Miss Haiti International Miami Norma Gustave On Beauty, The Crown and Activism
Norma Gustave was crowned Miss Haiti International this past March in Miami, and traveled to Chicago this past November to represent Haiti at the Miss International pageant.
Born in St. Louis du Nord, Haiti, the beauty queen is currently a Public Policy major at Georgia State University. She describes herself as an energetic soul, spiritual, with spunk and pizzazz.
Tell us even more about yourself.
I am a God-fearing believer, so I thank my Lord every chance that I get. I am humble and down to earth. My bubbly personality makes everyone around me relax and be themselves. I have a great sense of humor and I love meeting new people. I also enjoy dancing, singing, and helping others—pushing them to their greatest potential.
Since after the earthquake, I noticed a lot of our people were being abused, sexually exploited, and trafficked. I decided I needed to do something about this issue. By accident, I learned from a little bird, I heard about the Miss Haiti International Pageant. I was so excited and quickly took part in this pageant resulting in me winning. My platform is human trafficking, a major issue that has been plaguing different nations for years. My goal as Miss Haiti is to bring an end to human trafficking and help victims escape. Even when my reigning is over, I will continue to draw awareness.
Do you feel beautiful every time you take a glance in the mirror?
Every time I take a glance in the mirror, no matter the time or day, I feel beautiful. I believe every woman in this earth should feel beautiful, love and accept themselves first before they can love and accept someone else.
How would you define beauty?
Be-you-ty. Beauty comes within. Be yourself, you do not have to act like something you are not. Exude confidence and embrace all your flaws. Believe it or not, those flaws is what makes you—you.
Did you have a favorite doll growing up?
I didn’t have many toys growing up, but I sure did have a Giga Pet. My pocket size Giga Pet was my favorite toy ever. I enjoyed watching my pet mature. I would feed, groom, and even discipline my pet when needed. I had a great time playing with my electronic pet, especially since the only pets we owned were small goldfishes.
What’s the one principle that you live your life by?
Life is way too short. Go out and live! If you want to become a pageant queen, go out and do it. Don’t let anyone stop you. The only person who can stop you is yourself. We were meant to come and go in this world, so why not enjoy it.
Are your parents pretty thrilled about your crowning?
They are so proud of me and very supportive. I believe my mother called everyone in her phone book and my dad told every co-worker that their daughter is Miss Haiti International. I am so happy to have great parents like them. Wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Beauty pageants are seen by some as a celebration of beauty and femininity on one hand and on another hand, they are viewed as showcases of exclusion by others. What are your thoughts on this?
Beauty pageants—to me—are all about your personality and your platform. I say personality because you are competing against so many beautiful ladies, the only way you can differentiate yourself is by your personality. I say platform because you want to make a difference in the world.
So, when was the last time you went to Haiti?
It’s been a few months since I left Haiti, and what’s been helping me fight more and more for Haiti is the high statistics of human trafficking taking place in our country. Many of Haiti’s trafficking cases are at the estimates of 150,000-500,000. That statistic is way too high. It’s time to make a change and the time is now.
You’ve got the crown, and the applause! What do you have planned next?
I want to continue to help the people of Haiti. I am not doing this for the money or for the exposure. I am about to graduate so now I can put more time into promoting my platform, rebuilding the country, and help Haiti become the Ayiti Cherie it once was. With God on my side, I can accomplish anything.