An Estonian beauty with a big heart

  • 2010-01-14
  • Interview by Ella Karapetyan

With so many beautiful women in this world, only a select few have that ‘something really special’ that makes them rise above the rest. The 25-year-old beauty Diana Arno was the adjudged winner of the Eesti Miss 2009 competition (Estonia 2009 Beauty Pageant), which took place in Tallinn on March 12, 2009. The people crowned Diana “The Queen of Estonian Beauty,” They say she is “as pretty as a field of spring flowers.”

She is the kind of woman who is impossible to pass by without noticing. She is a combination of both external and internal beauty, as well as of style and elegance. While portraying Diana, one can say that she is glamorous and has a unique style that makes her shine even brighter. Her very feminine charm works to make her look simply gorgeous. Diana took part in the Miss Universe pageant on Aug. 23, 2009 in Nassau, Bahamas, where she proudly represented Estonia on the international stage.

But her true beauty lies not only in her appearance, but deep within her heart. She is kind-hearted and understanding and is always ready to give a helping hand to those who really need it. The beauty queen spends most of her time doing charity work and receives a lot of inspiration from it. She is also involved in politics as a member of the Center Party. Diana sat down with The Baltic Times to tell the readers about her latest achievements and share her experiences.

How did you decide to take part in “Miss Estonia 2009”?
Honestly, I have never thought of taking part in any beauty contest; “Miss Estonia 2009” was my first. From my early childhood I enjoyed watching beauty contests; I read different magazines about some of the famous models. I’d have never imagined that one day I would win this title. When I left school, I decided to continue with my studies at university. After getting my first higher education degree, I made up my mind to get my master’s degree. I first worked in different companies, then I left for New York for 3 months to improve my English language skills.

I started to work with some Estonian magazines such as FHM, Geo and Joy after I returned from the United States. I felt that I had gone through all these periods in my life and felt a bit empty; I felt I wanted to do something more. It was on a Christmas Eve when I heard that the annual beauty contest “Miss Estonia” was going to take place that year as well, so I decided to fill in my application and try out some new field, though I wasn’t sure I would be selected. I kept it a secret from my family; I told only my sister. I didn’t get an answer for a long time, until one day Valeri Kirss, the national director of “Miss Estonia,” invited me for an interview. “Miss Estonia,” as well as “Miss Universe” was a great professional and life experience for me. As I wasn’t professional in this area I had a lot to learn. After taking part in these beauty contests I liked the modeling business so much that I even regretted that I didn’t take part in it before.

Did you make any new friends at “Miss Universe 2009”?
Sure I did. All the girls were unique and nice. We had a great time with all the girls and I still keep in touch with some of them. I made great friends with Sofia (Miss Russia); we had more time to communicate as we shared a room, and of course one of the reasons was that we were communicating in Russian, which is actually my mother tongue.

Was the road to success an easy one for you?
I wouldn’t say that it was easy, I have gone through a lot of difficulties, but at the same time I was lucky enough to have a lot of supporters around me. I am very thankful to all those people who helped me through. I am also very thankful to my fiance, who did his best to help me from the beginning. I am also very grateful to the media for doing a great job for me.

Thanks to the media I got calls from people who offered me their help in making my evening dresses, gifts and such. Thanks to the help of many supporters I could participate in the Miss Universe contest, which was really an honor for me and, of course, a great experience. I also want to thank Kelly and Kelly who made the elegant evening dress for me. Great thanks also to Kaire Tali who helped me to make the handicraft work which I had to present at “Miss Universe.” After I became “Miss Estonia” I got an offer to pose for Playboy and the cover of FHM, but I didn’t have the feel for it. I also got some interesting offers from famous foreign photographers to make some photo sessions in New York; I hope that I will be able to manage to make all my plans a reality.

What is the secret to your beauty? Do you keep on any diet?
I don’t keep any diet and have never kept any, and there isn’t any special secret to share. I would just recommend to all girls and women to take special care of themselves. I think it is especially important to start taking care of your body from early youth. Actually, it’s not obligatory to keep any diet to look great, or just to keep fit or look slim, except for those who really have excess weight. Actually, I am not against diets, if only they are healthy and don’t destroy your health. So I would just advise to turn to a doctor’s help in case one wants to keep a diet. Unfortunately, there are a lot of young girls who risk their lives or health just to look like fashion show models, or who try to start their career as a model. Having wrong diets can, in the end, result in such serious diseases as anorexia is.

