If Laanya Asogan looks familiar to you, it may be because you’ve noticed her during the Miss World Singapore pageant in 2017, and when she represented our country on the world stage!
This beautiful lady is also one of the strongest people we know, and she’s a massive inspiration to us all.
We had a chat with Laanya to find out more about her pageant experience, the lessons she took away from it, and what she stands for.
You looked absolutely stunning during your crowning moment as Miss World Singapore! How did you prepare yourself physically in the lead up to the pageant? Did you work out with a PT, or adopt a special diet?
Thank you! I adopted a workout routine which included fasted cardio in the day, and light bodyweight exercises in the evening. Although I didn’t focus very much on my diet, I cut out a lot of sweet treats. It was so hard because unfortunately, I’ve a sweet tooth! What I did was to switch to healthier sweet treats like fruits, but I won’t lie, it was a pretty tough decision.
How did you maintain, or even improve, on your physique before your representation on the world stage?
Once again, it was a lot about discipline, and trying out different exercises to keep myself interested! I also managed what was going into my meals by limiting certain ingredients.
Basically, I was just very aware of what I was putting into my body and I stuck to a suitable routine that my body appreciated!
Tell us what sort of struggles you faced during the pageant, eg. mentally and emotionally? Also, how did you overcome them?
Wow, this is such a loaded question because I don’t even know where to begin.
Being in a position of constant criticism over every single aspect of my life was a different ball game altogether. I came so close to breaking and just letting go at many points, but that’s when I realised my purpose in the pageant. It was about overcoming these emotional barriers and mental chains.
For example, when people didn’t accept me as a pageant winner because of my skin color, I felt like I wanted to scratch my skin off! I became so conscious of wearing colours that darkened my skin tone, avoided the sun, and even considered means of bleaching.
Then I realised my purpose at the pageant was to stand up and fight against all the discrimination. I have the power to change beauty standards and the way people think. It was a tough internal battle, but I made standing up for these values my mission. I did all I could to make sure I would never be broken like that again nor will any other girl ever have to be in these superficial situations again.
For example, every time someone said something like “oh yeah, she would look even better if she was fairer” or “imagine the attention she would get if she was fair” about me, my reply would be something along the lines of “thank you, but what you are doing is essentially convincing a group of people that they are less than others because of something that is genetically embedded in them. It would be even better if you looked past your prejudice, and start appreciating us as individuals who can bring more than just our skin color to this table”.
I learned a lot about how to be tactful in several situations, and it’s the best lesson I’ve had!
What did you learn from your experience in the pageant circuit with regards to your health and well-being? Are you still applying those lessons today?
I learnt that it was really not just my physical health that was important. My mental health was equally important, because that was what enabled my physical and emotional well-being!
What your mind thinks is reflected in your body, posture, and actions. So if you believe in your mind that you are allowed to be disrespected just because you are of a certain race and colour, it will show in your actions and in your physical state of weakness. That’s when people can prey on you. Never let them think it’s okay to disrespect you.
How did your experience with the pageant translate into your beliefs about health and fitness now?
I found my cracks in my character. I found I didn’t believe in myself fully, and that included everything I thought I had mastered.
I always treated exercise with a certain level of superficiality, instead of realising the power it has to change my mind and body. Exercising and eating right was a transforming and liberating experience!
I now enjoy exercising. It is my favourite pastime. I am so aware of what’s happening to my body, and my soul feels nourished!
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your physique? Or the most memorable?
You look healthy! Or even, you’re glowing!
What is your current workout routine like? Do you continue with some of what you learned when you were competing?
My current workout routine includes a lot of dancing! During the pageant, I did a lot of workouts with isolation exercises but I have come to realise I love having a flow in my workouts, which keeps me more excited and motivated!
Do you have any motivational words of advice or encouragement for our readers? Tell us what keeps you going when you’re tired! It may just inspire our readers to press on through their workout too.
A: My favourite quotes will always be “always bring your own sunshine”, and “health is adding a level of intention to every area of your life”.
Essentially, it’s about being mindful, and being aware of you and what you need to create a healthy environment for yourself, so you have an abundance to bring to any table!
We need more strong women like Laanya in our society! We hope her strong beliefs, her sense of self-love, and her confidence speak to you like they did to us.
Keep up with Laanya on Instagram @laanya_ezraa as she lives each day to the full! Laanya, you go girl!
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