Cocktails With - Dr Sanneta MyrieSunday, August 30, 2015
Our week began with a welcome break from the infernal heatwave that's been baking the Corporate Area in recent days, inside the cool interiors of the Jamaica Pegasus's expansive ground floor. We make a quick check for our drink date -- a lithe gamine with dreadlocks. We spot her inside the Blend Bar & Lounge and make our way over. The available space beside her on a high-back love seat is swiftly commandeered. Shirley Temples open our drink order, the newly crowned Miss Jamaica World 2015 and future psychiatrist Dr Sanneta Myrie has lots to share, and we gladly get comfortable.
What are you sipping?
Shirley Temple. It's non-alcoholic with a refreshing fruity taste.
What kind of day are you having?
I feel blessed. It has been a great day surrounded by family and friends.
What are your beauty essentials?
I drink a lot of water, eat fruits, exercise regularly and get as much rest as possible. I am also very meticulous with my make-up removal.
Describe your personal style.
My life has always been rooted in the arts and culture which has significantly impacted my own personal style. So even when I select glam, it has to have an ethnic urban twist to it. I like timeless pieces, so I keep away from the extra trendy styles.
Who does your hair?
Francine's Lock Creations.
Who does your nails?
Diva's Salon and Spa.
LBD or jeans?
I won't ever give up the freedom of a good pair of jeans. Nowadays you can get jeans in any colour you want and you can dress it up or dress it down with accessories depending on the occasion. The LBD has its place too in a lady's wardrobe but it can be a bit restrictive.
Flats or stilettos?
Both. I like to be grounded so I love my flats. But I also like my stilettos as they offer an easy sense of femininity and style, plus now with a crown, stilettos might just be my new best friends.
What perfume are you splashing?
Truthfully, I am not big on perfumes. I go for more scented lotions and body sprays. Two fragrances I really like are vanilla and warm sugar.
What's playing on your iPod?
I am a reggae kind of girl. So, right now it is Chronixx, Raging Fyah, Kabaka Pyramid, Bob Marley and Junior Gong.
Who is your inspiration?
The love of my family and friends. The faith and ecouragement they wholeheartedly give every day pushes me to reach higher and be better.
Where do you go to unwind?
I love to dance. I spend a lot of time in the dance studio. I am at peace when I dance.
What's your idea of the perfect man?
There is no such thing as a perfect man. Once there is that special connection, strong values, respect and appreciation, you will know. You can't describe it, you have to feel it.
What's your idea of the perfect date?
No pressure, just to have a good time. The important thing about any date is the quality time spent together, so it could be just hanging out by the riverside or a quiet dinner somewhere.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I recently completed my Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of the West Indies. I want to go on to specialise in psychiatry as I have come to understand and appreciate the value of mental health; and I recognise the importance of human resources to our nation's development. I want to serve my country in the best way I know how.
With the Beyoncé song as launch pad, does pretty hurt?
Well, the 'pretty' Beyoncé speaks to is a physical pretty -- one of face and figure. And yes, being too vested in that physical pretty can be a hurtful and unfulfilling venture. You can get so taken up with what's on the outside, you neglect what really counts and that is what's on the inside. A pretty soul is painless.
Growing up, was 'Sanneta Myrie, the beauty queen' a bucket-list must-have?
Not at all. As a little girl I wanted to be a dancer, then as I got a little older, in high school, I wanted to be a scientist. I entered and won a few national science competitions. Then as I approached sixth form I decided I wanted to be a doctor. Never in any of that did I dare to dream of 'Sanneta Myrie, the beauty queen'. That idea came while I was a medical student at the university.
Pageants sometimes have the potential to morph into cultural blood sport; why is the beauty game such an emotionally sensitive minefield?
Wow! Blood sport is quite a brutal way to paint it, but yes, it does get very emotional. I think it's because each girl comes with the love and support of her friends and family, plus the unshakeable faith they have in her to take home the crown. Believing that your contestant can secure the title elicits grave disappointment, and sometimes even outrage, when it is given to another. In a competition such as Miss Jamaica World, you will find that each contestant is a winner and a queen in her own right; but there is only one crown and it's up to a panel of judges -- all looking for different things -- to come to a consensus as to who will wear it.
Does beauty only exist in the eye of the beholder or does it rely a lot more on self-perception?
You have to first find yourself and love her fiercely before people can truly be struck by you and fall in love with you. You hear all the time confidence is key, and it's true, you have to be confident in who you are, if you ever hope to be truly beautiful.
What about being in the public eye, have you already had to start getting accustomed to, as a new face of Brand Jamaica?
How freely and willingly the public gives their opinions. The good, the bad and the in-between. I am so grateful for the kind words of encouragement I get daily, but with those, come some that are not so kind. Criticism is a good thing and I welcome it, so long as it's constructive and you can learn from it, but the ones that I can't, I have learnt to just block out and feed myself with the positives.
In what areas of medical endeavour are female doctors still under-represented and if you had the power, how would you execute or influence change toward a more gender-balanced reality?
The whole field of medicine has encountered a paradigm shift in terms of female participation. For example, in my medical class the girls outnumbered the boys almost 3:1. I think more female representation in specialties traditionally dominated by male doctors is something that will inevitably take place. With that being said, women are currently under-represented in surgery specialties. If I were to assist in this regard, one approach would be to provide more opportunities for female medical students to interact with female consultants. This would ensure that entry-level female doctors are better exposed, prepared, and engaged.
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