A 19-year-old student has been chosen to represent Malaysia in the upcoming Miss Teen Universe 2021 beauty pageant
According to Bernama, Dheper Reshaa Teh from Penang will be heading to Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 25 October to compete in the international pageant on 6 November.
Currently pursuing a diploma in business studies at INTI College Penang, she told the national news agency that she aims to promote Malaysia's beauty and its diverse cultures, as well as make Malaysians proud during the competition.
Inspired by Miss Universe shows since she was a child, Dheper said she has always wanted to be in a pageant from the tender age of four
She learnt the catwalk by herself at home, enrolled in a modelling academy in Penang, and won her first ever pageantry as Miss Teen International Malaysia when she was only 16.
Since then, she has competed in two international-level pageants – the Miss Teen Universe 2019 in India and Miss Tourism Global City in China this year. She made it to the finals in the former and was ranked within top 20 in the latter pageant.
"International-level pageants are far different from national-level ones," she told Bernama.
"There were a lot of aspects I was not aware of such as issues on racism, politics, and lots of culture shock," she said, but added that fellow contestants have also taken great care of her during her travels.
The student hopes that the four years of pageantry experience will guide her to be crowned as Miss Teen Universe 2021
"I'm extremely happy and honoured to represent my lovely country. Can't wait to share about Malaysia and our culture in the competition," Dheper told SAYS.
According to The New Times, the competition will bring about 50 contestants from all over the world, including South Africa, Panama, Guatemala, Portugal, Brazil, and Peru.
Contestants will be competing in various events such as a fashion runway, an evening gown and sportswear segment, a talent show, as well as a Q&A session.
In addition to that, Dheper has also requested Malaysians to support her in the competition's initial social media voting round.
"Double click to like and comment the Malaysian flag on my photo!" she said.