By Yelena Safronova
It was a pleasant surprise for Anastasia to learn that she’ll be representing Belarus at this prestigious contest. Until now, her most outstanding title has been ‘Second Runner Up’ at Miss Belarus 2010, so participation at international level will be a novelty for her.
“Despite everything, I set myself small and large goals,” she admits. “It’s a poor soldier who has no desire to be a general. Participation in this contest is a great honour and offers me wonderful experience. It’s doubly honourable, as I’ll be representing Belarus. I’ll do my best to reveal the diverse character of our country to the many millions in the audience.”
One segment has the contestants appearing in national costume; Ms. Kharlanova is taking about 15 dresses to London (some rented from the National Beauty School and from Minsk and Gomel wedding salons). For the ‘Miss Talent’ nomination, she plans to play a Beethoven piano concerto which she calls close to her heart. “I had a long break in my piano playing, so am taking lessons every day,” she smiles.
As a fifth year student at the Gomel State Technical University’s Machine Building Department, she is keen on physics and mathematics and plans to become an engineer. Her love for the exact sciences helps her during competitions, as she tends to be stoical and practical rather than allowing nerves to rule.
The Miss World Pageant is among the most popular worldwide, gathering 122 ladies for the November finals. It will be broadcast to 140 countries, with two billion viewers expected. It was first hosted by the UK in 1951, with Belarus joining in 2005.