MISS UNIVERSE: Vancouver beauty representing Canada will always be an activist, win or lose

Published: November 26, 2012

Miss Universe Canada Sahar Biniaz, left, says she hopes to attend the Miss Universe pageant to lend her full support to runner-up Adwoa Yamoah from Calgary, who will now be competing for Canada. Photo illustration/Miss Universe

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Sahar Biniaz already feels like Miss Universe — but the competition isn’t until Dec. 19.

The Indian-born Vancouver resident was crowned Miss Universe Canada in May and now she’s gearing up for the international beauty competition in Las Vegas. She’s set to fly out Wednesday.

“I feel like with the Miss Universe Canada title I’ve done exactly what Miss Universe will do. I’ve travelled the world, I’ve raised awareness of the organizations
I’m passionate about,” Biniaz told Vancouver Desi from her Vancouver home.

Biniaz has been training hard for the competition: She just returned from Panama where she worked with a professional coach and on Monday she was en route to hike the Chief in Squamish.

But it’s not just about the title.

“Regardless of what happens I will still do what I’m doing, I will still do charity work, I’ll still travel the world,” she said. “I don’t want to wait until I get Miss Universe to go and do all this stuff — I’m doing it now.”

At 27 years old, Biniaz has already travelled to 30 different countries and worked with a number of charities, like Operation Smiles and SOS Children’s Villages.

While her title as Miss Universe Canada has helped her accomplish these things, she plans to continue her charitable mission even if she isn’t crowned Miss Universe next month.

“It’s a great way to humble you as a person and … to bring you back to reality and realize how valuable life is and how we take it for granted,” she said.
But Biniaz never forgets her roots either — calling Vancouver home and having grown up in Richmond — she still helps local charities, like BC Transplant and always finds time to lend a hand in the Downtown Eastside.

“Whenever I’m back in town I find it just very humbling and it also brings you back to reality because this world travelling and all the gifts you receive it’s a very glamorous world, but I think it’s very important to have balance in life,” she said.

RELATED STORIES:

A main cause she also supports is anti-bullying and suicide prevention.

“Suicide is very big issue and it’s not talked about until we have an incident like Amanda Todd,” she said. “Prior to that nobody wants to talk about it, nobody wants to deal with it.”

As a child Biniaz was bullied and while it’s hard to believe a beauty queen still gets caught in negativity today — she does.

Most recently, she visited a young girl who was the victim of a vicious pitbull attack and according to Biniaz, she was misquoted by media.

“I said I don’t want to see another dog put down wrongly and another kid have half their face be destructed by a pitbull, so why don’t pitbull owners just muzzle and leash (them) when they’re out — that way both are happy,” she said.

But instead she was portrayed as a supporter of banning pitbulls and she faced threats and negativity from the public.

“People were putting on the Internet that I should be killed,” she said. “They wanted me to get my crown taken away and look at me, I’m still Miss Canada.”

“That’s a great example of how you should rise above it and how you should be transparent.”

For Biniaz, it only mattered that she helped the young girl.

“She was so happy to see me,” she said. “Me and her family now we talk, she’s doing great and she’s recovered.”

“The biggest bully in life is our self, so if we learn to not bully ourselves, then regardless of who bullies us we can deal with it.”

And she wants to continue spreading that message by climbing Mount Everest in support of the Pink Shirt campaign, an anti-bullying initiative, and plant a pink flag at Everest’s base camp.

“I want to be the first beauty queen that climbs (Everest),” she said.


Sahar Biniaz


Picture 1 of 16

Miss Universe Canada 2012 Sahar Biniaz and Canadian professional tennis player Milos Raonic attend amfAR Cinema Against AIDS TIFF 2012 during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Shangri-La Hotel on Sept. 7, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Joe Scarnici/Getty Images






Featured

hands

Spice Radio calling on Metro Vancouver to Raise Your Hands Against Racism Saturday

VANCOUVER DESI Burnaby-based broadcaster Spice Radio is asking community members across Metro Vancouver to raise their hands against racism on Saturday. As part of the…
Continue Reading »

brutal DELHI gang rape

CBC to air controversial documentary about Indian gang rape

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A documentary that the Indian government tried to ban from broadcast is getting airtime in Canada on Sunday. “India’s Daughter”…
Continue Reading »

Delhi

YouTube blocks access to BBC documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, Indian government serves legal notice

  IANS New Delhi – YouTube on Thursday began blocking access to the controversial BBC documentary on the December 16, 2012 gang rape, citing court…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

hands

Spice Radio calling on Metro Vancouver to Raise Your Hands Against Racism Saturday

VANCOUVER DESI Burnaby-based broadcaster Spice Radio is asking community members across Metro Vancouver to raise their hands against racism on Saturday. As part of the…
Continue Reading »

banned in India-sex-soft porn-erotica

Tourism Vancouver promotes ‘Fifty Shades’ locations used by cast and crew

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER – Much of the headline-grabbing movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” released last month, was shot in downtown Vancouver, a fact that…
Continue Reading »

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

241798_330998686982510_898439400_odesi

Gallery: Eight-year-old ‘Little Money, Big Difference’ campaign goes viral

VANCOUVER DESI Eight years ago, Cordaid People in Need, a development aid organization launched its campaign ‘Little Money, Big Difference’ to draw attention to the fact that…
Continue Reading »

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

immigrants-work-study-bc-career

Canada-wide initiative helps immigrants find work in fields for which they have prepared

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Manbir Randhawa immigrated from India to B.C., she knew she’d have to “start from scratch” in order to land a…
Continue Reading »

Desi-weird news

Doctor’s afraid to release baby who ‘spontaneously combusted’ to his mom

VANCOUVER DESI Doctors in India are reluctant to release a baby who ‘spontaneously combusted’ to his mom, fearing she suffers from an attention-seeking syndrome, Britain’s…
Continue Reading »

Surrey farm-food bank BC

Volunteers rally in support of God’s Little Acre Farm after food banks refuse donations

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI Volunteers are rallying around a philanthropic Surrey farmer after local food banks refused to accept his food donations and questioned his…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood-Hollywood

Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel welcomes back Lillete Dubey

John Madden film also stars Richard Gere BOB THOMPSON POSTMEDIA NEWS LONDON — Lillete Dubey has appeared in more than 40 films, many of them…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra missing home on Holi, busy with ABC drama in Atlanta

IANS Mumbai – With Holi on Friday, actress-singer Priyanka Chopra says she misses being at home on the festival of colours. The actress took to…
Continue Reading »

Kingfisher calendar

Kingfisher calendar girl Sarah Jane Dias to make her debut in live performance

IANS Mumbai – Indie singer Sarah Jane Dias is set to perform in front of a live audience for the first time with the ‘The…
Continue Reading »