“I wish to inspire our community by being the authentic and humble woman I believe I am, by being a good example – people watch what you do more than they listen to what you say, and by doing everything and anything I can to help and support our people. The message I would like to send is simple… follow your dreams no matter how big, reach for the stars and most importantly; stay true to who you are”
These are the inspirational words spoken by 25-year-old Jodie Garcia, who on the warm summer evening of the 8th of July, in front of all the lights, cameras and cheering audience members, was crowned the new Miss Gibraltar 2017.
Overwhelmed with emotion and the gravity of her achievement, a visibly shocked Jodie walked towards centre stage, hand on mouth, and the crown was handed over by the 2016 winner, Kayley Mifsud, as she exchanged words of congratulations with the new Miss Gibraltar.
Another spectacular show produced by Christian Santos, who we interviewed in our 3rd edition on the 22nd of June, the Miss Gibraltar 2017 pageant had it all – the lights, international and local acts, music and performances, and an explosion of special effects and confetti.
At Reach, we interviewed the newest ambassador to Gibraltar, Miss Gibraltar 2017, Jodie Garcia to find out what she feels about her success.
“It still feels unreal, when I look back it feels like a dream… the whole night, including the celebrations after, flew by too fast, so it took some time to digest and it all and realise that I actually am Miss Gibraltar! I feel extremely happy and honoured to have been given this amazing opportunity to be an ambassador for Gibraltar and I will do my absolute best to serve and help my country and community in every way possible.”
— Miss Gibraltar (@Miss_Gib) July 10, 2017
After having two of her closest friends enter Miss Gibraltar, seeing their journey of personal growth, she decided to take the plunge herself and enter the pageant.
“It was a very positive experience for them, and I thought there was nothing to lose and everything to gain!”
Being one of Gibraltar’s most anticipated and most watched event of the year, entering the Miss Gibraltar pageant is a nerve-racking experience for any contestant, Jodie told us about her challenges through the process:
“My biggest challenge was the fear of putting myself out there with the risk of being criticized, talked about or judged… just before signing on I gave myself a little speech in my mind and thought to myself –
‘people WILL criticize you… some people won’t like you, some people will like you and still criticize you. But in the end, you should always be your authentic self and risk it…’
It is your choice to take it to heart or let it roll off your back.”
Jodie overcame her fear, which she explains most, if not all, Miss Gibraltar contestants go through, and persevered. Her favourite quote is “love yourself first”, which reflects well her philosophies on life:
“I truly believe that life is an echo, what you send out comes back. I am a very spiritual person and I always try to see the positive in every situation. I believe that what you set your mind to, you can achieve. I see the mistakes and hard times as blessings, because they have shaped me into the person I am today.”
Jodie explains that beauty pageants are much more than what meets the eye.
“Apart from getting dolled up and feeling beautiful, you learn and improve on important and useful skills that you can implement in the work environment as well as life itself. Skills such as confidence building, public speaking and styling.”
She also has some advice for anyone out there who is considering joining a beauty pageant such as Miss Gibraltar:
“I would definitely recommend anyone thinking of entering to take the plunge – Miss Gibraltar helps you grow as a person and teaches you skills. Apart from being an amazing experience and lots of fun you also get the chance to make new friends and meet many people along the way – I have lots of memories that I will cherish forever.”
Now that Jodie has been crowned, her journey is only just beginning. She will go on to be an ambassador for Gibraltar, and will be entering the internationally renowned Miss World 2017 in November, watched by millions of people around the globe, which will be taking place in China.
“I am extremely excited about entering Miss World. I cannot wait to travel to Asia, see the beautiful Island of Sanya, China, and meet all the other contestants. It’s going to be my first time travelling alone… I believe that this experience will definitely make me become even more independent.”
Jodie told us that she is also extremely pleased that her partner and family will be watching her live in Sanya for the final.
So, as she enters the newest chapter of her life, with promises of new experiences, travel, adventure, and challenges, the whole Rock will be rooting for her as our newest ambassador.
Good luck Jodie from everyone at Reach! You can see the GBC video of the night below!