Actress, Beauty, Beauty Pageants, Beauty with a Purpose, Belluccio, Dancer, DEAR PAGEANT GIRL, Erin Holland, Erin Victoria Holland, Jessica Kahawaty, Miss Universe Australia, MISS WORLD, Miss World 2012, Miss World Australia, Miss World Australia 2012, Model, Performer, Singer, Stunner Alert, swimwear
Dear Pageant Girl,
And here we are with our first ever Stunner Alert for Miss World Australia 2013 – and it’s a good one.
I have always said that beauty queens are made, not born. Some realize this early, others, later on in life.
When I first laid eyes on this young lady I knew there was something about her. She first entered my radar when she competed for Miss World Australia 2012. A little rough around the edges and obviously green in the world of pageants, she stood out like a sore thumb yet managed to leave a lingering impression on me.
Following her journey to Miss Tourism Australia China, I watched this girl go from strength to strength, sharpening her craft and diving deep into research mode. She changed her appearance and upped her modeling work knowing that more time in front of the camera can only assist in her pursuit of the crown.
She finally entered the Miss Universe Australia 2013 NSW Heats, making it through to nationals and was touted by many as one of the hot favourites next to Tegan Martin and Melinda Kemp.
The room was astounded (audience and fellow contestants) when her name was not called as one of the finalists moving on to compete at the national finals.
Questions flew thick and fast. Were the judges briefed properly?
Do the judges really know what to look for in a beauty contestant?
Were they drunk?
Even her toughest competitors conceded that her non-inclusion was a crime and questioned the validity of the results and the qualifications of said judges.
Admittedly, I am one of those people and to this day consider that event a major WTF moment.
The trooper that she is, she held her smile, moved forward and has now come back for a second attempt at the Miss World Australia crown, better than ever. Like Jessica Kahawaty before her, she is determined to show the nation that Miss Universe Australia’s loss will be Miss World Australia’s gain.
Sure, to many she may not fit the traditional pageant mould. She may not be your classic beauty, but she’s a chameleon – she moves seamlessly between the worlds of commercial and editorial. She has talent. She has grace, elegance and heart.
She respects and honors her commitments to sponsors, her organization and her chosen charities.
And I have never heard a single negative comment said about this lady.
Now isn’t that what the modern beauty queen should be?
Presenting, Erin Victoria Holland.
Tell me about yourself?
I spent the formative years of my life growing up in sunny Cairns, Far North Queensland, before moving to Sydney at 17 after accepting a scholarship for Classical Voice at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I have been a self-confessed “band geek” my whole life, having played the Clarinet and Saxophone since I was 7 and trained in the Jazz and Tap genres since I was 4. Needless to say the entertainment industry has (and will hopefully always be) my life! Upon graduating, I have delved into a fulfilling career that also includes TV and live presenting, commercials and runway and photographic modeling. I am known for my obsession with puppies (any baby animal really), live sport (I will literally watch golf) dorky sense of humour and all things sparkly (seriously, I was a magpie in another life!)
What made you join this competition?
To be considered for a National Title of any description and therefore an ambassador for your country is an absolute honour. I am overwhelmed to be considered a potential Miss World Australia! It is fantastic to see a pageant that embraces contestants numerous talents (referring to the Fitness, Talent, Top Model and Beauty with a Purpose sections) and as an Opera and Musical Theatre trained singer from the Sydney Conservatorium, I am exceptionally excited about the Talent component!
What makes Miss World different from other pageants?
What impresses me the most about Miss World is its emphasis on the importance of charity, and long standing tradition of being so much more than a competition of physical beauty. As times become increasingly tougher, giving what we can back to those less fortunate is so important. I believe Beauty With a Purpose is an incredible initiative, campaigning and most importantly succeeding in making a difference in many peoples lives. The Fast Track competitions rightly recognises that women possess talent in a variety of different fields – It’s anyone’s competition!!
Define Beauty with a Purpose.
The quintessential woman is compassionate, resilient, empathetic, modest and confident within herself and her ability. She understands the value of balancing work and personal life. She understands that “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder. We are all different, and that is what makes us beautiful. In regards to the competition, Beauty with a Purpose is the underlying basis of the whole competition. The winner is one who the judges identify as a true philanthropist, with the ability to teach the world that our beauty can be used for powerful and charitable endeavours, throughout her reign and beyond.
How do you define love?
“Love? Love is a many splendoured thing, love lifts us up where we belong… all you need is love!!” You may find it cheesy, but I think Ewan McGregor said it best in Moulin Rouge! In its fundamental form, love is about caring unconditionally, passionately and selflessly for another human being. To love another is an unregrettable experience, for even if it doesn’t end well, we would never wish to have not loved them all. The loves of my life have enriched my journey infinitely, and I will be eternally grateful for the friends, family and partner I speak of.
