- (Photo: REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker)
Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes visited Singapore Thursday at Marina Bay Sands ahead of the Formula One Weekend.
Leila Lopes and other Miss Universe contestants, past and present, were meeting fans at the Ku De Ta Singapore club. It was the first public appearance by Miss Angola since she won the Miss Universe crown last week at Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Lopes used the occasion to tell people to respect the decision made in the contest regarding her victory. Lopes has been accused of using false documents to participate in and win a qualifying contest in England last year.
“I think people should respect the decision (of the judges). Only one person out of 89 can be Miss Universe. (Even if) people are not satisfied with the result, they should not say such bad things,” Lopes said according to Today Online.
Lopes added: “The one important thing I've learnt from the competition is that we have to know who we are and accept who we are ... We can do whatever we want and be whoever we want.”
Leila Lopes also answered questions about the changes in her life after her win, saying that some things can change but her personality will remain the same.
“I know some things will have to change but, basically, who I am, my personality, that will never change.”
The Formula One race happening over the weekend was what in fact drew Miss Universe 2011 and her fellow contestants to Singapore.
The 25-year-old made clear that it isn’t about parties, concerts or cars, but more about fund-raising; something she is passionate about as evidenced by her work in advancing personal and humanitarian causes.
"I want to show, especially women, that we can work, we can study, we can be beauty queens," said the former Miss Angola in her thickly-accented English.
She hopes to set an example by holding her new position:
“We can set an example to the entire world,” she said.
She added: “Thank god! I really want to work, as much work as I can get, it's better for me."
Lopes heads off to Indonesia Tuesday.