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Stabroek News

Brittany looks to South Africa
published: Monday | September 1, 2008

Keisha Shakespeare-Blackmore, Staff Reporter

Brittany Lyons, Miss Jamaica World 2007. - Kyle Macpherson/Freelance Photographer

Her mother, Marie Clare Lyons, was the second runner-up in the Miss Jamaica contest in 1980. Thus, it could be said that it was destiny that led her to walk away with the Miss Jamaica crown on August 16.

Brittany Lyons, 19, has been dreaming of becoming Miss Jamaica World since she was a little girl. She has always wanted to walk in her mother's footsteps.

"My mother has always been my inspiration for entering the contest. Plus, my family and friends were always pushing me to enter," said Lyons.

She notes that when she first entered the competition, the most challenging aspect was having confidence in herself. Her mother played a vital role in developing her confidence, and succeeded by the end of the competition.

For her, the most rewarding aspect of the competition was meeting the other girls, getting to know them and developing new friendships; plus, visiting the different places across the island and meeting people. "And, of course, being victorious."

Hoped to win

She told Flair that when she first entered the competition, she had hopes of winning, but she never thought she would actually walk away with the crown. She said when she stood onstage the night of the pageant, she did not expect her name to be called.

"I thought they had called the wrong name. Then I heard them say, 'following in the legacy of her mother'; that's when I said, 'Oh, it could not be anyone else but me."

She said she was overwhelmed with emotion when she realised she had won. Though she has not decided on her platform yet, she says she wants to make as many positive changes as possible, "working with the children, uplifting them in a positive way and conducting motivational speeches throughout schools across the island".

Lyons is a St Andrew High School graduate and earned an associate degree in business administration at the University College of the Caribbean (2005-2007). She wants to pursue a career in fashion merchandising. Though there is not much scope for such a career in Jamaica, she still wants to give back to her country after she completes her studies in the near future at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. As the budding fashion merchandiser, she admires local designers, such as Heather Laine by Zoe Summers, Uzuri and international designer Donatella Versace.

One step at a time

This year, the Miss World competition will be held in Johannesburg in South Africa. Lyons said it will be her first visit to Africa and she is happy to get the opportunity to see the country, its beautiful beaches and mountains.

She notes that at the Miss World competition, she is planning on taking everything one step at a time. "And, hopefully, my hard work will pay off. I am just going there to do my best."

Her advice to girls who are planning on entering the competition is that they need to be true to themselves and who they are because honesty will help them go forward in life. "Believing in yourself is important because if you doubt yourself for one minute, then it can set you back, and those steps back, you could be missing out on very important things in life."

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