Dear Pageant Girl,
Let’s face it – there WILL be broken hearts. In fact, I have had my heart broken countless times in the decades that I have followed beauty pageants. I almost gave it all up in 2010 when my girl received a lower placement than what anyone expected. But we carry on. What defines us is not our fall, rather how we pick ourselves up and carry on from it.
I admire the girls who have the courage and strength of character to try and try until they succeed. I read somewhere that Brooke Lee competed several times for the Miss Hawaii USA title and when she won, not only did she win Miss Hawaii USA, she then went on to snatch the Miss USA crown and eventually became Miss Universe 1997. It just goes to show that you will have no better teacher than experience.
I first saw this young lady compete for Miss Universe Australia NSW earlier this year. I was one of the judges in her heats. This girl stood out not because she was your typical beauty pageant contestant – so different, fresh and demure was she that she stood out from the pack of high haired, sparkly dressed glamazons. As much as I hate using the term, this girl is a classic beauty. I remember thinking at the state finals that this girl was more than Miss Universe Australia.
And I think she’s found a home in the Miss World Australia competition.
Hailing from the coast, I present to you, Emily Claire O’Brien.
What is your motivation for joining Miss World Australia?
I decided to apply for Miss World Australia when I noticed that I had similar qualities and self-beliefs as other Beauty Pageant competitors. I want to make myself known as being a unique, fresh-faced and confident individual who is willing to support the ideals of Miss World Australia.
What do you know about Miss World Australia and its Beauty with a Purpose motto?
The Beauty with a Purpose concept required to partake in Miss World is what makes it different to other Beauty Pageants. Participants need to harness their inner and outer beauty together to create awareness and raise funds for their local and larger communities. It is about being grateful for the gifts you have been given and using them to empower and improve the lives of others.
Are pageants still relevant in this day and age?
Certainly beauty pageants that encourage charity work, inner beauty and self-belief are. I believe that you do have to have a certain amount of maturity and understanding to grasp this concept however. Not all pageants are based on purely outer beauty alone.
Apart from the crown, what do you hope to gain from this experience?
There are so many opportunities that open with any new experience. You have to enter everything with an open mind and heart and I believe that I will gain not only friendships and new acquaintances but to walk away knowing that I have improved the quality of someone’s life. That will be the most fulfilling gain and will last for a long time to come.
Who are your role models?
I would have to say, my mother and Italian grandmother. Both of them have hearts of gold and hopefully I have inherited some of their qualities including a love of cooking and sharing their love through food, helping others and most of all respecting anyone and everyone who has an opinion. Also, Audrey Hepburn is a wonderful role model who encompasses classic beauty and used her role as an actress to pursue humanitarian work in later life, establishing the Audrey Hepburn’s Children Fund.
Tell me something interesting about yourself
I only began competing in beauty pageants this year!
What kind of preparations have you undergone for the competition?
Standard beauty pageant preparations including health and fitness which isn’t difficult because I enjoy being active and have been brought up always playing team sports, going to the beach and competing in representative basketball and netball teams. I have also taken several lessons in catwalk and deportment to improve posture and stage presence.
If your parents were against you marrying your boyfriend what would you do?
I believe that as a child you are raised by your parents and obviously their beliefs and values are going to impact upon your life. However, as you develop into a young adult you begin to establish your own opinions and ideas and with respect to one’s parents, I believe your own beliefs are the ones you need to live by and the most important ones. Also, within the gay and lesbian community I can see how this would be a potential issue within some families, everyone needs to practice self-belief and make the best decision which they feel is most beneficial at that time in their life.
Hypothetically, if you had a 14 year old daughter who had a crooked nose that affected her self esteem would you let her have plastic surgery?
I would ensure that my daughter understood the full potential and power of self-esteem and confidence and one can live their life without relying on the façade of outer beauty. However, if a crooked nose affected her medically in terms of a mental illness such as depression or anxiety then I would look into the options of plastic surgery. Although, I would not allow her to go under the knife at such a young age; I would wait until she turned at least 18 and her opinions and beliefs may have had the opportunity to develop further.
How would you promote the Beauty with a Purpose message to Australian media?
With a reputation of being critical and invasive at times, I would ensure that the Australian media knew the full potential and outcomes of Beauty with a Purpose and encourage the media to research the benefits that the concept has had on the wider community on a global scale.
If you could take 1 person into space with you who would it be?
I would probably take my younger sister, she is vibrant, loving and has a great sense of who she is for a 14 year old.
What are your views on privacy rights for those in the public eye? Should they be different from the rest of the population?
No, I believe that those in the public eye should take full responsibility for their actions. If they want or need privacy I believe they need to establish that themselves, not rely on privacy rights to exempt them from media coverage etc.
What makes up the quintessential woman?
A woman who is brave enough to stand up for what she believes in and isn’t afraid to take risks to improve the lives of others around her.
Tell me why you should be Miss World Australia 2012.
I am a fresh face on the pageant scene and believe I have the necessary personal attributes to succeed if I were crowned Miss World Australia 2012. I’m willing to learn, take advice, gain knowledge from experiences; I am open-minded, confident, and perseverant and have a lot to offer through helping others in need. I am dedicated to all aspects of the competition.