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Dear Pageant Girl,

Let’s be real. While most mainstream pageants claim to be advocates for various charities, how much charity work do we really see the winners do during their reign? It’s sad not to see many do the charity work they claim to do.  Sure, charity work isn’t the sexiest of activities hence the media tend not to cover much of it. While we love the glamour and glitz of being part of a pageant and events that are connected to it – the fabulous parties, photo shoots, red carpet moments, we tend to forget that as beauty queens, we also have a social responsibility that we HAVE to be seen to fulfill publicly.

Not a lot of people know about Miss Humanity Australia. And they should. The girls that compete for this title compete with heart. It’s one of the few national pageants that I see the winner and runners up actively promote and raise awareness for their causes.

This interview is long overdue. On hindsight, it’s an interview that should been done a long time ago. I too am guilty of being distracted and blinded by the glitz and glamour of all the other pageants and regrettably have paid little attention to the responsibility that comes with the crown.

The current title holder, Ashleigh Wheeldon, in many ways, is what a pageant girl should be.  Tireless in her efforts, she wears the Miss Humanity Australia crown with the conviction many ambassadors would be quite impressed with.  Just have a look at the News section of the Miss Humanity Australia page and you’ll see for yourself.

Fact is, beauty queens are advocates. Beautiful women attract more attention and we need to use this power to speak for those who have no voice and to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Beauty is power.  Use it for good.

Introducing the reigning Miss Humanity Australia, Ashleigh Wheeldon

CLEO

What made you join this competition?

I liked what Miss Humanity Australia stood for and that they allowed entrants to continue to advocate for their chosen charities.

I had been fundraising for an organization called A21 (who exist to abolish injustice within the 21st century) and saw it as a platform to further voice the injustice of Human Trafficking.
Tell me about Miss Humanity.  What does it stand for, its ideals, and what potential winners can expect when they get the crown.
Miss Humanity is an innovative and holistic pageant that advocates humanitarian causes through raising funds and awareness.  It inspires young women to participate in charitable initiatives and creates role models.
There are many opportunities available to the winner such as presenting, event MC, ambassador opportunities, radio and media interviews, modelling and VIP appearances.  The Director has assisted past winners with their careers and they are now modelling (after never have modelled before) and television presenting.
Tell us about your journey and your experiences winning the crown.
Winning the crown was a complete surprise to me; I had never done pageants or modeling. I entered Miss Humanity, as I believed it would give me a platform to voice my charities. When they announced my name as the winner, I literally did not believe it! As I walked out to collect my crown, my beautiful family and friends were cheering for me and it was a very surreal moment.
Since my crowning, I’ve presented, attended and MC several charity events, which has been an amazing experience.  My proudest achievement is that I am honoured to have been made an ambassador for the A21 Campaign, who aim to abolish Injustice within the 21st Century. With a central focus on Human Trafficking. The reality is that there are 27 million people in the bondage of human trafficking today. The shocking truth is that human trafficking is the illegal trades of Human beings, being forced into slavery, most commonly, sexual slavery.
BACK
What are the advantages of being beautiful?
Beauty is much more than an outwards appearance; beauty is honesty, integrity and compassion. It’s stretching out a hand to the homeless man.
If we could all be beautiful in this way the world would be a much better place.
What gets you further in life – book smart or street smart?
Street smart, we need to be aware of what is happening around us, in our world.
“It is better to have wisdom than knowledge.”
What are you doing now as Miss Humanity Australia?
I’m attending a lot of charity events, radio and media interviews as well as ‘Beauty On A Mission’ initiatives. Fundraising for A21 and being an ambassador for them also.   Being an ambassador for A21 is an honour as I have the opportunity to visit schools and speak about a cause that I am passionate about and hope that more people will support.
GOWN
What’s the worst pick up line you have ever heard?
“Did it hurt?… When you fell from heaven, cause you’re an angel.”
What advice will you give ladies wanting to join pageants?  What should
they expect?
Be genuine. A Genuine person has true beauty.
With a blessing of a crown also come responsibility expect to be stretched (in a good way of course), expect to sacrifice time and chocolate.
Are pageants still relevant today? Why?
Absolutely! Pageants are all about giving girls a platform, and I believe this very generation is looking for a platform to be heard about some very crucial relevant issues.
How are pageants different from modelling?
Pageants are much more than just taking a photograph, it’s a about a person as a whole. Pageant girls do more than walk down a catwalk. They are active in their community, this is a key attribute of Miss Humanity, all the delegates attended community fund raising events, hold charity events and are active and aware of issues happening in our society. They are actively using their beauty for a greater mission.
Who is your favorite beauty queen and why?
Who else…but Jen Hawkins, she’s a classic! The girl next door. She portrays the Aussie girl fantastically; she’s intelligent, relaxed and down to earth.
How do you make a difference?
I hope I am making a difference by being an inspiration to others in our society.  Allowing them to see the potential within for them to voice their charitable causes, but most of all by representing the A21 Campaign.  Both in schools and in the community and I hope to make a difference for the injustice of human trafficking.
FACE
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a woman who committed her life to seeing the broken healed and justice delivered.
“For Beautiful eyes look for the good in others,
for beautiful lips, speak words of kindness
and for poise walk with the knowledge you are never alone”
Audrey Hepburn.
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