[EXCLUSIVE] CLEO Chats With Nurul Shamsul: 4th Runner Up Of Miss Universe New Zealand 2018

At just the tender age of 20, Nurul Shamsul, a Malaysian who was born here but raised in New Zealand has cemented her role in redefining beauty standards in the world. Coming from a little farm town from Morrinsville, she was shot to the limelight as the first hijab-wearing Muslim to enter Miss Universe in New Zealand and she emerged in fifth place. Not one to stop at challenges, Nurul Shamsul is also somewhat of an overachiever.

“In high school, I started an Amnesty International Human Rights group where I got the whole school to be involved and then, in university I had also started Amnesty International. I am now the President of it, which is very cool. I’m a published poet so I’ve been published when I was 17 years old and that was called ‘The Liberation of Wine’ where I talk about the stereotypes of being a Muslim woman and just breaking them and that was published in the New Zealand book of poetry,” she shared. In this exclusive interview, Nurul Shamsul met #TeamCLEO’s writer Meghan Angelica and took her through the journey that was Miss Universe, and beyond. 

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Image: Knitwear, Uniqlo; printed dress, Cassey Gan; headscarf and pants, Nurul’s own

What inspired you to join Miss Universe New Zealand?

I was just being optimistic because I have a friend who were friends with two other contestants last year and he’s a photographer. So he would always take pictures of them so it would always pop up in my news feed. So I’m just like “Wow what would happen if I entered Miss Universe NZ”. So yeah, optimism just led me to entering Miss Universe and now I’m here.

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