Karen Gallman is a 25-year-old beauty queen from the Philippines who is vying for the sought-after title of Miss Intercontinental, which will be held on January 26 in her home country.
Gallman has captivated the hearts of Filipinos who have their hopes on her to bring home the country’s first Miss Intercontinental crown. Many believe Gallman shares an uncanny resemblance to the American supermodel Kendall Jenner, which has earned her the nickname of “Kendall Jenner of the Philippines,” or the “Filipino Kendall Jenner,” ABS-CBN News has pointed out.
“Oh my God, I get that a lot,” Gallman said on Thursday during a press conference, adding that others have also said her facial features resemble that of Hollywood stars Mila Kunis and Vanessa Hudgens. “It’s very touching because those women are so beautiful, very beautiful. And for people to say that, it makes me very happy. But I also want them to know that I am my own person, I have my own personality.”
The Philippines has come very close to bringing home the pageant title, the report continued, as Christi McGarry and Katarina Rodriguez both finished first runner-up in 2015 and 2017, respectively. While this puts pressure on Gallman, she has chosen to focus instead on the process.
“It’s just going to go so fast so I just want to be as present as much as possible and enjoy the journey,” she said, as quoted in the ABS-CBN News report.
The model, who has both Filipino and Australian ancestry, has been hard at work training for the competition. She told ABS-CBS News that she continued to practice over the holidays, not even stopping to properly celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
“I was training even though it was Christmas and New Year,” she said. “But you know, it’s good because… I’m going to the competition really prepared for anything.”
In addition to modeling, Gallman is also passionate about education. Having grown up in Bohol, the beauty queen witnessed firsthand the barriers many students have to face daily just to have access to books and teaching materials, according to Rappler. She wishes to use her platform to advance the cause in her home country, the report continued.
She told Rappler that Instagram has been a great tool to raise awareness about her advocacy because it gives her a platform. Gallman participated in pageants as a teenager but then moved to London to work as an operations analyst, a career she has put on hold to pursue modeling full time.
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