Tell us about the most beautiful place you have visited in Australia?
I was lucky enough to be born and raised in sunny Cairns, North QLD until the age of 17, when I left home to purpose my career in the entertainment industry. There is nothing quite like the tropical paradise of Far North Qld – where the mountains/rainforest meet the ocean, the Great Barrier Reef with its infinitely beautiful and varied aquatic life. The cane fields stretch for days and Winter simply does not exist. There is no place like home, however, watching the sunrise over sacred Uluru and riding camels across the ‘Red Centre’ at last year’s competition in the Northern Territory comes a very close second!
What are you doing now to prepare for Miss World Australia?
Unlike any other pageant, Miss World is a multi-faceted competition that demands excellence in Talent, Fitness and Top Model. Thanks to my wonderful sponsors DC Health and Training, I have been hitting the gym 4-5 times a week for grueling Personal Training sessions, coupled with regular dance training. The fitness component of the competition is not to be taken lightly and I am training diligently to ensure I have the endurance to keep up! I have also upped my singing practice to prepare for the Talent section and am currently on the hunt for some amazing repertoire to showcase my skills!! I have also been undertaking a greater volume of Presenting (both TV and live) and MC work to ensure I am comfortable with my public oration skills, and prepared for whatever the judges throw at me throughout the competition.
What’s your favourite dish?
Although not a dish as such, I have an unhealthy relationship with Red Frogs. I am known to have a packet of them (or something of the like) on me at all times. And I mean ALL times. I am always willing to share though!!
How would you convince anti pageant fans that beauty contests are not degrading to women?
It is a shame that competitions such as Miss World are unfairly labeled as a ”meat-market” or “about beauty, and nothing else” (to quote an article recently published by Rita Panahi). In my personal experience of pageantry, this could not be further from the truth. Some of the most incredibly intelligent, philanthropic and entrepreneurial women I am now blessed to call my friends I actually met at competitions. Any event that promotes and encourages the importance of individuality, self-confidence, generosity, philanthropy, compassion and of course inner-beauty in young women is a remarkable thing. Miss World Australia is a shining example of these principles. Regardless of whether I am crowned or not, I endeavour to instill within the community how important these values are within today’s society, lead by example and to show these critics that products of pageants can make a real difference in the world.
What advise would you give young women who want to enter pageants?
Enter without expectation and enjoy what is guaranteed to be an incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable ride. I have travelled to beautiful places in the world, made a sizable contribution to causes I feel very passionately about and met some of my best friends through pageants. I will treasure these memories and friendships for life.
How are pageants different from modeling?
Apart from the advantage of runway, the two disciplines are polar opposites. When I model, I feel as though I am really acting. A ‘blank canvas’. As a model, I am required to be whatever my client, my photographer, my hair or makeup artist wants me to be. A pageant demands me to bare all and present myself as a winner. The judges want to see my capability as an ambassador for my country, my presentation, my physical endurance and my performance on stage. There is nowhere to hide when you are representing yourself, and that is a challenge I enjoy.
Have you looked at the competition? Who do you think your biggest competition is?
I would be lying if I said I haven’t looked at the competition. I think there are a lot of girls who have the potential to take the crown, otherwise they wouldn’t be National Finalists! My tactic however is always to focus on myself and my own campaign. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the intelligent and beautiful women who inevitably take part in these competitions year after year!
Who is your favourite Miss World and why?
Aishwarya Rai from India, winner of Miss World 1994 is a fine example of what the crown can achieve, given the right individual. Not only has she forged an incredibly successful career in Modeling, Television, Stage and Film, she is an ambassador for PETA India, A UN Microcredit Spokesperson, a Goodwill Ambassador for Smile Train, an international charity that provides free Cleft lip and palate surgery to children and was newly appointed international Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, the joint United Nations profram on AIDS and HIV. This incredible woman is a dignified, statuesque, beautiful and charismatic humanitarian and a prime example of the characteristics Miss World should embody. A true inspiration.
Why should you be chosen to be the next Miss World Australia?
Opportunities like this simply don’t arise every day, and a title as prestigious as Miss World is not to be taken lightly. It would be the ultimate privilege, to represent our great country on an international platform. I believe I can be an ambassador for all things Miss World stands for, and inspire women to believe that with hard-work, dedication, and confidence within our own ability, anything, any dream can become a reality.
How do you want to be remembered?
As a caring, compassionate and loving individual who tried everyday make a difference. I hope I will continue to always give every opportunity that presents itself 110 percent of my energy, for we are so lucky to live in a country where anything is possible!