Leela Heart / The Hype Magazine Interview
Leela Heart, AKA Alyssha Shanks, is the global #WE Spokesperson/spokesmodel and is Miss #WE International. Leela Heart will be the lead anchor on the upcoming #WE Newscast; the first all women’s newscast about women, for women, by women. As Alyssha Shanks, she just won the Miss Globe USA title in the USA as well as the Miss Globe title internationally in China.
A native to Maryland in the beautiful USA, Alyssha Shanks had the opportunity to represent her state as Miss Globe Maryland in the National Miss Globe United States Competition in Detroit, Michigan. It was there that Alyssha brought home awards as Miss Personality and Miss Social Media which recognized her marketing and professional skills.
Even more exciting, Alyssha brought home the National crown as Miss Globe United States and proved quickly to be exactly the kind of Queen the organization was looking for, winning 1st place in every single area of competition.
Alyssha was relentless in her community service, preparation and grace and earned the opportunity to represent the USA in Beijing, China in the Official Miss Globe Competition. This past December, she brought home the Miss Globe crown for the current reigning year.
Alyssha Shanks, also known endearingly as “Leela Heart”, won the International Miss Globe Modeling Competition, besting 33 other countries where she was judged on beauty, professionalism, physique, personality, global involvement, modeling ability, and was chosen as the best Spokesmodel for the Miss Globe system.
Alyssha is a Marketing Events Model and Coordinator pursuing a successful career in the entertainment industry in Modeling and Film. In addition to a passion for entertainment, Alyssha has a deep passion for empowering women. As Miss Globe, she is dedicating her year to empowering other women with Confidence. Alyssha believes that confidence is the first step to anything that takes action and she knows that without learning to walk in confidence she would not be where she is today!
During her reign, she is traveling throughout the U.S and to other parts of the world carrying her message of Empowerment through Confidence. She has founded the Woman Warrior Project, which is a series of projects that focus on the growth of women primarily through confidence, goal setting, and access to resources. She is passionate about this endeavor and enjoys speaking at women’s events, schools, and Woman Warrior meetings to inspire women to own their beauty and be comfortable in their own skin.
Just as she relentlessly pushes to bring her dreams to reality, she loves encouraging others to do just the same
So we see you as both Leela Heart AND Alyssha Shanks. Which is your real name? And why the 2 names?
Leela Heart is a nickname, as well as my artistic name. I grew up with it and it describes me. I’m called Heart because of how I love. I’m the one going out of her way to make your day. I love to love. It feels more true to me than anything else.
It says you are Miss Globe USA? What is Miss Globe?
I am actually Miss Globe AND Miss Globe United States. It is a pageant. You compete on the state level (I won Miss Maryland) and then the national level (I won Miss United States) and then the international level … I won MISS GLOBE at the world finals in China.
Tell us how you got into that whole pageant thing … what was the story and process of that?
Pageantry is a world of its own and I’ve come to love it. I stumbled upon it accidentally…I wanted to try something different and I found myself in a world of modeling, speaking, and women empowerment… and I was good at it, so it stuck. Happy accident
What are your goals and dreams?
This decade? ..Haha.. I want to do so much in my lifetime… but currently, I am most focused on making a difference for women. I want to offer other women a platform and give them a place to shine. We, as women, don’t always support each other. I chose to change that.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
On a beach in Hawaii with friends and a photo-shoot scheduled for the morning. I love traveling and beaches and friends and piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. ..haha.. I see myself living freely – free in my creativity and enjoyment of this life.
We see you are the spokesperson/spokesmodel for the #WE movement … for women empowerment?
Yes!! Such an awesome opportunity!! It’s a match made in lady heaven ☺️
Are you into that whole cause? Are you a feminist?
If you mean equality for women and better pay and better overall experience and opportunities, then yes! I believe it is important to own and be proud of your WOMANNESS without shame and to be celebrated for it.
What IS “women empowerment” to you? In YOUR view, tell us what “women empowerment” means, or doesn’t mean?
It means the passing of microphones to a woman who did not have one, it means the building of stages for HER because all the other ones for taken by HIM, it means the celebration of what HE can do without the disregard of what SHE can do. It’s about respect and growth in society, it’s about wholeness in our culture, it’s about saying “you go, girl!”
Do you consider your self “hot” or “sexy”?
Yes! And if I’m not, don’t tell me. I’m in my happy place and I’m not leaving.. lol.
Rate yourself from 1-10 in the “hot/sexy” scales ..in YOUR view…
I’m an 11 baby! And you should be saying the same [about yourself]. If you don’t think so, let’s chat for 10 minutes and I’ll change that pretty little mind of yours.
What is the difference in Miss Globe, Miss USA, and Miss America?
They are simply different organizations with the same goal. Beautiful women making a difference… it’s genius. It’s Walmart, Target, and Costco… same idea, different place. I may be biased, but currently, Globe is my fave. lol.
As Miss Globe, what are your duties? What is expected of you?
I travel and host and appear at events. I often speak on confidence and encourage young women. The goal is to spread good will and inspire confidence…. it’s about being good for the sake of it. Can you imagine a better opportunity?!
You are the global spokesmodel for #WE. What does that mean to you?
It means the world- simply because making a difference, particularly for women, is the recipe to my whole life! I’m blessed to represent such a strong and powerful movement!
How did you become the spokesmodel for a national movement?
I like to believe it’s energy- you attract what you put out, Amen? I have been supporting women and reaching to make a difference and I find myself linking with a movement that furthers my reach. Nothing short of miraculous!
It says here you are hosting the military base tour, up to 70 bases nationally, as well as co-hosting all the TV promos, ads and TV specials. What does it mean to be going to be in front of all those servicemen and women?
Whew, wow… how awesome right? First off… I can’t wait. Second off, what an honor. Third off, I’m pumped to bring a smile to the faces of those that protect us everyday!!
What do you think about Trump?
I represent the USA as a pageant Queen and he represents us as our president! I feel kind of a connection to him in that, but I’d never wish for his job… it’s the hardest job in the world and I respect him for taking it on. God bless the USA!
What do you think is wrong with America? What issues does it need to overcome to be greater?
America is still a young country and we are still learning how to function at our strongest. I do think we have to address the unequal treatment of our women. We’ve made strides but we aren’t quite there. We still live in a country where a man is paid more for doing the same job as a woman. Let’s start there.
Are you a believer? What part does God or religion play in your life?
Yes, I am! I am a strong believer in Christ and spirituality plays a huge role in my life. I live a fast pace life, so my faith grounds me and reminds me of what’s important.
How do you handle confrontation? drama?
With love. They call me Heart for a reason, baby.
Anything you want to tell your haters? nay-sayers?
Praying for you, my love. Thank you for keeping me strong.
Have you struggled coming up? Tell us about the struggle?
I did come from a background of struggle. I grew up with just my mom and sister and we were always a dollar short of a happy meal. That kind of poverty taught me to live and give because I know what it is like to go without.
What would the present YOU tell the YOU of 5 years ago?
Take your time, Leela, there’s no rush. Everything comes in its time. You have so much more ahead than you’ve ever imagined.
In today’s culture, what is your advice to those millions lost in the masses trying to find a way to stand out and be discovered? What advice would you have for them?
Be yourself- and you’ll have no competition.
How did you get picked to be Miss #WE?
Interesting story. Sometimes you just attract the right people. Lowell Beasley is a genius that works hard to promote the movement and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to join in.
What is your philosophy? Motto?
Love with your heart before you do anything else. If all else fails, a glass of Merlot will do. ?