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.
What is your current mindset now that you’ve joined Miss Universe?
A lot of young girls or like women in general they would message me or come up to me and be like “You’re so inspirational and I want to be just like you” and I’m just like “No, don’t be just like me. Just be yourself. You’re amazing and beautiful yourself”. I’m just living my life to the best that I can. I know that this life is short and I don’t want to waste it. I want to take every advantage of every opportunity that comes to me and just trying and being optimistic is actually really important in life.