Since childhood, Sasha has loved, as she puts it, ‘girly things’, such as fashion and makeup. She occasionally saw the American Miss Universe pageant on TV, yet she never expected to enter a pageant herself. “I’m very shy by nature”, she says. “I always get so nervous when I have to stand in front of an audience.” Her best friend’s sister participated before and asked if Sasha wanted to try the audition, too. “I thought: this is a fun way to step out of my comfort zone”, she says. In the finals, she will have to address five hundred people in the audience from the stage. “Later, I can put those skills to good use as a lawyer.”

Women's rights

As she prepares for the finals, she has a terribly busy schedule. She has several rehearsals for dance and catwalk walking and has to raise money for charity. For this, she went flyering on the Zuidplein – with a flyer she designed herself – to raise money for the, that helps less fortunate families in the Netherlands.

In the finals, the pageant has a ‘hashtag round’ about social issues. There she hopes to excel with her chosen theme: women’s rights. “The position of women in the Netherlands is not nearly as good as people think. For example, women are paid 13 percent less than men for the same job. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Also, women experience abusive behaviour more often than men. In short, there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Becoming a criminal judge

Sasha is now in her third year and plans to do a master’s degree in Criminal Justice after her bachelor. In her spare time, she volunteers at a legal store on Goeree-Overflakkee. “I find my field very fun and interesting. After my studies, I’d like to work as a lawyer and my big dream is to become a criminal judge.”

What does her family think about her participating in the pageant? “When I told my mother about it, she said that she herself once participated in a miss pageant in the Hoeksche Waard”, she laughs. “I didn’t know that at all! So maybe it runs in the family a little bit.”