BANGKOK — Miss Universe Thailand 2019 says that her heart is Thai, despite her Western-looking face.
Jennifer Paweensuda “Fahsai” Drouin, 25, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2019 on Saturday night over 56 other contestants – fulfilling the half-Canadian beauty’s goal after at least six years on the pageant circuit.
“I’ve been in so many pageants, but my dream has always been Miss Universe Thailand,” Paweensuda said in an interview with Khaosod.
When asked about potential backlash from winning the coveted crown with a Western-looking face, Fahsai said she’s Thai on the inside.
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but I know I’m Thai…What makes us Thai people is that we are open and we accept different people from different backgrounds,” she said. “I speak Thai. My heart is Thai. I know that I can be Thailand’s representative on the world stage and make everyone proud.”
Fahsai took out the crown after the three finalists were asked, “What is your opinion on a woman who stays married for her child or for duty, even though she doesn’t love her husband anymore?” She answered that the mother would be sacrificing her own happiness for the child.
“To be honest, when I was a kid, I thought that my parents were together because of me. Because when I looked at other couples – when I looked at my friends’ parents – they looked like they were intimate. But I believe for a woman to stay together with a guy, even though she doesn’t love him, just so the child can have a full family – you have to appreciate the sacrifice that the mother makes so the child can live in a very happy family and can grow to be the best that they can be by being loved and cherished by a full family.”
Fahsai will represent the country later this year at the Miss Universe 2019 finals in South Korea.
Fahsai is a pageant veteran, having competed in contests since 2013. She was the second runner up in Miss Universe Thailand 2017, and was crowned Miss Earth Thailand 2017.
Fahsai was born in Montreal to a Thai mother and a Canadian father. She graduated from the University of Calgary in kinesiology before moving to Thailand to model. She is fluent in both English and Thai.
First runner-up went to half-American Miriam Sornprommas and second runner up to Roi Et native Thanatchaporn “Bella” Boonsaeng. Bella attempted to answer a question about her family, but ran out of time. Miriam had to have the Thai questions translated into English and mostly responded in English, in contrast to most other contestants.
Kansuda “Mimi” Chanakiri, the only half-Burmese contestant, landed in the top 20.
Update: See our live interview with Fahsai on July 2, 2019 here: