11 July 2024

Even after achieving success in several different arenas, 27-year-old Anntonia Porsild has continued to pursue her dreams. One of her many passions recently took her as far as El Salvador, where she represented Thailand in the Miss Universe 2023 pageant and won the first runner-up prize.

Anntonia’s latest success has inspired people across the country. Not only because she is the Thai beauty who came closest to winning the Miss Universe Crown in 35 years of the competition, but also because she refused to give up on her dream despite what others said.

When Anntonia entered the Miss Universe Thailand 2023 contest, she had already been crowned Miss Supranational 2019 and established herself as a successful model and actress. Critics duly lambasted her for “stealing opportunities from other women”, while supporters worried about the possibility of failure on the highest stage.

“I will always be grateful for the Miss Supranational pageant but I don’t want to let one success define me forever,” Anntonia said. “I also don’t think I’m taking away opportunities from other contestants because when I joined Miss Universe Thailand, I was their equal.”

Multilingual and multicultural

Born to a mother from Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand and a father from Denmark, Anntonia grew up in several countries including Spain, India, and Vietnam. Her country-hopping childhood left her fluent in several languages.

Last year, she graduated from Stamford International University in Bangkok. While working towards her bachelor’s degree, she partnered with UN Women to fight sexual harassment on campuses. She also co-founded Policy Please with two other students to promote gender equality and other important social issues.

Supportive parents

Anntonia’s main role model is her mother. Tanradee Porsild came from a humble background but showed tenacity to leave her hometown in the Northeast to pursue her dream. She fought hard to improve her life but was generous enough to share her good fortune and help others after achieving success.

Anntonia describes her father as the wind beneath her wings. Whenever she feels her confidence wavering, she turns to him for encouragement, moral support, and a change of mindset.

“He was not a fan of beauty contests – until I joined one,” Anntonia told the media before she headed off to El Salvador.

Entry into the beauty scene

While still a teenager, Anntonia entered The Face Thailand Season 1, a reality show in the style of a model contest. She made it through to become one of the 15 finalists but was eventually outperformed by nine other contestants.

Anntonia describes herself as shy during her younger years, but credits the Miss Supranational pageant with boosting her confidence and transforming her outlook on life.

More than just looks

Beyond beauty pageants, Anntonia is an entrepreneur with a vision for the future. The proud owner of a thriving beauty company business selling eco-friendly products, she champions sustainability, heads the “Little Steps” project, and empowers women to make a difference globally. For every sale she makes, one US dollar goes to “Little Steps”, which delivers help to people in need.

In her spare time, she enjoys taking part in a range of sports, including basketball, volleyball, Muay Thai and football. She is currently dating Singaporean footballer Irdan Fandi, who plays for BG Pathum United.

Her Thai relatives in Nakhon Ratchasima say Anntonia is well-loved back in her mother’s hometown, where she is known for her kindness and good manners. The beauty queen has attended many merit-making ceremonies and engaged in numerous charity works in the northeastern province. She has donated essential items to schools, and even made local dishes such as Somtam and Korat Fried Noodles for children.

After scoring successes in various aspects of life, what does Anntonia want now? For the time being, she is focused on her duties as runner-up in Miss Universe 2023. But looking ahead, she hopes to start an advertising agency focused on changing conventional standards of beauty to include a wider range of looks and skin tones.

By Thai PBS World’s General Desk