Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera has sure been one busy mama! The mom-of-one, to son Sebastian, 17 months, recently partnered with Huggies Brand to try out their new and improved products. She is also starring in Cosita Linda, a new Univision telenovela!
Zuleyka opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about what inspired her to team up with Huggies, how her son is doing, and how motherhood changed her “for the better.” She goes on to share some of her greatest highlights of being Miss Universe!
CBS: Tell us about your partnership with Huggies Brand. What inspired you to team up with Huggies?
ZR: “After becoming a mom to Sebastian last year, I can’t get enough of him. Our parenting adventure has been so exciting, but still full of surprises – the good, the bad, and the messy! I’ve teamed up to become an Official Huggies® Tester to put Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with New SureFit Design and Huggies Natural Care Wipes with New Triple Clean Layers to the test. I am sharing my experiences, helpful tips, and advice for tackling some of parenthood’s fun and real messes and stresses.”
CBS: You are featured in a webisode series on the Huggies Latino Facebook page. Could you tell us about the series?
ZR: “The videos offer personal parenting tips and show my real life family moments, which include cooking with grandma, rehearsing for my upcoming novella, and even teaching Sebastian the rhythm of Latin dancing. The series includes four online videos that will be uploaded monthly to the Huggies Latino Facebook page and on YouTube. The first video launched in June and the second will be uploaded soon.”
CBS: How is your son, Sebastian, doing? Is he an easy baby? What does he do to make you smile?
ZR: “ Sebastian is doing well! Every day he learns something new, and he’s also getting bigger. It’s amazing for me to watch this transformation! Being a mother has been one of my greatest accomplishments, and Sebastian keeps me smiling every moment of every day with everything he does, as it’s a new experience for the both of us.”
CBS: What is your favorite part about being a mom so far? Has motherhood transformed you or changed you in any way? Do you have any special motherhood moments to share?
ZR: “Motherhood has definitely changed me for the better. I think it’s important for women to still have dreams and goals for their careers, but I make sure to blend mine to ensure my son is a part of everything I do. Filming the Huggies webisodes was something special for the both of us and it will definitely be a great memory to look back on.”
CBS: What do you wish you had known about motherhood before becoming a mom?
ZR: “I never knew how many things I had to choose from when it came to parenting! From recommendations and my own trial and error, I’ve found that I always need to have Huggies® diapers on-hand. No matter where we go with Sebastian, I always keep Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers with NEW SureFit* Design in my diaper bag. They protect against leaks for up to 12 hours, so I feel confident knowing that he stays clean and dry!
A baby’s behavior is unpredictable; in just seconds, babies can go from silent and peaceful to loud and messy, tearing up the kitchen. That’s why Huggies Natural Care Wipes with New Triple Clean Layers are essential in our house, especially when cleaning Sebastian up after eating Abuelita’s home-cooked meals. The wipes are gentle on his skin and thick enough to clean up any mess he makes.”
CBS: You are a single mom, do you have any advice for other moms in the same situation?
ZR: “Motherhood is a full-time job whether you are a single parent or not. It’s important to take advantage of any opportunities you have to relax, such as when your baby is napping. I also try to squeeze in at least an hour per day to get re-energized. It’s a challenge to maintain your ‘me time,’ but it’ll serve you better in the long run and help you manage your responsibilities.”
CBS: Please share with us some of the highlights of being Miss Universe.
ZR: “Being Miss Universe was an amazing experience for me for many reasons. I was able to represent my native country, Puerto Rico, but I was also able to explore others. Since being crowned Miss Universe 2006, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Kazakhstan, India, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Indonesia. It has also allowed me to step into acting, which is my passion. During my reign, I became the spokesperson for both Chrysler automobiles and the Mexican footwear line Andrea. I was also able to launch my own clothing line geared towards women and children, titled Zuleyka for Kress (retailer in Puerto Rico).”
CBS: Pageants like Miss Universe are often criticized for focusing primarily on contestants’ physical beauty and sending the “wrong” message to teenage girls about what it means to be beautiful. What are your thoughts on this?
ZR: “The Miss Universe Organization is a platform that catapults opportunities for savvy, goal-oriented young women. I’ve always worked hard to accomplish my goals and reach my dreams, and being awarded the Miss Universe crown opened many new doors for growth opportunities. One of the great accomplishments that resulted from my reign was that I was able to share my skills and lessons learned with teenagers and other young women. In 2012, I co-found Fashion Icons CAMP, a three-week summer camp program in Puerto Rico that combines acting and modeling for girls aged 4 to 27 years old. The camp attendees are exposed to industry veterans that teach them more about the inner workings of acting and modeling.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
ZR: “ I’m currently working on my role in Cosita Linda, a new telenovela that will air on Univision. I’m really excited to pursue my acting career, because it truly is my passion and I hope this role continues to highlight my dedication to the field. Of course, I’m also looking forward to continuing my partnership with Huggies throughout the remainder of the year. We have several activities and events pending, and I look forward to meeting other Huggies families like mine!”