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MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

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Wendy at the 2006 Miss Universe finals

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Wendy in 2007 with her son

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20th August 2007 (Trinidad Express)

Post  Anonymní on Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:11 pm

Wendy Fitzwilliam: What I want for my son
by B.C Piers

Wendy and her son Ailan.
Wendy Fitzwilliam

BC: Your son will have a father present, even if not in the same country all the time?

WENDY: That is so. Once Ailan gets to school age, that's going to have to change. I haven't figured it out yet. We have to figure that out. Even in terms of David, the requirement is not just on his part. We're determined to make it work in the best interest of our child, and his big brother. But we haven't figured it out. We have a little time before Ailan starts school.

BC: Should being single hold back parenthood?

WENDY: Not at all! Once you are ready to be a parent. I am not a child, I know very much how to not get pregnant and how to un-pregnate myself [chuckling] if you know what I mean. The decision to have a child is very deliberate for someone like me. I got into this fully aware of the challenges and, hopefully, the joys.

BC: Which makes it all the more ironic, the criticism of you as a role model, when you have made a responsible choice?

WENDY: I get why, though. And I was fully aware of what the response would be. I didn't [laughing] expect the BBC and Fox News to call me about it, but I did expect to take a lot of heat in Trinidad and the Caribbean for that decision; but I also recognise I can't live my life based on the opinions of anybody else. I don't want to be 45 and alone and angry like so many of my friends. Family is very important to me. Any woman who tells you she doesn't want the traditional family model is lying: we all want it! Does that mean I will wait to start a family because it doesn't fit the ideal structure and I'm not comfortable with a person in my life for me at the moment? My son's Dad is a wonderful man, a good man. I need to come to terms with some of my own issues but I will do so while rearing my family. It will never be perfect, but I, Wendy Fitzwilliam, am gun shy about marriage. I chose very carefully the medium to reveal my pregnancy I could easily have held a press conference. I choose that forum because the Guardian was under contract to report what I said very specifically and I very much wanted young people to hear Wendy's version of, not anybody's interpretation of, and if you go back to that time, the letters to the editor that came from people of school age: they got it: this is a decision that's right for Wendy; it may not be for anybody else. It' certainly not a decision Wendy would have taken in school.

BC: You should have been universally acclaimed, and forget the hypocrisy criticising such a responsible decision?

WENDY: I would have hoped debate would have come out of it. I did a story once about our acceptance of homosexuality and the double standard. We ridicule men in the closet moreso than lesbians, because lesbianism is exotic. A lesbian girlfriend is every man's fantasy whereas I know no woman who wants to get with two gay men. I wrote about our insensitivity forcing men into the closet. That started a whole debate which I think really contributed to an ongoing debate. I hoped my pregnancy would have generated discussion about abortion and the tremendous pressure we put on women. I'm here at a time when women are economically more powerful than any time in our history but we're still raising our sons the way we did at the turn of the last century. It's very tough for a lot of guys to come to term with successful women. A few years ago I was dating a guy from South Africa who is obscenely successful, exceptionally wealthy, ran a company of 60,000 employees. He was ten years older than me, were friends five years before dating and I thought it was great. He knew Wendy at her best, worst and everything in-between. He'd been here several times. As I said, I don't do the public displays of affection so no one knew he was my boyfriend. He saw everybody hailing me out, that was fine. We did a charity event in Puerto Rico together and I had a couple of fun days with him. The first thing that ticked him off, he gets to the hotel after me and they greet him as, "Mr Fitzwilliam". And then, nobody took him on at the event, he was pushed aside by everyone, successful business people, not screaming little children, people he was used to interacting with, the cream of the crop. In his world, his significant other always plays a secondary role; now, suddenly, he's the guy who holds the handbag. It's a reality I live with all the time. So I have to be really comfortable you can handle that about me, because that will always be a part of being me; and I have to be comfortable with your ability to love me, not who I am. There are guys who get totally caught up with Wendy Fitzwilliam and I'm very attuned to that, to the point maybe of neurosis.

BC: Is that still a problem, with your being Miss Universe such as?

WENDY: Long time ago? Yes! Very much. That same book-signing, there were like 20 title holders, the girl on the cover, the whole nine. A couple of friends I'd invited, even the Universe staff, were blown away by the attention I still get. All the title holders from the Sixties and Seventies who'd dieted themselves down to nothing to look fabulous for the occasion were like, "You show up and [we're forgotten]". That is hard to explain. It's something I can never live down so I don't try to any more. I'm sure [TT's first Miss Universe] Penny [Commissiong] has the same experience. There are some title holders people, for some reason, just latch on to. That doesn't define me in my head but I have to be sure the people in my life can deal with that. Like my mother, father, sister. It aggravates Denise to death! Not so much here where she has her network of friends but when she comes with me to Mexico or somewhere and she just gets shoved aside.

