Paula Joukanen trained for the Miss Universe competition for two months, which was far too short a time for her.
Reigning Miss Finland Paula Joukanen, 22, competed in the Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador over the weekend. Joukanen did not place among the top 20 competitors.
– In a way, the ranking did not come as a surprise. I wasn’t what I could have been on stage, Joukanen tells Iltalehte on Monday.
Joukanen is more surprised by how a large part of his competitors missed out on a top 20 ranking, even though he had thought they would do well. Several of her Miss Universe friends have been training for the pageant their whole lives.
And according to Joukanen, this is also the reason why Finland has not been successful in the competition.
Finland has won the Miss Universe competition twice: first in 1952 and the next time in 1975. Since then, there has been no victory.
– I’m really grateful that the competition gave me a perspective on why we don’t do well in the competition. Many Universum contestants have lived this pageant life since childhood.
According to Joukanen, this year’s Universum winner, representative of Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios, has been competing in various pageants for several years and has been preparing day by day for the Miss Universe competitions.
– It’s a bit different that I’ve been “preparing” for the competition for two months and most of that time was spent on everything other than preparation or training, Joukanen states emphatically.
– It’s my own fault that I wasn’t interested in any beauty contests or local competitions before. I thought that their value is nothing and the Miss Finland competition is the only one I can participate in, he continues.
Joukanen also brings up the money.
– Money is also a big obstacle, but we competitors can’t do anything about it. It’s hard to do anything on a zero budget. In addition to that, there are actually no walking coaches in Finland, so you have to learn to walk via video call.
– The preparation for the Universes should have started a long time ago, not two months before the competitions, Joukanen sums up.
Joukanen does not want to point his criticism at the Finnish pageant organization, but specifically at future competitors.
– I am happy that future competitors can be more aware. I hope my followers focus on training.
Joukanen also wants to remind you that the main point of the Miss Universe contests today is no longer the idealization of beauty.
– What’s more important is walking and how you present yourself. If beauty were looked at objectively, the top 20 would be very different, he states.
At the moment, Joukanen is Ignacio-with her boyfriend in Costa Rica enjoying a week’s vacation. The vacation was necessary, because Joukanen noticed after the Universum final how much stress has accumulated on him. Tears were not avoided either.
Joukanen will return to Finland on November 27.
The couple plans to enjoy fresh fruit, the beach and lounging, good food and each other’s company on vacation. Joukanen is also studying law and during the vacation he has to finish one school essay.
– We admire rainforests and nature. There are budgies flying everywhere! Joukanen is happy.
– Not a single person recognizes me on the street, it’s really wonderful. And I can say that I don’t have any make-up on my face at the moment, Joukanen laughs.