Just one look at 19-year-old Allana Wilson leaves no doubt in one's mind that the petite young woman is a beauty queen. And oh what a queen she is! Three titles under her belt certainly cement her position. And she has her eye on the big one, Miss Guyana/World, which she will enter when the time is right.
Still basking in the glory of being crowned Miss Mash International at the National Park last Sunday night, Allana says she now has to start preparation for the Miss Jaycees International pageant to be held in Antigua in June.
With her milky-brown complexion and wavy shoulder-length hair, which reveal her mixed lineage of Indian, African and Portuguese, Allana is a head turner.
She breezed into Stabroek News' office recently, chic in close-fitting jeans and a blue fine-strapped top accessorized with a silver belt and blue dangling earrings, to share a little about herself with The Scene.
At just 100 pounds and standing at 5' 2" Allana can be considered tiny but this is nothing more than a front. Behind the glamour, is a strong, positive, young woman, who is unassuming and truly beautiful inside and out.
Originally from Soesdyke, Allana now resides in New Amsterdam, which she unashamedly admits she prefers to Georgetown.
"Georgetown is nice and I love to spend time here, but New Amsterdam is quiet and relaxing," she revealed.
From the time she was a little girl, she said, she and her younger sister would hold mock pageants but Allana only summed up sufficient confidence to enter a real pageant in 2003 and this was after she was constantly badgered to do so by a friend.
She recalled that she, her sister and father would ensure that they watched any and all international televised pageants and they would attempt to select the winner.
"My sister and I also used to watch the Price is Right [a US televised game show] and we would pretend that we were the women showcasing the prizes," she said with a wry laugh.
Because of circumstances beyond her control, Allana's secondary education was gained at four different schools.
She first attended Dora Secondary School but because of a difficulty with transportation arrangements she ended up at the Friendship Secondary. But then there was a problem at that school and she was moved to a private school in Soesdyke, where she lived. Not long after, the family relocated to New Amsterdam and she completed her secondary education at another private school there. "I know some people would think with all the changing of schools that I was a bad student, but it was just circumstances. I was a very good student ask any of my teachers," she said.
After she would have completed her reign as Miss Mash International queen and hopefully as Miss Jaycees International, Allana plans to take a break from pageantry and go back to school. She wants to pursue studies in the field of accountancy, as she one day hopes to be an accountant; her second career choice.
But for now her plan is to ensure she benefits from whatever comes her way in the world of pageantry.
It all started in 2003 when she entered the Miss Mash Berbice pageant and was crowned queen. "A friend of mine told me I should enter and he kept telling me that over and over... finally, I took the step," she said.
It was the beginning of good things as she next entered the Miss East Berbice Talented Teen pageant, "and you don't have to ask what happened there, I won."
However, in the national Miss Guyana Talented Teen pageant she came in third.
Allana took a break from pageants then and devoted most of her spare time to assisting her mother to take care of her younger brother.
It was when she ventured to the city for a job interview not so long ago that she ran into Marvin Pierce, of Pamela Dillon's Simpli Royal company, and he told her about the Sensational Seven.
The Sensational Seven are seven beauties chosen by Simpli Royal to represent Guyana at different regional pageants. She entered the pageant, held in January, and was selected 'queen of queens' among the seven.
It was this achievement that saw her competing against four Caribbean beauties from Trinidad, Barbados, St Kitts and St Vincent in the Miss Mash International Pageant. Allana said although she was confident all the way, at times she felt Miss Trinidad could have snagged the crown as she is not only, "very pretty but she performed very well." Miss Trinidad was given first runner-up.
Allana hopes to enter the Miss Guyana/World pageant at some point, as it is her desire to represent Guyana internationally.
"If I won that [Miss World] I don't know what would happen because you know so many doors could be opened, but if not then I think it would be the end of pageants for me. I would focus on becoming an accountant," she said.
Right now, with the full support of her family and friends, Allana says that all the glittery crowns that have been placed on her head have not changed her in anyway. "I am the same Allana and will always be."
And how does she manage to stay so thin?
It must be luck, as she has no secret formula. "I can and do eat anything and plenty of it, but I never get fat. It is like I was made to model," the beauty said. firstname.lastname@example.org