Do you have any special recipe for skin treatment?
I think one of the most important factors in looking beautiful and having good skin is to use professional cosmetics, which won’t spoil your skin after a while. I prefer to use only professional cosmetics; I have some favorite brands which suit my skin best. In my opinion skin treatment is a “must,” especially living in the Baltics States. Because of the bad climate and lack of sun one should take extra care of his face and body. I want to encourage all women to find time and energy for skin treatments. I usually make my own masks, but I generally buy some natural ones. I won’t say that I have my own recipe for making masks but it is always good to use some homemade ones as well. I also visit my cosmetologist regularly and take care of my face twice a day.

What tips would you give to those women who want to keep fit? And what do you do to keep fit?
I think it depends on the type of person. As for me, I can say that I don’t do sports regularly, especially when it is so cold outside. I go to the gym occasionally, but I have found my own solution. I bought a CD and do fitness at home with the help of the CD. First of all I would recommend eating healthy food. Secondly, it is very healthy to go to the sauna. With going to the sauna regularly one can have excessive weight reduction, deep relaxation and a feeling of well- being. This treatment leaves your skin feeling ‘uber’ soft. You may cover your body with honey and then sit in a steambath or sauna, for 10-15 minutes, to allow the honey to be absorbed into your skin. I would recommend pure and natural honey, which is possible to find in Estonian  villages, which gives a better effect.

Do you have a favorite Estonian fashion designer?
From Estonian fashion designers I want to point out Hanna Korsar, who has great taste and an interesting collection. Hanna helped me a lot concerning the dresses that I needed for my participation in Miss Universe, and I am very grateful to her for providing me with all those amazing dresses. I especially admire her latest collection, in the old and unique style which I demonstrated at “Riga Fashion Week 2009.” I have seen how her collection is made, so I consider it as a work of art. The other designer whom I also admire is Kristina Viirpalu, though she has quite a different style, a classical one, with clothes which can be used even in everyday life.

I know that you do charity work and you really enjoy it.
Before I was Miss Estonia, I organized a project to help one house for elderly people by supplying fresh water all year round. I was invited to work in a fund called “Salus,” where I am a project manager. We conduct different charity projects. For this year’s ( Russian) Christmas we are going to Narva, to the Russian orphanage where we are going to organize a small party for the children. We are also planning to take the children to the Russian Theater as well as to the “Bodies Revealed” international art exhibition. I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that some of the orphanages even need pillows and blankets; I was shocked to see those terrible conditions where children live. So we organized the buying of all these necessary beddings for the children. We have a lot of plans for the future; we are searching for sponsors and supporters and are doing our best to try to help needy people.

I know that you are interested in politics; how did you start your career as a politician?
This is really true; I am a member of the Center Party. I took part in the city elections, though I didn’t collect many votes. One of the reasons I chose this party is that all the members of my family support the party. Secondly, I think that in comparison with all the other parties, the Center Party is the best. I find that this party is the one which keeps its word, which is quite an important factor for me. And everyone is treated equally within the party. There are a lot of  young people who are supporters and try to do their best to make their ideas come true.

Was 2009 a successful year for you?
I would say that 2009 was too successful for me; moreover, it totally changed my life. Actually, the most important achievement in 2009 was to be selected Miss Estonia 2009. Another not less important achievement was my participation in Miss Universe 2009. 2009 was a year of great achievements and revolutionary changes for me. I have tried different things, I have even shot my own film about Estonia. I was told that I had to make a small film about Estonia which was going to be shown at Miss Universe. All the girls who were taking part in Miss Universe had to shoot their own films representing their countries and traditions.

Unfortunately, my film was the only one which wasn’t shown at the contest, as I was told it was too professional and it wouldn’t be very honest to other girls, whose films were just homemade ones. I was so excited about my filming that I asked all my friends and relatives to help me with it; I invited a group from St. Petersburg (also my relatives) who helped me with shooting. I just wanted to do my best to represent my country in the best way. It’s a short-footage film; we represented the past and the present of Estonia, its culture and traditions. We made the film just two weeks before Miss Universe. I am glad that I had a chance to shoot the film; first of all it was a good experience for me and it is a nice present for my relatives and friends. We filmed my grandfather, so it can be a good memory for me in the future.

What are your short- and long-term goals?
For the near future I am planning to try and finish writing my book, which isn’t an easy task as I start writing whenever I feel inspiration. The book is about pageant beauties and what difficulties they face during their career. I share some interesting facts from my experience. I can’t say exactly when it is going to be published but I am planning to publish it in March. I’m writing the book in Estonian but I think it will also be translated into English. I am also planning to go on with doing charity projects, which is not my job but something I do for pleasure and from where I receive inspiration. I also want to try TV, so I hope that I will soon appear on TV as a program host.