When Anntonia Porsild became the first woman from Thailand to win the Miss Supranational crown last December, the first question she was asked was how she would like to use her title. The 23 year old Advertising student responded that she would like to help people. It was before the global pandemic and without knowing that she would not have a reign similar to her predecessor’s. While the ‘new normal’ has prevented her from making use of all the opportunities that come with the title, like visiting countries around the world and attending glamorous events, the Danish Thai beauty has not let it stop her from doing what she hoped to do in the first place.
Porsild (23) has been keeping herself busy participating in a range of community activities since her country eased Covid-19 restrictions. Most of them revolved around the singular goal of providing basic necessities to those who need it the most. Speaking about how her involvement in these activities started, she explains that she was invited by pageant fan pages who wanted to unite title holders from different organizations to help out during this challenging time. Since then Porsild has either gone out alone or joined hands with other beauty queens to deliver meals and basic necessities to families that were hard hit by the pandemic.
Describing the first outreach activity as “eye opening” and a “realizing moment”, Porsild explains she immediately knew it is not only what she should be doing but also what she wants to be doing. “My family raised me to understand the importance of giving back and I have always tried to help out where I can. These past few weeks, I have become so much more aware that small acts of kindness make a real impact. There is not much I can do about the current situation in the world, but by going out and taking basic necessities to people who need it, I am being of service to my country and it is more important than ever for all of us to do what we can,” she says.
“Some of the activities happened outside of Bangkok and in rural areas of Thailand where you become extremely aware of how hard people have been hit. It is also in these areas where I had more than 200 meals to give that people directed me to others who they believed needed it more. This has opened my mind to what society is lacking, especially in big cities where we often don’t see or stop for long enough to care how many people are left out. Having people who I saw were struggling themselves send me to find others that have been hit harder have given me a greater understanding of what we can become if we learn to be little bit more selfless,” Porsild continues.
Trying to reach people who are often left out, Porsild has visited different areas and communities. Along with some of her fellow beauty queens, she visited people with compromised immune systems in a well-known area of Bangkok and also members of the Muslim community outside of the city at their homes to provide them with basic necessities. “When there are no cameras and people see that you actually go to them because you care and you want to help, the personal connection you make is the incredibly special and rewarding,” she says.
Porsild’s current mission is to help with a fund-raising auction for an orphanage for disabled children she has been working with since before she became a beauty queen. Asked about her biggest lesson from all of this, she explains, “Kindness is so easy and effortless to give. Even though I often feel that I am just doing small things, you reach a point where you learn to understand perspective. What I am doing might seem small but it can undoubtedly have a positive impact on someone’s life. This is what I want to be doing. Without hesitation, anywhere, any time, I want to go and help where I can.”