Who says life comes to a full stop after marriage and children. Anuradha Alex, a mother of two and a participant in Singapore's prestigious beauty pageant - Mrs. Singapore will change your thoughts forever.
Anuradha Alex, (of Indian origin and married to a Mexican) is gearing up for Mrs. Singapore to be held on December 19, at Resorts World Sentosa. In between all that running around, she took out time for an email interview with Deepti Kaul. In the chat, she reveals all about her family life, balancing act, beauty secrets and more.
CtoI: How is the beauty competition coming along - the spa sessions, beauty treatments, exercise, diet, ramp walks?
AA: The competition, I am taking part is one of the most prestigious pageants in Singapore. Some big brands are sponsoring the event, they also get involved in the 360 grooming of the participants. For example, Boutique Gym is running a rigorous programme to enhance our fitness level, supported by personal instructors. On the other hand, we have Bionn International, specialising in aesthetic treatments for face and body; all this is complemented with a balanced diet. This lifestyle has improved my eating and exercising habits, I am more conscious about the food and drinks.
The journey has been very enriching and cheerful. Over the last few weeks, we've been engrossed in a series of workshops and PR activities, to develop our confidence and presence on stage; we follow a demanding program to perfect our posture and walk. Being moms, not all of us are in perfect shapes, but we are taught how to embrace our body and walk confidently. At the end of the day, the title is another milestone but what really matters is the learnings that I take from people I meet during this process.
CtoI: You are a mother and a model. How do you balance your personal life and work?
AA: Being a mother of two young boys aged 8 and 20 is not an easy task, but they are quite independent. Once everyone goes to sleep, I organise my next day's schedule. I mark my calendar well in advance, so I don't miss any of my son's school activities. During work, I have a short video chat session with my children so they know mom is missing them. Over the weekends, I make sure we all spend good family time together. My husband and I have date nights once a fortnight during the weekday, so we have our personal time as well and dedicate the weekends for our children. I'm blessed to be part of a family where we support each other in the goals and aspirations that help us to grow, this has been key in having a well-balanced life.
CtoI: Tell us about your experience of competing with women from different cultural backgrounds?
AA: Singapore is a country with people from all over the world with different backgrounds and cultures. We have contestants from all over Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam to name a few. Although we are contestants, but have developed close bonds and are supporting each other through the journey. Being exposed to this multicultural environment is helping me to have a better understanding of others' beliefs and values; even though my fellow contestants are from different backgrounds, there's one thing in common and that's 'Motherhood'.
CtoI: One cause that you support and would want to promote if you win the pageant?
AA: I want to take care of children whose parents are incarcerated (been convicted). I have seen the insecurity in their eyes seeking to feel secured. Such incidents haunt the childhood of these little souls and result in mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and difficulties in making friends. Children with a parent in jail or prison are often teased at school, they may internalise the stigma and experience lower self-esteem.
Because of this social issue, I want to let people know that there are children among us who are struggling to integrate into society, and how we can change their lives by extending them a hand. Each of us can play a part in raising awareness among our society, school and circle of influence. When I win this title, my first step will be to volunteer in schools, where I could deliver a session on this topic, so that children are told about the distressed kids and what they could do to befriend them. I might not be able to change the whole world, but I believe I can change my immediate surroundings and every one of us can do the same.
CtoI: Your beauty secrets, diet and exercise regime?
AA: The basic CTM (cleansing, toning and moisturising) routine is what I follow. My morning starts with 30 to 40 min of Yoga (at least 4 times a week), as it helps me improve my flexibility and body cleansing; then I go to the gym for some cardio and floor exercises. Post workout, I have breakfast consisting flavoured yogurt, rolled oats, soy/cow milk, nuts, and fresh fruits. After 30 minutes, I drink a cup of warm herbal tea.
My snack between breakfast and lunch is nuts, dates or figs, along with a glass of herbal tea. For lunch, I prefer meat with vegetables and a bit of carbs. My dinner time is between 6 to 7 pm and usually stir fried vegetables. I do have cheat days usually over the weekend. I also make sure to drink at least 6 litres of water a day, which helps my skin remain hydrated.
As part of my daily routine, I complement it with a dose of vitamin C in the form of a tablet or fresh orange juice. As there's a long gap between my dinner and bedtime, at that time I take a fresh fruit. I'm also a sweet lover (e.g., milk chocolates) I indulge myself, whenever I crave for it. I believe in staying healthy, without depriving myself of the food I love.
CtoI: About your costume and performance during the talent round
AA: For my talent round, I danced to a mash-up of Belly and Bollywood music. The first half was Salman Khan's famous song Masha Allah Masha Allah and the second song was Maiya Maiya from the movie Guru. My performance was appreciated and I made it to the top 3 to perform again in the grand finale at Resorts World Sentosa on the D-day.
CtoI: Your definition of beauty?
AA:The true beauty of a woman is reflected in her soul. The outer looks are just a shell. We should focus on nurturing and beautifying our souls with love and compassion.