Nora Emilie Nakken has been modelling since she was 14 years old. In 2016, she competed in Miss Universe Norway and finished in the finals.
Now 22, Nakken is back and ready to win the Miss Universe Norway 2021 crown. Here is an exclusive interview I had with her recently:
CONAN ALTATIS: Please tell us about your family.
NORA EMILIE NAKKEN: I grew up with a beautiful and open-minded family. My close family consists of my mom, dad and my little sister named Ane. I highly appreciate the close relationship I have had with my mom. She has taught me the importance of setting goals and aspiring to reach what you desire and dream about. My dad has also inspired me and has been the one to challenge me in every aspect of my life, like challenging different ways of thinking and ways of doing different things. I also think my love for traveling and exploring new places and cultures comes from my family roots.
CA: When you were a little girl, what did you want to become? When did you start being interested in joining beauty pageants?
NEN: I have always been a creative spirit. I love taking pictures and making videos. When I was younger, I had a dream about doing creative art with a meaningful content. My dream was to create relatable content that could influence or inspire people. Later, I began exploring entrepreneurship and I started to look for opportunities within that realm. I think this may be one of the reasons I really wanted to do pageantry because you get the opportunity to influence people with your messages.
CA: You have been modelling professionally since you were 14. What are the things that beauty pageants can give you but modelling cannot?
NEN: For me, the biggest difference between modeling and beauty pageants is the opportunity to raise your voice and speak about topics that is important for you. I believe everyone has that one thing that really means a lot for them and things they want to do to make the society a better place. The opportunity you get through pageantry is so meaningful and (it is) a big opportunity to speak about your advocacy. In Miss Universe Norway 2021, my focus will be to destigmatize mental health issues and highlight the importance of being open about personal struggles.
CA: In Miss Universe Norway 2016, you finished in the finals. What will you do differently this time to make sure you will win the crown?
NEN: I believe that self-confidence is one of the keys to success. (It is important) to be confidently beautiful in your own mind and body. I believe this is something you learn when you get older and something you can use in a positive way to help others. This time, I hope I am more mature, confident and independent in addition to being more aware of the responsibilities and self-image I portrait through the competition. This gives me a better edge and perspective of what it takes to be a role model that will make me a better contestant for the title of Miss Universe Norway 2021.
CA: I just found out you were ranked as the most beautiful Miss Earth 2020 contestant at CONAN Daily. Surprisingly, you didn’t make it to the Top 20. Do you think you could have performed better if the pageant was done in person?
NEN: All the girls in Miss Earth 2020 were performing really well! They were talking about many important topics and did an amazing job! I feel like all the girls that made it to the Top 20 deserved it and I believe the results would have been the same even if the pageant was done in person. But I will bring my experience from this contest with me and use it in the best way I can in Miss Universe Norway 2021.
CA: What is your message to all Norwegians who are having a hard time dealing the pandemic right now?
NEN: Believe in the fact that things will get better! If you have a hard time, open up and talk about your feelings to someone. Mental health is really important and you have to take care of it and give it as much, if not more, focus than your physical health right now. Find a friend or someone you trust and be open about your feelings. I believe it is important to share one’s feelings and thoughts with someone that truly listens and cares. Remember that you are not alone in this and your struggles, whatever it is, can always be solved.