Fashion,  Lifestyle

The Maria Complex Presents: Incredible Women

It’s not everyday you meet a Beauty Queen, luckily for me I became friends with one. My second feature in honor of Women’s History Month is Miss Dominican Republic USA 2020 Karibel Perez. I had the pleasure of meeting Karibel back in 2013 when we both began our journey in the Airline industry. There are certain people who just light up the room when they walk in, and Karibel does just that. Everyone would ask her if she was a model because her beauty was striking. However, what struck me with Karibel was her kind heart. We spent many lunch breaks talking about so many things like our lives, love, and our goals. It was a beautiful thing to see her grow in the company and also grow as a person. She became a flight attendant, which isn’t an easy feat and blossomed before our eyes. Watching her self confidence grow inspired me and the others around her to strive for greatness.

Over the last couple of years I’ve seen her step out of comfort zones, knocking down walls and making a name for herself in the fashion industry. Waking for top designers in New York Fashion Week, having her billboard in Times Square; She never ceases to amaze me. When I saw she started training for pageant life I knew she was a star in the making. After so much hard work and determination, she claimed her title of Miss Dominican Republic USA 2020, which makes her a favorited contender for the Miss Universe crown. Not only has she earned a crown, but she’s earned the love and respect of her Community. She demonstrates that being a Beauty Queen is also about giving back. Her charitable work in the Dominican Republic with Manitas Azules, which donated toys and school supplies for the children of Jarabacoa; and her activism in NYC protests demanding for fair elections in the Dominican Republic has brought awareness to the work that truly needs to be done. I asked Karibel to share a little bit more about her story from her perspective. In her humble words here’s more of her inspiring journey.

“I was born in New York sunrise May of 93. Right at that moment my parents knew I would be something special. Although I was born in the beautiful state of New York, I always represented my Dominican Roots strong. My parents both from Santiago, Dominican Republic  really paved the way in showing me our culture. Growing up, summers were long vacations visiting my grandparents in the DR. I always valued the knowledge of being a “country” girl just like my mom growing up. 

I’ve always been a dreamer, artistic, with a big heart and brave enough to be persistent with my dreams. I am graduated with a degree in Business Administration and currently an Aviation professional. My heart was always set to making a positive impact on the world one person at a time. I started my career in modeling/pageantry when I was 15. Through many years of hard critiques, that I wasn’t thin enough or being told I didn’t have qualities to be a beauty queen, I pushed and persevered. 

It was on November 2019, my life took a  change. My dream came true and I was crowned Miss Dominican Republic USA 2020 by the @missesofdr organization. I was one step closer to someday becoming Miss Universe. It comes to show that with hard work dedication and a little bit of stubbornness anything is possible. Aside from being critiqued and bullied after my win. I broke all barriers of what the “perfect” public figure would look like and really just shown myself to the world as I am. 

When started this journey my biggest win was to be able to use my title and platform, to empower and encourage those who cross my path. Also, to be able to inspire women all around the world that they can too. 

My title and platform comes with a lot of responsibility, one of the biggest is giving back to my community here in the United States and the Dominican Republic. Also, dedicating time to making appearances and photo shoots. Although the pandemic had put a stop on our daily activities, the Misses of Dominican Republic Organization has not stopped working.

Even if one door closes, get back up and knock on the next one you never know when that door may open. My dream of becoming a profesional model and ambassador for the Dominican Community in the US took over thirteen years in the making but it came true. Always remember that we radiate the most from our inner beauty. What we put into this world is what we will receive in return. 

My philosophy in life is that in doing altruistic acts often makes the biggest noises or impacts on someone’s life. 

It’s not always the destination that defines us, it’s the journey. 

With love, 

Karibel Perez
Miss Dominican Republic USA”

NYC based Blogger and Podcast Host, Advocate for Empowement and Mental Health Awareness

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