It's something I have to deal with and it's something, in terms of Ailan, I'm a bit wary about because I knew "normal". I don't want him growing up in that environment thinking it's normal.

BC: How did you react to us not having a Miss Trinidad in this year's Miss Universe?

WENDY: I was disappointed, primarily because the young women who represent countries at these pageants, anywhere in the world, not just Trinidad and Tobago, are not from the upper echelons of society, the girls who go to boarding school in Canada. They are generally working class, maybe middle-class, and it does open tremendous opportunities. Now we have a very effective system to train our girls up. For the last five or six years, we have been in the top ten in Miss Universe. That's a tremendous feat for a small country like ours. Look at the difference in how Magdalene Walcott carries herself. You are more aware of her presence, a tremendous tool for a young woman from a disadvantaged background. We don't yet appreciate the value of the entertainment industry here. I don't know any Trinidadian engineer who has done as well as a Michael Jordan, Bill Crosby. Machel Montano has achieved a lot but he could do more with corporate support. We don't value the entertainment industry as business. There's not an appreciation of the arts here, or entertainment, the frivolous aspect of the arts; but there is a benefit to a society in investing in your entertainment industry.

BC: And the investment wasn't made this year?

WENDY: No. When we speak to national development, we mustn't only speak to IT and energy downstream-industries which is very important, yes, our bread and butter at this time, but we must have a little vision in terms of what Arts can do. When you think of Italy, you think of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo? Do you think Pirelli tyres?

BC: Do you see yourself staying in E-Tech, as a businesswoman?

WENDY: Not forever but definitely for some time. I'm very enthused about the Tamana project, an attempt to create more manufacturing and industry and to allow our human resource to use their brain power. The UTT model is phenomenal. It's a university partnered with the best in the world in various disciplines focussed on the development of business skills and risk-taking culture, which is sadly lacking now. In our business community, we just have traders. Think of the mid-nineties, when Lawrence Duprey invested in methanol, which was a sure bet! But, because a national had not invested in [something like it] before, [he was criticised as] wasting his insured's money. There was almost a run on Clico created by his peers! Tamana and UTT are our most aggressive attempts to [get away from that]. Point Lisas was a renegade in its time: everywhere in the world was flaring gas.

BC: Will you ever work as a lawyer?

WENDY: No! Unless I absolutely have to. But no. I enjoyed the degree. An LLB is a tremendous asset but there are so many other things I'm more interested in and I find the practice of law very limited.

BC: How has motherhood changed your life?

WENDY: This may sound clichÈ but it's so not about me any more. Every decision I make is informed by what is best for my son. I've gotten more serious. I also don't sleep anymore - not that I ever did much. If he breathes too heavily or too lightly, I wake up. If

he wants to play at 2am, I say, 'Okay, honey, let's vet some documents". His first word may be, "proposal"; [smiling] his Mom's always reading those!

BC: Has being a mother changed you as a daughter?

WENDY: Oh yes. I appreciate both parents but my Mom so much more now, the sacrifices she made for me.

BC: Will there come a time when you look at your son and not feel the rush of love?

WENDY: No. I want the best for him. I hope not to transfer my aspirations to him. Unconditional love means just that; that's why my Mom still refers to us as, 'her babies'. My mother is 70!

BC: What do you want for your son?

WENDY: For him, I want to one-up my experiences as a child. I had a very good childhood with both parents at home in the same house for most of my childhood; but I am a child of divorce, which was very difficult for my sister and me. I want him to have an appreciation of women. I don't want to raise a young man that I wouldn't want for my spouse. I hope I set a good example for him, in terms of how I relate to his father and what I demand of how they relate to me. In terms of academics, I leave that to his Dad and my sister. That will take care of itself. I want to make sure his parents do the best by him in the example we give him.

BC: Is he christened?

WENDY: Oh yes, he has dual citizenship and dual religion. He's Catholic, like me, and Anglican. His Dad's paternal grandfather is an Anglican priest. So when we're in the US with his Dad, he is Anglican and in Trinidad, he's Catholic.

BC: Isn't it unfair to a child to teach him religion as fact?

WENDY: I don't think so. It's very important to instill in a child, and this is for Wendy, a sense of God. I believe in God and the usefulness of religion.

