Vaimalama Chaves is Miss France 2019! She is the fourth contestant from the French Polynesia to win the title of Miss France. She previously held the title of Miss Tahiti 2018. Chaves was born on December 3, 1994 in Mahina on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Her father works in telecommunications at the Office of Posts and Telecommunications of French Polynesia, while her mother is a nurse. She is of partial Wallisian origin through her maternal grandfather, while she has some paternal Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Chaves is the second of five children, and is the cousin of Miss France 1991 Mareva Georges. As a teenager, Chaves was overweight and was bullied immensely throughout her youth for her weight.
Chaves received her baccalauréat in communications, and later received a BTS in negotiation and customer relations, a bachelor's degree in managerial economics, and a master's degree in management from the University of French Polynesia in 2017. Prior to winning Miss Tahiti, Chaves worked as a community manager at a gym.
Chaves began her pageantry career competing in Miss Tahiti 2018. She went on to win the competition on June 22, 2018 in Papeete and was crowned by outgoing titleholder Turouru Temorere. As Miss Tahiti 2018, Chaves earned the right to represent French Polynesia at the Miss France 2019 competition held in Lille.Preparations for the competition began in November 2018, with Chaves traveling to Paris for pre-pageant activities, Mauritius for the pageant's overseas trip, and then to Lille to begin rehearsals.
The finals were held on December 15, 2018, at the Zénith de Lille. Chaves advanced from the thirty contestants to the top twelve, later also advancing to the top five. She went on to be crowned Miss France 2019 by outgoing titleholder Maëva Coucke, with her first runner-up being Ophély Mézino of Guadeloupe.Chaves was the first Tahitian representative to be crowned Miss France in twenty years, after Mareva Galanter was crowned Miss France 1999, and only the fourth Tahitian crowned ever.
On June 25, Vaimalama Chaves announced that despite her title, she will not be representing France in the Miss Universe or Miss World pageants. She confirmed,
"La préparation des Miss se fera en Polynésie et je ne peux pas ne pas être là?! « Pour vivre la vie que vous voulez, vous devez renoncer à ce que vous ne voulez pas. Je n’ai pas besoin de plus, les concours internationaux se feront sans moi cette année."
The preparation of Miss will be in Polynesia and I can not not be there! "To live the life you want, you have to give up what you do not want." I do not need more, the international competitions will be without me this year.