Miss Jamaica UK, Rianna Simmons, basking in her title
Days after being crowned Miss Jamaica UK, 22-year-old Rianna Simmons is still in shock.
In an email response to The Gleaner, the carnival dancer and model commented, "It's such a strange feeling, and the more images I receive from the photographers just brings it all back for me. It all went so fast, but now I can focus on fulfilling my duties as an ambassador."
For her, the title means everything. Born in London of a father who hails from St Mary, Jamaica, and a mother from St Vincent, Simmons said she entered the competition to be a role model and for people to look up to her.
PROUD TO REPRESENT JA
"I know it will be hard work, but so rewarding, when I get to where I want to be. A chance to finally have a title to represent my country in a positive light is just great," she said.
Wearing the crown of Miss Jamaica, Simmons said it's been years since she actually visited the island. In fact, she was so young at the time of her last visit, that her memories of it are vague.
"I definitely plan to visit next year sometime, I can't wait to go back," she said.
Looking ahead, Simmons says she is just taking each day as it comes, with her main mission being to "put her name out there", representing herself and Jamaica as much as possible. "I've only got a year until I hand over my title and, after that, I aim to continue my journey," she shared.
Simmons, who also does some modelling, said she has been a carnival dancer for as long as she can remember.
"Every year, I make sure that I'm in costume and I participate and model for UK carnival mas bands," she said.
Her involvement led to her becoming a Young Adult Carnival Queen four years ago, with her enjoying national and international tours.
When she is not on the runway, dancing up a storm or carrying out her official duties as Miss Jamaica UK, Simmons says it's all about shopping.
"My style changes so frequently! I also have a thing for bright hair colours and nails. Not to mention make-up ... . My gosh ... I think 99% of pictures on my phone is of different make-up looks. I blame the carnival life for that one," she said.
Her downtime includes hanging out with friends and meeting people. She describes herself as "a granny at heart", as she enjoys staying in on a Friday night with her friends, opening a bottle of wine.