Ornella Gunesekera - Chokolaate Cover Girl through and though
Feature Interview by Amana Iflal
Photography by Praveen Mirando
Outfits by Radisi
She first graced the cover of Chokolaate on the 5th issue and now here she is, looking absolutely stunning on our milestone 50th issue cover!On a bright sunny morning I sat down with Ornella Gunesekere, who is one of the most beautiful people on Earth, inside and outside. She spoke about her experiences at Miss Universe and her upcoming plans for this year. She also answered a few questions our Chokolaate Crew has for her.
Fun fact; She's a HUGE Marvel fan!
A; Tell me about your experience at Miss Universe.
"Miss Universe was something I was exposed to from a young age because of my mom and grandma and I was someone who watched all these beauty pageants. I would sit and watch all these girls dressed in beautiful gowns and I would always say ‘I want to be like her!’ but not in like a vain way though. I really admired the confidence they had as they strutted down the runway in those gowns and they looked so strong and powerful while they were doing it as well.
But yeah anyway, Miss Universe was a dream come true. I placed third place when I was eighteen and last year I managed to win it. Watching all those girls over there I had to keep pinching myself because it was felt like I was living in a dream."
A; Do you have any plans for this year? Any exciting plans coming up?
"Well, after miss Universe I was actually invited to co present at an event in Seattle - The Global Beauty Awards and I was so shocked and excited when I got to know. It’s like the Oscars of pageants and I didn’t know what to expect. It’s the first time a Sri Lankan gets to co present so I’m happy that I was able to represent my country as well."
‘FROM THE CHOKOLAATE BOX’ each Chokolaate crew member has come up with a question for Ornella.
Michelle - if there was a day with no rules what would you do?
"Honey, everyday has no rules."
Shamindri- If you could meet any famous celebrity who would it be?
"Gordan Ramsay. It's always been Gordan Ramsay and I won't rest till I meet him one day!"
Kalharie- What is your favourite holiday destination
"It depends, because for Christmas I would like to be somewhere where there is snow and it’s winter time but I must say I love to travel to Thailand. It’s such a beautiful country."
Yashodara - What's your most embarrassing childhood memory?
"Oh my god I can’t believe I have to say this but anyway there was an Avurudu competition I think down South and I was wearing tight jeans and we were asked to impersonate some Michael Jackson moves and I thought ‘let’s be smart’ and did the split. And my jeans ripped on stage and up to date that’s my most embarrassing moment because the junior Australian Cricket Team was also there and they started hooting. God it was awful."
Sakuni - Thoughts on feminism
"The thing is that word ‘feminism’ can be painted in a negative light and it’s basically how you perceive it. Emma Watson said it perfectly, it’s not about trying to prove women’s strengths but it is about how you perceive that strengths and we don’t need to prove anything and it’s about allowing us to be who we are. We need to be able to stand up for each other. Even Captain Marvel had a very important message on the strength and power that us women have."
Renushi - What have you learned about yourself since becoming a public figure?
"That I have the power to influence the public and that's why i started publicizing all my social work because people don't want to see my face everyday so they might as well get influenced by good things."
Harithriya - What is your life mantra that you live by
"In order to get to the rainbow you have to be willing to put up with the rain - Dolly Parton."
Karen - What is your biggest fear?
"Cockroaches for sure."
Nethmi - What are some of the perks of working as a model?
Amana F - If today was your last day to live. what would you do today?
"I’d probably want to eat everything I love."
Triyana - 3 things in your bucket list atm ?
"Ok this is tough because it changes as I grow and experience things and I don't have specific things on my bucket list at the moment."
Pasan - Top 3 favourite destinations ?
"Ooo this is an interesting question , Paris, Sri Lanka and the US for sure!"
Ushan - Favorite movie quote
"In Miss Congeniality when Stan Fields says ‘Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date. Cheryl "Rhode Island" and she says ‘That's a tough one. I'd have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket’ That was hilarious."
Darshani - How do you maintain your figure?
"Unfortunately even though sometimes I like to let go, my doctor keeps me in check because of my back and I have my trainer who also helps me with this."
Paramie - What are your regrets? And if you got a chance, would you change them?
"I wish I could change things in perspective and say ok well I learnt a lesson from this and it's like Rihanna said ‘never a failure always a lesson’."
Thamalie - Five mandatory things in your handbag?
"My concealer, mascara, my battery pack, a water bottle and basically nothing else comes to mind."
Kevin - Who was your biggest supporter when you truly needed one?
"My mom. She’s been there from day one and I’m grateful."
Nithya- What's your night time beauty routine?
"I don’t have one. I just sleep on time. I get nagged about this by my mom all the time! I use baby soap though, it's good for you."
Amana I- If you had a million rupees what would you do first?
"Ok well give me million rupees and let’s see what happens."