Up close and personal with Miss Universe Singapore 2013 Shi Lim

azliah
24-year-old business executive, Shi Lim, is the winner of Miss Universe Singapore 2013. (Yahoo! Photo)
24-year-old business executive, Shi Lim, is the winner of Miss Universe Singapore 2013. (Yahoo! Photo)

Shi Lim, a 24-year-old business executive, never thought she could be a beauty queen. She had joined this year's Miss Universe Singapore pageant on a whim - "I saw it as an opportunity to meet more people", said the 176cm contestant, who had just returned from seven years in Canada and the US.

She was certainly very surprised when she was crowned the winner during Saturday's grand finals. Lim, the eldest of three siblings, will be representing Singapore in the international Miss Universe pageant on 9 November in Moscow, Russia.

The New York University graduate - she has a degree in cognitive science – wants to "give the world a more balanced perception of Singapore". She said, "When I was overseas, I keep hearing people say things like 'Singapore has such strict laws', but there's more to the country than that."

Now, besides preparing for the international Miss Universe pageant, Lim will also be investing time to support Rural Vision, a non-profit organisation that help the poor in rural India by providing education and building basic infrastructure.

She shared this and more when she met up with Yahoo! Singapore for a cosy chat.

5 questions with Shi Lim

Who is the real Shi Lim?

I graduated from New York University last year with a degree in cognitive science and I just came back to Singapore in January. I grew up in here and live with my family in the Upper Bukit Timah area.

My family and I initially moved to Canada when I was 16 because my father was pursuing his Masters degree. Once his studies ended two years later, my family returned home because my brothers needed to serve National Service, while I stayed on because of school.

I am not an outgoing person, and I prefer to stay home and read. I like philosophical books such as The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl. They allow me to find out more about life and its meaning. It's something everybody is interested to know about too, I’m sure.

Do you prefer modeling or being in a pageant?

I modeled for a year while I was in New York and the most significant stint was with an online retail site called Shoptiques. The people I worked with were a fun bunch – almost like family.
There are so many models there that modeling has become just another profession.

I prefer being in a beauty pageant because you are being judged for your intellect as well, which is why you have the Q&A segment. But with modeling, it’s only about your appearance and how the clothes look on you.

What are the challenges of being in the pageant?

It’s harder being a pageant finalist than a model because you have to stand for hours in heels and smile continuously.

I did not expect it to be so tiring and I really admire the other finalists who have entered pageants before.

They were very supportive and would give me pointers on my walk and pose. We truly banded together when the first waves of criticisms (from netizens) came in and provided each other with emotional support.

How do you feel about the nasty criticisms directed at you and the pageant?

I understand that contestants put themselves out there in a beauty pageant to be judged, but I don’t think that gives others the license to be intentionally nasty. I feel like people should not say anything if their comments are not constructive.

I am not offended by the comments because I know that they are not exactly about me – it's just what some people do.

However, I am disappointed because I was expecting more to support from fellow Singaporeans.

What would you say to the world as a representative of Singapore?
Firstly, I would tell them that Singapore is not in China, and that our country is not only about strict laws.

For example, we are a multi-racial country and we live harmoniously together. Also, during the haze, we witnessed several Singaporeans helping the less fortunate by distributing free masks. But that care and kindness is not seen by the world.

Shi Lim, a 24-year-old business executive, never thought she could be a beauty queen. She had joined this year's Miss Universe Singapore pageant on a whim - "I saw it as an opportunity to meet more people", said the 176cm contestant, who had just returned from seven years in Canada and the US.

She was certainly very surprised when she was crowned the winner during Saturday's grand finals. Lim, the eldest of three siblings, will be representing Singapore in the international Miss Universe pageant on 9 November in Moscow, Russia.

The New York University graduate - she has a degree in cognitive science – wants to "give the world a more balanced perception of Singapore". She said, "When I was overseas, I keep hearing people say things like 'Singapore has such strict laws', but there's more to the country than that."

Now, besides preparing for the international Miss Universe pageant, Lim will also be investing time to support Rural Vision, a non-profit organisation that help the poor in rural India by providing education and building basic infrastructure.

She shared this and more when she met up with Yahoo! Singapore for a cosy chat.

5 questions with Shi Lim

Who is the real Shi Lim?

I graduated from New York University last year with a degree in cognitive science and I just came back to Singapore in January. I grew up in here and live with my family in the Upper Bukit Timah area.

My family and I initially moved to Canada when I was 16 because my father was pursuing his Masters degree. Once his studies ended two years later, my family returned home because my brothers needed to serve National Service, while I stayed on because of school.

