Age: 24 years old LIBRAAs part of Deaf Awareness Week (2nd - 8th May 2016) She Inspired Her's Founder Crystal King UK caught up with Miss Deaf Europe Winner Karina Jemmott for a talk about beauty, life and pageants!Name: Miss Karina Jemmott
Background: I completed my Postgraduate degree in Fashion Pattern Cutting at the London College of Fashion and am now working for different companies as a freelance pattern cutter.
I love Badminton, Athletics and Travel.
Passion in Life: To have my own fashion label
Winner of Miss Deaf Europe 2015
Second Runner up Miss Barbados UK 2016
So we meet again Karina and you are stunning and vibrant - inside and out - as always! There is so much to catch up on about your journey and what you have been up to since winning your pageant title of "Miss Deaf Europe 2015" - so let's begin!
Who was your biggest inspiration when you were growing up and what did you want to be as a little girl?
Supermodel Naomi Campbell is my huge inspiration because I feel that she (has) broken a barrier and made history by becoming the first black woman on Vogue Magazine. Even today, she is still at top of the game.
So you are a Finalist in Miss Barbados UK taking place this weekend! Congratulations! You said in your Miss Barbados video interview on Instagram that you want to be a fashion designer! That's great! What is it about fashion and the fashion industry that excites you the most and makes you want to be a part of it?
I think I got my love of fashion from my Nan. Since I was a little girl, I always explored my Nan’s wardrobe because she has a huge collection of clothes and I still do it even today. Sometime she sees me and say ‘that top looks familiar’ - oops!
I love fashion because it’s an experience of art. To design and use clothes is self-expression in the form of creativity; a non-verbal communication. I think I love fashion because I love change. I admire modern thinking and unusual designers who seem to be stepping forward into new things.
Fantastic! So we already know that you are hearing impaired/deaf - but for our readers knowledge, were you born hearing impaired or did you lose your hearing later on in your life and how do you feel this has or has not impacted your life so far?
I was born deaf. My family and I have Waardenburg syndrome, which is a genetic condition that causes hearing loss and changes colouring (pigmentation) of the hair and eyes.
Being deaf does have a big impact on my quality of life, both physically and emotionally.
I use Britain Sign Language (BSL) and I need an interpreter to communicate with someone who cannot sign. When you can’t hear anything you can feel isolated. However I have learned how to deal with it because I am confident and determined to ensure that I can function socially on an equal level as hearing people, using lip reading and writing notes back and forth to communicate.
Very inspiring! You mentioned above that you need an interpreter to communicate with someone that cannot sign. A huge chunk of the population in the UK (and Worldwide) are not 'deaf aware' at all and would not know how to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired or deaf if the situation were to occur. What do you think about this and do you think that more needs to be done to create a better integration between the two (hearing and non hearing)? How do you feel society as a whole treats you and others who are hearing impaired or deaf - do you feel you are catered to enough or not really considered at all?
Hearing loss is the second largest disability in the UK with 10 million people.
Communication and community are a hugely important part of life but I feel the society need to raise more awareness, campaign deafness in schools and other social places (and) also encourage more networking to share learning.
Hearing people must be prepared to write things down and I tell them (those who are hearing) that they have to speak to me very clearly and be patient because I may miss few things. Hearing people must take time and patience in a communication with deaf people otherwise they get frustrated.
I think it is very important to hear you speak about this and to have you here to share your thoughts and feelings with our readers in this way. We do hope that readers are taking notes; as taking on board these pointers that you are supplying and adopting them into our lives can make all the difference to you and others who are hearing impaired or deaf, as a bare minimum. You are a great voice for other members of the deaf and hearing impaired communities so well done!
So on the fashion side of things again, who is your favourite designer and why?
Maison Martin Margiela, he uses existing clothes, fabrics and objects to create new garments. His deconstruction and reconstruction techniques never fail to amaze me. Margiela takes this sustainability one step further because he has created an entire couture collection based on up-cycled vintage items.
Which piece(s) of clothing can't you live without?
Cardigan and High knee boots.
Recently you made a cameo appearance in my music video for the song "You Deserve" - would you like to tell the readers how our collaboration come about and how was the experience?
It was truly honour to be involved Crystal King UK's music video and it was nice to deliver her chorus in sign language. I have never been in music video before, so it is a wonderful opportunity for me and to promote/ increase deaf awareness.
Thank you, the pleasure was all mine to have you there! We will surely work together again in the future! You are a real beauty and I know that you are a bit of a serial pageant queen too! You Won Miss Deaf Europe 2015 at the Miss Deaf World Competition, were Prom Queen in 2014 and are now up for the title of Miss Barbados UK! Sounds like a world takeover and you are winning! Lets talk about your title of Miss Deaf Europe - how did you find the experience?
Excellent and now you are a finalist in Miss Barbados UK - which is in a few days time! Are you excited?! How did you get involved with this pageant and what are you looking forward to the most about the finals?
I saw an advert in the Barbados Nation newspaper, which my mother buys and I thought that I would go along to the casting/audition. I knew that I would be massively out of my comfort zone but hopefully, I hoped that it would encourage other deaf people to put themselves out there. The other competitors have accepted me and they are now aware of some signs language and to some (of the contestants) I am the only person with a disability that they have met or had to work with; which will make it easier for the next person with a disability. I am looking forward to the final because all my family (whom are from Barbados) will be there to watch and I have a chance to show off my talent.
My talent performance is about fashion recycling - trying to minimize fashion waste. I used my 5 years pattern cutting skills to create 5 different garments in one outfit. Firstly, I wore the dress and changed it from a dress to a vest, to a skirt, to a cape and jacket with a hood. It is also about the speed, how quick I can change into different garments within 90 seconds.
Sounds like something to look forward to this weekend at the Miss Barbados UK show! So how do you personally prepare for a pageant?
I always tell myself that “I can” and that “it’s going to be okay.”
Repeat positive affirmations over and over again.
We think you will be a big inspiration to MANY! What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow their dreams like you are doing currently- whether hearing impaired, deaf, hearing, disabled or otherwise - as we know that absolutely anyone can be inspired by your incredible words?
I would tell people to reach for the stars and never give up. When things don’t go right, try to pick out the things that you have learnt. Don’t see the whole experience as a negative.
That's beautiful Karina, as are you - both inside and out it is clear to see.
Karina can be found on the following Facebook pages:
Please follow Karina on Instragram:
Simply click here: kazziejem
Want to learn British Sign Language?
Miss Barbados UK takes place this Saturday 7th May 2016
Article by Crystal King UK of Celebrity Creations Management
Interview conducted by Crystal King UK and Krystall Brown of She Inspired Her
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