Aleyda Ortiz, New ‘Nuestra Belleza Latina,’ Talks Her Biggest Competition, Weight Struggles And Winning Crown [EXCLUSIVE]

Aleyda Ortiz
Aleyda Ortiz is the new "Nuestra Belleza Latina" Univision

Last night we crowned a new Latina beauty queen. Puerto Rican Aleyda Ortiz became the 8th “Nuestra Belleza Latina.” Throughout her journey on the show, Aleyda always presented herself with poise and elegance, and proved she has what it takes to be more than a queen in terms of beauty, but also a role model. This gorgeous girl hails from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She’s 25 and studied Public Relations and Advertisement. Aleyda has had an impressive journey to the crown. It all started when she was 22 years old and weighing more than she wanted.

Ortiz always wanted to be on TV, but she knew she was “fat” to the business’ standards. She turned her life around by committing to a life-changing transformation, which definitely helped her win Univision’s “Nuestra Belleza Latina.” Aleyda began losing a lot of weight, and eventually decided to test if her efforts were noticeable. She joined Miss Puerto Rico, where she became first finalist. After her success, becoming one of the most beautiful women in her native island, she was assured that she could accomplish whatever she wanted.

“Nuestra Belleza Latina” was the big fish. And she caught it. Aleyda was always outstanding during her season on the show, and it was no surprise the viewers chose her as the new Latina beauty queen. Latin Times got a hold of her less than 24 hours after she won, and in the middle of TV appearances, other interviews and a very long day that seems to never end, the new “Nuestra Belleza Latina” spoke with us about how she feels right now, who her biggest competition was on the show, and how after three years of beginning her weight loss journey, she still feels a little insecure sometimes and at the beginning of the show that was a major issue.

First of all, congratulations! How do you feel right now?

Right now I’m on a “high,” like I say. Because I haven’t slept at all but I feel so energetic. I’ve been doing so many interviews, and just living in the moment. I haven’t been able to check social media yet, but I’m happy. I’m still amazed and I still can’t believe this.

Did you expect to win or was this a surprise for you?

I always competed to win. I’m not going to lie. I wanted the crown and it became my dream. But at the same time I prepared myself for the worst because it was anyone’s game. I said to myself “Well, if I don’t win, I want to have a positive reaction for the other girl, I want to wish her well.” So I prepared myself for that because if I didn’t win there was nothing I could do. The decision was already made. So I was never too cocky about it. I never said “Oh, I bet that crown is mine for sure.” I think it was quite the opposite. I was very doubtful.

Who did you think was going to win?

When I saw the finalists I always thought the crown was Nabila’s, Josephine’s or mine. It belonged to one of the three of us. Everything really depended on the viewers, and we had no idea how the votes were going, and I always thought that Nabila, Josephine or myself were the ones that could get the most support of the people, the ones who decide who the queen is. Actually, when Josephine and I were the last two, I was scared because Josephine has a lot of support. When Central America unites, nothing can stop them, and they vote a lot. So for a moment I doubted myself 100%.

Who do you feel was your biggest competition, votes aside?

I need to highlight some strong contestants throughout the season. Gabriela, Alina, Prissila, Aly and Nabila and Josephine. From day one, these girls brought it. They were the definition of what this competition is and each one had something different to offer. They were excellent. Each one highlighted their strengths, and were tremendous competition throughout the whole season. After we found out who the twelve finalists were at the beginning, I always considered them strong competitors.

What was your biggest lesson learned during the show?

I learned that you need to work very hard and that the best is yet to come. Winning this crown was not the end of my job, it was the beginning. It’s been very hard. People don’t realize all the sacrifices you need to make. All the sleepless nights, and looking gorgeous, and everything perfect, and being in your best mood, when inside of you maybe you don’t feel as good. It’s a lot happening at the same time, and that’s a big challenge. This is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, and I think that all the girls who made it to the show deserve to be admired. It’s not easy and it’s not for everyone.

What would you say was your biggest obstacle on this journey?

There was a time during this competition when I still felt a little insecure with my body. I had just come from a transformation and I had hormonal complications. Claudia Molina helped me a lot with that. She helped me control this issue with a balanced diet and a different workout routine. That was very difficult for me. I had a lot of insecurities at the beginnings, but happy I can enjoy this moment today.

What do you expect to accomplish as the new Nuestra Belleza Latina?

I would like to study a lot and prepare myself. I would love to be in all the TV shows I could possibly be in. Work a lot because practice makes perfection. I want to expose myself the right way. This is a completely different world and environment for me, but I have to do this in order to learn and to grow. I want my year to be full of change and transformation. I need to continue my lifestyle, continue my diet and exercise plan, and I want to be an example for all the girls out there. I would also like to contribute with the next season of NBL. I want people to see me as someone approachable and that they can relate to most than anything.

What do you think?
Maria G. Valdez

Maria was born and raised in Dominican Republic, where she began her career in journalism covering human interest stories, entertainment, beauty and wellness for a national magazine. She moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre, but went back to journalism after graduating in an attempt of becoming the Latina Carrie Bradshaw. She has an unhealthy obsession with JLo and claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long-lost daughter, and has tried a crazy amount of treatments to keep looking young. She became a Zumba instructor for fun.