GB Gets to Know: Jenny Kim
MAKING HISTORY FOR KOREA
On December 1st last year, 23 year old Jenny Kim was crowned the 9th Miss Supranational in Krynica-Zdroj, Poland. What made her victory extra special was that she is the first Korean to have won a Grand Slam title. On the eve of her departure to Jakarta for the 2018 Puteri Indonesia contest, Global Beauties' Andre Sleigh go the opportunity to get to know this young beauty queen to find out about her life as Miss Supranational and her hopes, dreams and goals for the future.
Global Beauties: Tell us about your childhood. Where did you grow up and what were your dreams? Did you ever imagine you would become an international beauty queen?
Jenny Kim: I was always a passionate kid who didn’t face fears when accepting new challenges. I was raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and my dream was actually to becoming an English teacher because I love teaching children. And still up to this day, I still dream of becoming one. I never thought I would and could become a beauty queen, but I love accepting challenges and making great changes, so I decided to compete in the hope of pushing myself to a place where I could have more power to affect change.
GB: Why did you decide to start entering beauty contests? Please share with us how your pageant journey started?
JK: I decided to start entering beauty contests to encourage hope and dreams because I wanted to show people that an ordinary girl like me can become something more. My high school teacher suggested I join a beauty pageant because I was taller than other girls. At first, I did not take it seriously but she persisted and persuaded me that I can have a voice and power to inspire change and help others if I become someone whom many can look up to through my success. I applied and gave it my best effort as I usually strive to always give 100% if I decide to pursue something.
GB: Did your parents support your decision to enter these contests?
JK: YES! My parents were really supportive of my decision. They did not hesitate for a moment to encourage me to follow my dreams.
GB: As Miss Universe Korea (2016), you represented your country at the 65th Miss Universe contest in the Philippines? Could you share some of the highlights of this experience with us?
JK: One of the highlights of Miss Universe was that the girls and I were able to visit the different islands of the Philippines. I was also able to meet one of my favorite hosts, Steve Harvey, and one of my favorite singers, Flo Rida, in person!
GB: How did it come about that you were picked to represent your country at Miss Supranational?
JK: My National Director suggested to me that I represent my beautiful country, Korea, again. She thought that the ideal Korean representative should speak English fluently and have good social skills, so that people can learn and experience the hospitality and warm-heartedness of Korean people. Since I received the Miss Congeniality award in Miss Universe, she gave me another chance to represent my country.
GB: You spent more than two weeks in Poland and the Slovak Republic with the rest of the Miss Supranational delegates? Can you tell us more about that?
JK: I really enjoyed every moment in Poland and the Slovak Republic because it was my first time visiting Eastern Europe. I have never seen such grandiose mountains with so much snow! I also really thank and love all my Supra sisters because they gave me the most amazing and precious memories that I will keep forever in my heart.
GB: On December 1st, you became the first Korean to win a major international title. What did that mean to you? What was the reaction like from your country?
JK: It is still hard for me to believe that I am the first Korean to win a major international title. It is a great honor and I understand that I now hold a great responsibility to represent my country. I am very proud to be the first Korean winner and I want to say the crown is not for me but for my country KOREA! As many know already, I was raised in Indonesia and so the people of Indonesia have been amazingly supportive of my success! I am ever so grateful for their love. The Korean people were also very welcoming and we had an official press conference for my homecoming as soon as I returned.
GB: Tell us what you have been up to since winning Miss Supranational.
JK: After winning Miss Supranational, I traveled to Vietnam, China, and Indonesia to attend promotional events. There will be more events coming soon and I will be traveling to many more beautiful countries! I was also the supporter for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which was a huge honor.
GB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? And 10 years?
JK: In 5 years I see myself studying English for my masters. My dream is to become a professor and teach English to children and adults. And in 10 years, I see myself as a successful English professor and a great mother to a lovely family.
GB: Tell us why you think people should visit South Korea. What makes it special?
JK: Korea is one of the very few countries that received help from other countries not too long ago but is now the one who helps others. This unique feature is definitely worth experiencing and this best way to do that is by visiting Korea.
GB: If there’s one thing you want people to know about Korean women, or just Koreans in general, what would it be?
JK: We Koreans are very hard working people who strive to do better. We also have very high expectations for ourselves. Koreans are very humble, warm-hearted and reliable people.
GB: How would you like to change the perception of beauty pageants in your country?
JK: I would like to change the perception of beauty pageants in my country that it is not a simple competition for physical beauty or commercialization of women but it is actually designed to empower women and celebrate their intelligence, beauty and dreams. By becoming the face of a country, it allows women to make great changes worldwide.
GB: What do you like most about being a beauty queen? Is there a downside to all of this for you?
JK: The thing I like the most about being a beauty queen is feeling empowered and having the potential to make great changes. The downside to all of this will be that even my small mistakes will matter and they can greatly affect others.
GB: If you could tell sum Jenny Kim up in three words for our readers, what would they be?
JK: I am multicultural, passionate, and warm-hearte.
GB: Do you have a special message for the fans of Miss Supranational and the readers of Global Beauties?
JK: I thank each and every one of my fans around the world for believing in me and supporting me throughout this journey. Every one of you are the source of my energy and if I ever get a chance to meet everyone, I would really want to give all of you a big hug and say “Thank You!” Also I read all your great comments and likes on Instagram and appreciate all your interest and support.
GETTING TO KNOW JENNY KIM
Interviewed for Global Beauties by Andre Sleigh
Special thanks to Jenny Kim and Marina Fontes!