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Dear Pageant Girl,

There comes a time when a girl comes into a pageant and she commands a degree of respect.  Sometimes it’s her beauty, other times it’s her experience, and mostly because of her presence and personality.

This year we have a powerhouse in the competition.  But not what you would expect.  Behold, the socialite with heart.

This girl comes with an army of connections and contacts, many of which stem from her family connections, most of which served her well in her tenure at Celebrity Apprentice.

You have to admire a girl who genuinely uses her status and platform to make another’s life better.

She may not be your typical pageant girl, some may not even consider her a pageant girl. That aside, she does come with the resources to make a difference.

Beauty with a purpose?  Fasten your seatbelts. This rollercoaster ride of a competition just got more exciting.

Presenting, Yasmin Kassim of NSW!

Photography by: @[27550917353:]

Tell me about yourself.

I am a Perth girl who lived in Malaysia for the first 9 years of my life and Sydney for the last 2. My mums a country town girl and ex health food store owner and my Dad is a Malaysian/Indian from Singapore who works in accommodation and catering. Acting, singing and dancing have always been always a part of my life and basically anything to do with music like playing around on the piano or guitar. I really like to keep myself busy. I’m in the final semester of my Arts and English Literature degree, I have a Diploma in teaching Speech and Drama, I went to acting school in New York and NIDA in Sydney and have a Certificate in yoga teaching.  Performing has taken me to many different worlds from being a fairy, to Fat Cat’s Best friend to travelling around Italy doing street theatre.

I have grown up in a family that has instilled ‘giving back’ in me so it’s always been a part of my life.  I honestly can’t remember a time where I haven’t done things that could be labeled ‘charity’ – I like to think of it as lending a helping hand because you can!  I think having the first few years of my life in a third world country has made me never lose sight of how lucky I am.

What made you join this competition?

I had always watched Miss World from being a young girl till now, I loved seeing all the beautiful women who were not only gorgeous but so career driven, elegant, classy and giving to others.

However, I never saw myself as one of those women, I just assumed because I wasn’t a model it wasn’t for me.  A couple of people mentioned it to me last year that I’d be a perfect candidate. I was hesitant at first until I looked into how the Miss World organization works and I realized how much it’s not just about being a model.

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What makes Miss World different from other pageants?

Beauty with a purpose!  The Miss World panel take your philanthropy very seriously.  Coming into the final I also really like the different tests – fitness, star quality, beauty with a purpose, talent and then modeling.  I love that it’s really testing a girl from every angle, there is no standing there and looking pretty…you need to be the real deal!

Define Beauty with a Purpose.

A girl who loves feeling confident and positive in herself whilst also being pro active about giving her life a purpose in both her own career and the lives of others.

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How do you define love?

I was asked this by the MC at my Beauty with a Purpose event and this is what came out of my mouth…so it must be my truth: ‘I’ll be there for you, you’ll be there for me – no matter what.’

Tell us about the most beautiful place you have visited in Australia?

I LOVED the Great Barrier Reef – I’m very passionate about protecting it and keeping it in its natural state!! I got to go diving there and swam with a fish bigger than I was…his name was Barry..go figure!!!

What are you doing now to prepare for Miss World Australia?

I feel if a girl needs to change her lifestyle to ‘prepare’ then is she the real deal? I’ve been doing exactly what I do all the time, have probably missed a ‘Sunday treat day’ or two in the last 2 weeks but that’s about it.  I pride myself on living a healthy, holistic lifestyle, working on my crafts and hobbies and being the best person I can be every day by giving back whenever I can. I love personal training sessions, running, yoga and playing with my dog.  If anything I created positive mantras and meditated a little more.

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What’s your favourite dish?

Zucchini fritters! I tend to lean towards vegetarian dishes and it’s one of the only things I can make well so they probably taste good because I’m so proud of myself!  I was previously a vegetarian but not anymore for health reasons so I try to minimize my carbon footprint from meat eating by being a daily contributor to the Australian Conservation Foundation and being meticulous with my recycling.  I think if everyone lived in a mindful way they would see that although we can all choose to live different lifestyles, so long as we think about the world we live in and how we affect it – it only takes a small change from a lot of people to make a big difference.

How would you convince anti pageant fans that beauty contests are not degrading to women?

I think it’s a lack of awareness of what the pageants actually involve.  I’m a perfect example, I thought I had to be a model to enter! After my research and meeting with the board I realized how holistic the search for a Miss World Australia really was!  Who ever says this -tell them to come have a green tea with me and we’ll have a chat about it and I’m sure once they hear what we have to do  to compete they’ll have a broader outlook on the pageant world.

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What advice would you give young women who want to enter pageants?

As this is my first, I feel I would be able to give better advice after this weekend! All I can say now is how I’ve decided to approach the competition –  just listen to what your gut tells you, speak your truth and don’t get distracted by anyone that doesn’t. Only positive energy allowed!

How are pageants different from modeling?

I think modeling has more of a focus on outer beauty where as Miss World is more about being yourself and embracing your inner beauty.

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Have you looked at the competition? Who do you think your biggest competition is?

I know it would be much more interesting to say that I have checked out all the girls and come up with some game plan but I haven’t…I’m just not like that, sorry to disappoint!  A few girls who have gotten in contact via social media I’ve seen and they are just beautiful! We’ve been chatting and they are just as beautiful on the inside too. I’m so excited to meet them all!

Who is your favourite Miss World and why?

I know she’s a popular choice but it’s for good reason, Aishwarya Rai.  Not only because of her grace, elegance and beauty but she also speaks so eloquently – AND STILL HAS SASS! The second time I came in to apply for Miss World Australia one of the first things they mentioned was a cheeky answer I gave last year.   I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not and Aishwarya is very much the same.

This is one of my favorite interviews of hers,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Arn0SuKtjQI

Of course being an actress and a singer I admire her career as well.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of a Bollywood film…one day!

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Why should you be chosen to be the next Miss World Australia?

Because…I don’t have to try.  I had someone tell me I’d be perfect for this before it was even a thought in my head! I’m not some product of training and studying to win a competition. This is just my life.  I am a girl who works hard to follow her dreams, loves living a healthy lifestyle, has a kind heart and knows how lucky she is so genuinely loves giving back. I have a little black book of beautiful friends all over the globe and people I’ve met along my journey that could seriously up the ante for the year of my reign and bring the Miss World Australia title and fundraising capacity to a whole other level. To me, this combination makes for a perfect Miss world Australia – I hope to judges think so too!

How do you want to be remembered?

I’ll be the girl the organization remembers as the most proactive, who never settled down always wanting to do more and more.  I’ll be the girl that this time next year when I pass the crown on to some other deserving young lady, they’ll know I will stick around and not just say thank you and goodbye.  I’ll be the girl that future Miss World hopefuls look up to and say  ‘I  may not be a swimwear model but I take pride in how I look and love giving back to those in need…I am enough…I can do this.’ And to them I say….YES YOU CAN!

Photography by: @[27550917353:]

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