Back in June 2019, Yana Haenisch was appointed Miss Supranational Namibia 2019. She is currently representing Namibia in the Miss Supranational 2019 competition to be held Friday, December 6th in Silesia Province in Poland. She succeeds Miss Supranational Namibia 2018 Daniella Orumwense.
While the entire idea of subjective ‘beauty’ pageants arguably objectifies women, supporters of such events believe that such platforms are ostensibly for national recognition. The participants at these events claim a desire to do charity work, inspire younger girls, cheer for their sponsors and pursue their personal careers in various fields.
The 22-year-old Yana was born in Walvis Bay but is currently based in Windhoek. She participated in Miss Namibia 2019 where she placed in the Top 5 at the conclusion of the national pageant.
The intrepid and tenacious Haenisch hosted her own entertainment and pledging event in October 2019 to help privately finance the costs of her pageant competition and travel to Poland. The event was held at a local Windhoek café. It featured top live entertainment including 2019 NAMA artist of the year, Lize Ehlers and the talented performer, Vaughn Ahrends.
Haenisch has posted her ‘national costume’ on Instagram. She has also given an interesting overview of her garment and explained how it represents aspects of Namibia.
Though the connection is not clearly evident, Miss Supra Namibia says that the inspiration for her gown (designed by a South African), was derived from the shape of the traditional Herero dress. She wears a dramatic headdress of a feathered wing. Haenisch says that the wing, the lightness of her dress and its feather detail are representative of the Namibian national bird, the fish eagle.
In her Instagram post, she notes that the fabric of her beautiful dress was hand printed by artist Larissa Don and uses a muted palette of greys, black and gold (colours of the Gemsbok as seen on the national emblem). The print on the fabric is supposed to be reminiscent of aerial shots of the Namibian desert. The applique and diamante detail on the dress are said to represent the skeleton coast and the rich diamond fields of Namibia.
The prizes for the Miss Supra pageant include a US$30,000 cash prize and a representation contract with the Miss Supranational Organization. Hopefully the lovely Yana will win enough notice and recognition to help promote her future career aspirations.
There are thousands of ‘beauty’ pageants for young women such as Miss Supranational held around the world. They have varying levels of credibility and exposure. They are almost all about showcasing an image of ‘beauty and grace’. While earning income for the hosts, organizers and sponsors of such events, the pageants might help the contestants attract the attention of modelling agencies, movie/theatre/acting opportunities or social media or celebrity/entertainment industry possibilities.
According to their website, the first Miss Supranational competition began in 2009 in the city of Płock, Poland. “Our first ever group of contestants came from almost 40 countries around the world, today after nine years the number has doubled to more than 80 competitors from every continent.”