I am not an outgoing person, and I prefer to stay home and read. I like philosophical books such as The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl. They allow me to find out more about life and its meaning. It's something everybody is interested to know about too, I’m sure.

Do you prefer modeling or being in a pageant?

I modeled for a year while I was in New York and the most significant stint was with an online retail site called Shoptiques. The people I worked with were a fun bunch – almost like family.

There are so many models there that modeling has become just another profession.

I prefer being in a beauty pageant because you are being judged for your intellect as well, which is why you have the Q&A segment. But with modeling, it’s only about your appearance and how the clothes look on you.

What are the challenges of being in the pageant?

It’s harder being a pageant finalist than a model because you have to stand for hours in heels and smile continuously.

I did not expect it to be so tiring and I really admire the other finalists who have entered pageants before.

They were very supportive and would give me pointers on my walk and pose. We truly banded together when the first waves of criticisms (from netizens) came in and provided each other with emotional support.

How do you feel about the nasty criticisms directed at you and the pageant?

I understand that contestants put themselves out there in a beauty pageant to be judged, but I don’t think that gives others the license to be intentionally nasty. I feel like people should not say anything if their comments are not constructive.

I am not offended by the comments because I know that they are not exactly about me – it's just what some people do.

However, I am disappointed because I was expecting more to support from fellow Singaporeans.

What would you say to the world as a representative of Singapore?

Firstly, I would tell them that Singapore is not in China, and that our country is not only about strict laws.

For example, we are a multi-racial country and we live harmoniously together. Also, during the haze, we witnessed several Singaporeans helping the lShi Lim, a 24-year-old business executive, never thought she could be a beauty queen. She had joined this year's Miss Universe Singapore pageant on a whim - "I saw it as an opportunity to meet more people", said the 176cm contestant, who had just returned from seven years in Canada and the US.

She was certainly very surprised when she was crowned the winner during Saturday's grand finals. Lim, the eldest of three siblings, will be representing Singapore in the international Miss Universe pageant on 9 November in Moscow, Russia.

The New York University graduate - she has a degree in cognitive science – wants to "give the world a more balanced perception of Singapore". She said, "When I was overseas, I keep hearing people say things like 'Singapore has such strict laws', but there's more to the country than that."

Now, besides preparing for the international Miss Universe pageant, Lim will also be investing time to support Rural Vision, a non-profit organisation that help the poor in rural India by providing education and building basic infrastructure.

She shared this and more when she met up with Yahoo! Singapore for a cosy chat.

5 questions with Shi Lim

Who is the real Shi Lim?
I graduated from New York University last year with a degree in cognitive science and I just came back to Singapore in January. I grew up in here and live with my family in the Upper Bukit Timah area.

My family and I initially moved to Canada when I was 16 because my father was pursuing his Masters degree. Once his studies ended two years later, my family returned home because my brothers needed to serve National Service, while I stayed on because of school.

I am not an outgoing person, and I prefer to stay home and read. I like philosophical books such as The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl. They allow me to find out more about life and its meaning. It's something everybody is interested to know about too, I’m sure.

Do you prefer modeling or being in a pageant?
I modeled for a year while I was in New York and the most significant stint was with an online retail site called Shoptiques. The people I worked with were a fun bunch – almost like family.
There are so many models there that modeling has become just another profession.

I prefer being in a beauty pageant because you are being judged for your intellect as well, which is why you have the Q&A segment. But with modeling, it’s only about your appearance and how the clothes look on you.

What are the challenges of being in the pageant?
It’s harder being a pageant finalist than a model because you have to stand for hours in heels and smile continuously.

I did not expect it to be so tiring and I really admire the other finalists who have entered pageants before.

They were very supportive and would give me pointers on my walk and pose. We truly banded together when the first waves of criticisms (from netizens) came in and provided each other with emotional support.

How do you feel about the nasty criticisms directed at you and the pageant?
I understand that contestants put themselves out there in a beauty pageant to be judged, but I don’t think that gives others the license to be intentionally nasty. I feel like people should not say anything if their comments are not constructive.

I am not offended by the comments because I know that they are not exactly about me – it's just what some people do.

However, I am disappointed because I was expecting more to support from fellow Singaporeans.

What would you say to the world as a representative of Singapore?
Firstly, I would tell them that Singapore is not in China, and that our country is not only about strict laws.

For example, we are a multi-racial country and we live harmoniously together. Also, during the haze, we witnessed several Singaporeans helping the less fortunate by distributing free masks. But that care and kindness is not seen by the world.
ess fortunate by distributing free masks. But that care and kindness is not seen by the world.