The dream is now a reality
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Sep 13, 2013
People may have looked at Lexi Wilson as the sleeper, or the dark horse in the race, but the newly crowned Miss Universe Bahamas never considered herself in that light. She knows she was a heavy-hitter.
“People referred to me as a dark horse, which I’m willing to accept now, but I definitely know that I was a heavy hitter,” said the 22-year-old. “I just wasn’t a person to put in the forefront … to be flamboyant or arrogant with it because I know what I have. And I don’t have to personally go out there and put myself out there so hard because I knew I had the capabilities of winning Miss Universe Bahamas,” said Wilson.
The fact that she’s wearing the weighty crown, which she says is so heavy that sometimes it gives her a headache means that she achieved the goal she set for herself.
“I went out there, followed my plan to get the crown. Once you follow those patterns in life and you go out and get what you want, it gives you an opportunity to let young women in The Bahamas know that whatever you set as your goals, you can achieve,” she said.
Four days after being chosen as the Bahamian representative to the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, Russia, Wilson said the fact that she had achieved her goal was finally starting to settle in.
“Immediately after I won, I went through a series of emotions because it hadn’t settled in yet, and then I had family members calling me … I had people who I had never even met calling to congratulate me, so it kind of set the tone for me to be happy,” said Wilson, who was crowned on Sunday night in the Atlantis Theatre. “Monday morning when I woke up in a suite at the Atlantis, I was like I’m Miss Universe Bahamas.”
The new queen said she opened a window, repeated that she was Miss Universe Bahamas, to the universe, and that the realization that she had done it, finally set in.
Since then she has been on a whirlwind media blitz. And it’s about to get even more hectic — in less than two months she will find herself on a pageant stage for only the second time in her life, competing for the Miss Universe crown on Saturday, November 9.
In a very quick two-week turnaround, she will have to meet to train with Grace Fontecha, the woman who has been the face of modeling and beauty pageants for more than 30 years, and who coached back-to-back Miss Universe winners in Dayana Mendoza in 2008 and Stefania Fernandez in 2009; as well as stylists at ASHLEYlaurenKerr, a company that provides support for all aspects of high-end fashion, including styling, poise and personality coaching and makeup and hair training for pageant contestants.
Wilson has a very short window in which to prepare for Russia, but is confident she can get it done.
The five-foot, nine-inch beauty was inspired to go after the crown by 2010 Miss Universe Bahamas, Braneka Bassett, who she met on an airplane in Chicago. Wilson says Bassett stopped her and told her she thought she had the characteristics needed to enter the Miss Universe Bahamas pageant — poise and elegant, and the fact that she was well-spoken.
“I told her (Bassett) that I’d always wanted to do it (pageant), but that I was a little shy. She told me the pageant would bring me out and break that shyness immediately.”
When Wilson made the decision to enter the pageant she did so with a mindset that she would give 100 percent effort. She said coming to that decision pretty much knocked out any nerves she may have had completely — even though it was her first beauty pageant.
Now that the crown adorns her head, the recent graduate of Langston University who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry, who plans to attend dental school after her reign, says people should know that she is an individual, and a personable one at that, who people can walk up to and say hello.
“I think people automatically think that when you get the crown and the sash that you’re superficial, or that you’re just pageant girl, but I want to be known for being more than just a pretty face and just Miss Universe Bahamas,” she said. “I want to be able to implement my platform which is diabetes awareness with the implementation of Get Fit Bahamas which is modeled after [United States First Lady] Michelle Obama’s Get Fit America. I want people to know that I’m an advocate for healthcare. I don’t just want to be a pretty face and glamorous. I want to be somebody who can help out in the community and push my platform so we can implement healthy exercise and eating habits and nutrition.”
Even though it’s just days into her year as queen, Wilson who stands at 5 feet 9 inches without heels, says her focus right now is Miss Universe. But that at the end of the day she wants her takeaway to be all the experiences she will have — meeting delegates from different countries, interacting with different cultures and personalities and implementing her platform.
“I want to be the queen who is known to actually do work with her platform and not just say it, winning the crown and disappearing. I want it to be ‘Oh Lexi Wilson, I remember her, she did her work as a queen.’ I want to be remembered for that,” she said.
The new Miss Universe Bahamas is also a resident of Pinewood Gardens, a community she’s proud to say she was raised in.
“I find that people have a lot of assumptions about Pinewood Gardens, but I want people to know that I come from that neighborhood and that the neighborhood put out a good person,” she said. “I definitely learned that it’s not where you’re from, but where you’re going.”