is something you find yourself saying all the time?
“Mate” “that’s insane!” “that’s unreal!” “how good!” … or on the slightly more serious side: “everything happens for a reason”.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice five years ago what would it be?
That’s actually a really tough question purely because I have learnt so much about myself and about life over the last five years… (I was only 14 5 years ago which is crazy to think about!). I’d probably say that one of the biggest things I’ve learnt (and am still learning to be completely honest) is to trust yourself, believe in yourself, & to back yourself with whatever decisions you may make throughout life – because I think that at the end of the day you know what’s right for you. I’d also definitely tell myself that the sooner I learn not to take life so seriously and that your health, happiness & relationships are all that really matters at the end of the day, the better! I was quite a different person back then; I took life & myself very seriously in a lot of ways and I did actually develop an eating disorder when I was 15/16 years old, which was easily the most miserable stage of my life and definitely took me a good while to get back to being my happy, bubbly, fun self that I was before and am today!
And finally what are the five things you couldn’t live without?
The ocean, good food (and lots of it), my loved ones (including my kelpie Harley), travel (so the invention of aeroplanes) and the camera to capture of life’s amazing moments!