Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Force To Be Reckoned With: Q&A With Andreia Gibau Miss Earth United States 2017 By Natalie McGovern

Andreia Gibau of Massachusetts took the Miss Earth United States 2017 title on August 6th in Washington D.C., becoming the first African American woman to nab the title. Congratulations Andreia!

Natalie (N): You just got back from Chicago recently to meet with your official dress designer Mac Duggal for Miss Earth, what was that process like?

Andreia (A): I had such a wonderful experience at the Mac Duggal headquarters in Chicago. I got to work with Antoinette, Mac Duggal himself, and his daughter Ieena Duggal. They had picked out a ton of options of wardrobe for me to try on and choose the ones I wanted to bring with me to the Philippines. I will be fully prepared for every occasion at Miss Earth, thanks to Mac Duggal. 

N: When do you leave for the Philippines and how long is the competition?

A: I leave for Manila, Philipines on October 6th, 2017 and the competition is 4 weeks long with finals taking place on November 4th. 

N: What are you doing to prepare?

A: I am doing a lot of media preparation with Candiace Dillard of Candiace Dillard Pageant Consulting. I am also keeping up my healthy eating habits while working out 5-7 days a week. It is also a lot of mental preparation since I will be living in an entirely different country for 4 weeks. I’m getting to know myself more and learning even more about our environment and ways to combat climate change. I am also getting all my wardrobe together and designing my national and heroine costume with Pixton Design Group. I am really excited to have the best team - making sure I am ready to take home the crown.

N: You are the first African American woman to be crowned Miss Earth United States. What is your heritage and what has that experience been like?

A: I am incredibly honored to be the first black Miss Earth United States. I am full Cape Verdean, a group of 10 islands on the west coast of Africa and I also speak Portuguese, Spanish, and Cape Verdean creole. The experience has been so incredible, not will I be representing the USA but I will also be representing Cape Verdeans from around the world on an international stage.

N: What do you plan on doing with your title during your year of service?

A: My advocacy is “Think Global, Act Local” to encourage people to live in a way that does less harm to the environment around them. Educating and encouraging people to make the 5 R’s reduce, reuse, rethink, recycle, and respect as part of their lifestyle. I will be getting my hands dirty by planting trees and picking up trash. Education is really important to me so I will be going on my “Love Our Earth” school tour educating kids on climate change and what they can do to help. I want to create a world where our environment no longer needs protecting so I will support legislations that combat climate change and soak up as much information on more ways we as individuals can help.

N: What is a typical day in the life of Miss Earth United States like?

A: Days that I do not have an appearance I typically wake up at 6 or 7am and go straight to the gym. I have a to-do list for the day, and since I am less than 1 month away from leaving to the Philippines I spend the majority of my day in preparation mode. Throughout the day I am very aware of what I can do to reduce my carbon footprint and minimize my waste. I also log into my social media to interact with my fans throughout the day and answer messages.

N: Do you work or go to school?

A: I just graduated my B.S. in Public Relations. I work as a model full time and I run self-development workshops for kids on the weekends when my schedule permits. I've been signed with NY MMG for the past few months and I am also a Jovani Inhouse model.

N: If you don't take the Miss Earth title, what are your hopes? You could quite possibly make history again if you placed as an Elemental queen by being the first African American and Cape Verdean titleholder to hold those titles? ;)

A: If it's not the Miss Earth title I would still be more than happy to hold an elemental title. At the end of the day, I know that I would come back and there's still a job to be done in my home country. This title and job are a lot bigger than myself and I'll be serving my country no matter what.

N: Any foods or anything about the Filipino culture you are looking forward to trying? 

A: I'm really big on fully experiencing someone else's culture. My entire life I have been around diversity and especially now living in NYC. I want to try balut, which is a popular Filipino delicacy. There's a restaurant in New York that has it on the menu but I'm waiting until I get to the Philippines!
Balut is a developing bird embryo (usually a duck) that is boiled and eaten from the shell. It originates and is commonly sold as street-food in the Philippines and it is extremely popular.

N: Do you think pageantry has become the catalyst to launching a modeling career?

A: Pageantry has become a catalyst to launch modeling and many other careers, which I think is so wonderful. The opportunity to get your name out there, build your brand, and constantly network with amazing people helps so much. Pageantry also builds character, integrity, and hard work so you're able to succeed in whatever career.

We think Andreia is going to slay Miss Earth finals and make the USA proud! 

Best wishes competing in the Philippines!


  1. Jana Murrell was the FIRST BLACK Miss Earth United States (2008)

  2. Jana is bi-racial!

    Andreia is full Cape Verdian which is in Africa so technically, by genetics and by law Andreia is the first "African" naturalized American, hence she's literally the first FULL African American Miss Earth United States.

    There's a difference between African-American (which means mixed race) and African American (which means full blooded African and American by naturalization).

    Hope this clears out the confusion. Thank you!


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