Megan Lynne Young, former Miss World 2013 at the Jumeirah Rotana Hotel in Satwa, Dubai. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News Image Credit:

Megan Young made her country proud when she became the first Filipino to be crowned Miss World. It was a momentous feat for the Filipino beauty as she outclassed representatives from 126 other countries during the pageant competition in 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. Last week, Young visited the UAE to grace the opening of a Filipino clothing line’s stores in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Incidentally, the visit coincided with the exact same date when she won the title five years ago on September 28 — an interesting piece of trivia that was not lost when she told adoring fans the significance of the date.

Before becoming a beauty queen, Young started as a contestant of StarStruck, a reality television show in the Philippines, and became a member of television network ABS-CBN’s Star Magic. She would later sign a contract under rival network GMA. Young is currently busy working on an ongoing television drama series, The Stepdaughters.

Being a beauty queen and actress, Young is currently one of the top brand endorsers in the Philippines.

Gulf News tabloid! sat down with the down-to-earth beauty titlist, where she reveals how she keeps fit, her choice of fashion, favourite food, the responsibilities of endorsing certain brands and her thoughts on the possibility of having another Filipina winning a prestigious beauty pageant this year.

Her sense of fashion

In general, my everyday style would just be really simple — pair of jeans and a plain T-shirt. I’m very simple with my way of life so I don’t like dressing up too much on a regular day. But when I have to, I’ll always be casual with a little bit of glam. Like today I’m wearing my Bench jeans and I changed my top for something a bit more glittery, something a bit more glam. So I just change it a little bit from time to time.

Fashion faux pas

I don’t know. Like at this age, fashion is so subjective. There are so many things that you can do. Every day, there are new fashion styles that you think wouldn’t be appreciated, but they become fashionable. For me, just wear whatever you want, wear whatever you enjoy and if it’s about personal style, don’t mind what other people will say. Who knows? Your sense of fashion could be the next big thing.

On endorsing brands

I think when it comes to endorsing a certain brand we always see if it’s something I wear, something that I use already, something I can resonate with, something that speaks to me and will have a good partnership.

So with all the brands that I endorse we make sure that one, it’s conservative; two, it’s something that I can relate to or that I use in my everyday life; third, it’s something that I’ll have a good partnership with because what is important for me is that me and the brand will benefit mutually, not just something that only a client can benefit from or something that only the artist can benefit from. It’s something that the artist and client can both benefit from each other and create a great relationship and that’s when I feel like being an endorser is really effective.

Fitness and diet

I guess for me, it’s not really about dieting. People always think that dieting is about starving yourself or eating very small amounts of food. For me, dieting is about eating the amount of food that is right for your body. For my body type, for my weight and height, I eat at least a 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day. I make sure that I just eat well, I eat healthy and try to stay away from junk food, although I treat myself from time to time. So it should always be balanced — you can have a super clean diet but you can also treat yourself.

I have a cheat meal and not a cheat day. All you need to have is discipline. I’m not particular about my weight or waistline. I just love going to the gym.

Favourite food

I’m a foodie. I love Japanese food like sushi and katsudon. That’s why I like Japan, especially Tokyo. I also love to eat taho [a Philippine snack made of fresh soft/silken tofu, arnibal and sago pearl]. I love drinking coffee as well. I don’t eat exotic food like the lamang loob [offal] and balut [a developing bird embryo that is boiled and eaten from the shell].

Skincare and make-up

For me, it’s really taking off my make-up at night before I sleep. No matter how tired I am I have to take off my make-up. I make sure I drink lots of water and I always eat. I never starve myself. So I make sure I eat healthy food and avoid junk food because if you will eat healthy food like fresh vegetable, fruits it will show on your skin, it will show through your eyes. You need to take of care of your skin inside out. For my make-up, I just want to have a simple and fresh look. Just be comfortable with your skin.

Haircare

I make sure that I condition my hair all the time. That is super important for me especially since my hair — sometimes with the weather — it reacts very easily so I have to make sure that I condition my hair all the time.

Scent

I like earthy scents. I just bought a perfume here from a brand that I’ve been wanting to buy for a while, the brand’s name is Le Labo. I decided to go with an orangey vanilla scent. So, something very natural. I like staying true to the aromas around me. But I also have the “artista scent” like Dior.

De-stressing

I listen to music. I have piano, classical music saved on my phone. That’s my way of relaxing. I also have oil essentials — I like peppermint and eucalyptus oil.

On Catriona Gray winning the Miss Universe crown

I think she really has a good chance to win. I’m hoping that she does. We always hope that our candidate will win every single year. So I’m excited to see Catriona [the Philippine representative to the Miss Universe 2018 pageant] and whoever will win the Miss World Philippines 2018 on October 7 — I hope to see them win in their respective competitions.

Tips for aspiring beauty queens

I only joined one pageant. I think my top three tips for anyone who wants to join pageants is to make sure you’re the one who wants to join the pageant and not anybody else, because it gives you a different drive if you want it compared to when other people want you to join. Second, always be nice to the people around you, be kind to yourself also — don’t be too hard on yourself. And third is to enjoy every single moment. It’s been five years since I won Miss World but it feels like a dream. So while you are still there, savour every single moment.

On being mayumi

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt as Mayumi is to pyt pyt pyt (fight, fight, fight) — that’s how she says it [laughs]. She never gives up. She always thinks of her family, she loves and prioritises her family. She will do everything for her family. She’s willing to sacrifice her love for Francis [played by her real-life boyfriend Mikael Daez] because family is always first for her. And she doesn’t back off, despite what others will do to put her down.