In the past, competitions that began with the word ‘Miss’ judged something which, for many, is way too subjective to be put to the test: beauty. Since the 1970s, however, many contestants have come to do more with their titles than just beauty or fashion.


Linda Carter became a famous actor, Diane Sawyer became one of the world’s most respected journalists. Michelle Pfeiffer also shone on the big screen. Anna Lima, Miss World Marbella, has even bigger dreams. Her conversation shows her concern about social injustice and the importance of being part of a movement of change.

Now in her final year of Law at University, she is also a young mum of two. She lives between Málaga and Casablanca (homeland of her husband, who is a real estate promoter in these two areas).

Anna Lima – A Rising Star

On July 11, Anna took part in the Miss World Miss Málaga competition. She didn’t take home the crown but had great fun competing. From the start, her intense drive and passion captivate me. Before the competition, she told me, “Winning a title these days isn’t about feeling beautiful. For me, it would mean being able to get my message across and to foster greater awareness on important issues.

For instance, beauty pageants were once only for single women but here I am, a mum of two. Seeking to let women know that your life as an independent woman does not change when you give birth. But; having daughters makes me want to be a shining example for them. I want them to know that you can have it all – and that a full life is one that involves reaching out to others.”

Between Marbella and Morocco

She tells me that Mr. Marbella – who also competed in the Mr. Málaga competition – “is also a dad. We have something in common in that we both are keen on knocking down stereotypes and promoting greater diversity.” One that hits close to home is the idea that Muslim women ‘don’t have a life’. She says, “In Morocco, women go out, they dine with friends, and they have a big influence in their homes. Perhaps in small villages, things are still more traditional but in big cities a woman’s quality of life is good.”

She is also eager to dispel myths about Muslim men and women. “I was 18 when I met my husband and he was 25. He is a modern man but is also traditional in his commitment to me from the start. He knew he didn’t want to waste time dating anyone else. I had my children a few years after getting married. My daughter is four and my son is one-and-a-half. My husband is a shining example of a supportive husband. He is my number one fan and he encourages all my endeavours. When I compete in pageants I always bring my family with me. I am breastfeeding my son so they are always close by.”

Dividing their time between Marbella and Casablanca owing to her husband’s business, Anna loves Morocco and settled in well. “I speak five languages, two of which I started learning when we moved to Morocco – Arabic and French. I am always wanting to learn new things; I am curious by nature and I love studying.”

A Social Conscience

Anna is a highly energetic woman who has been working on many projects. One is her commitment to the Andrés Olivares Foundation for children with leukaemia. She tells me a few of her upcoming plans. “I am writing a motivational book for men and women, highlighting subjects like equality, leading a healthy lifestyle. As well as the importance of taking care of the body and mind. After I graduate my hope is to launch a foundation in Morocco that provides food to vulnerable families.”

Anna will also be putting her legal qualifications to good use. “I hope to be the honorary consul for Brazil in Casablanca. My mother is from Brazil and my father is Spanish. Currently, there are many Brazilian prisoners in Casablanca who are lured into the country with promises of good jobs. They have had drugs smuggled into their luggage and have wound up in jail. As a lawyer and consul I hope to be able to help them.”

When I ask Anna where her altruistic side comes from, she answers, “Definitely my mum. When I was a child she used to buy milk and make food for people who were hungry. She would take her shirt off her back for anyone. My husband also believes that the world works better when we help each other. The less selfish you are, the further you progress and the more you help others do the same.”


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