BC: But hasn't the best thing in your life, your son, come from your defiance of religion, as a woman who got pregnant out of wedlock?

WENDY: No. I think my religion keeps me grounded and provides that peace-calm. The form of worship of a Catholic Mass, I love! I believe in a lot of that stuff but I take what works for me. I'm fully aware religion is a business, just as I'm fully aware that a Prada turban is not worth US$700 but there may be something about that Prada turban that really gets me off. [Laughs] The Cyril Ross Home, the only one for children living with HIV for a long time, was started by the Catholic Church, who downcry sex!

BC: Are you happy with how the home is going?

WENDY: In terms of quality of care the kids receive, yes. In terms of some of the projects, a little too slowly. It's been difficult finalising approvals for the new home and construction costs are skyrocketing but we are determined to start that project by the end of this year.

BC: My editor's final question: how'd you get back into shape so quick?

WENDY: I worked out very hard. And I still do. Never did before but, after Ailan was born, I was very lucky I was back in my pre-pregnancy by the weekend after. But I was a little loose in the tummy. I started walking three weeks after he was born. About five weeks after, I started with a trainer. I work out three days a week; but I'm lucky, I have to admit.

BC: You breastfeed?

WENDY: Very much so. It's best for Ailan. Additionally, I found out, very late in my pregnancy, a girlfriend from LA faxed me a 20-page document with the area underlined that, when you breastfeed, you burn 500 calories a day without any effort. Literally, you feel your stomach shrinking when you're breastfeeding. And it's a very special bonding moment for a mother and a child. Now he's a big man and thinks my breasts belong to him. He just boldly thinks he can just whip one out whenever, and I'm like, "Hello!"

BC: On his birth certificate, does he have a double-barrelled surname?

WENDY: Oh, no! His name is Ailan Andrew Panton.

Wendy Fitzwilliam will appear in the upcoming September issue of SHE magazine

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:43 am

Wendy during an interview in 2007 (maybe 2006-not sure)

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:44 am


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Wendy enjoying T&T Carnival

Post  Anonymní on Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:48 am


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Wendy at Meiling's 2005 presentation "The Bold Collection"

Post  Anonymní on Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:02 am


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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:20 am


Source: Jamaican Gleaner

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6th November 2008 (COTT Awards 2008)-Wendy was a presenter

Post  Anonymní on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:24 pm











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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:29 pm




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Wendy was a guest at Meiling's 2008 presentation "MSquared"

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:47 am


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November 2008

Post  Anonymní on Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:51 pm


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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Tidus on Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:07 am

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:04 am

Bravo, I also love Wendy.... I love you
I've never liked Veruska Evil or Very Mad nor Joyce ( Joyce looks like the JOKER )... Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Antonio on Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:27 am

Dess wrote:Bravo, I also love Wendy.... I love you
I've never liked Veruska Evil or Very Mad nor Joyce ( Joyce looks like the JOKER )... Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
Ditto! Veruska looks like a drag queen.
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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Fri May 29, 2009 5:27 pm


Source: T&T Newsday newspaper (29th April 2009)

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Fri May 29, 2009 5:31 pm


Source: T&T Express Newpaper (May 2009)

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  triniusacutie on Fri May 29, 2009 7:14 pm

Antonio wrote:
Dess wrote:Bravo, I also love Wendy.... I love you
I've never liked Veruska Evil or Very Mad nor Joyce ( Joyce looks like the JOKER )... Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
Ditto! Veruska looks like a drag queen.
i love wendy and she still looks great even after having a kid veruska is now doing playboy and othe rmens mag stuff so its nice to see wendy not resorting to that
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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:13 pm

I really do love Wendy Fitzwilliam alot. She is what i call true black beauty...

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  bubbles on Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:46 pm

that interview was a good read. a true miss universe.
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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Aiden on Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:53 pm

bubbles wrote:that interview was a good read. a true miss universe.

I totally agree 100%.......Wendy is a TRUE Miss Universe and really set the standard high.....she has got to be one of the more accomplished, well-educated, and well-spoken Miss Universes' ever......She epitomises the phrase "Beauty with Brains".....that's Wendy....
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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Anonymní on Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:19 pm

Trinifan wrote:

Lols Mpule... such a wonderful but funny moment.


wendy is one of my favourite msis universes.. beautiful face and intelligent.. i hope one day this is another miss universe with her aura

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  triniusacutie on Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:01 pm

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Re: MISS UNIVERSE 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)

Post  Tidus on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:43 am

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