Our very own DPG Paris (Ogden) gets in touch with Olivia Wells and in an exclusive interview for DPG, tells us her motivations, her inspirations and her message to her detractors.
Dear Pageant Girl,
2013 is starting to look like the year of the dark horse for our Miss Universe national pageants.
I mean, none of us saw Connecticut’s Erin Brady coming.
And now we have Olivia Wells.
None of us at DPG saw her coming. But I guess we should have!
We were blown away by her interview at the state heats and once again at nationals.
Sure, she doesn’t look like your typical pageant girl. Then again, what look would that be?
We have had some anti-pageant girls snatch the crown away from the manicured fingers of pageant favorites. Case in point: Chelsea Cooley (USA 2005), Shauntay Hinton (USA 2002) or Kimberly Busteed (Australia 2007).
Many women would give up anything to walk in Olivia’s size ten shoes. To have one’s life take on a new path and a future of exciting experiences and adventures.
It’s been a long time since a Victorian has taken the crown, and this 19-year-old medical student from Black Rock will now take her sparkling crown and new title to this year’s Miss Universe final in Moscow, and show the world who is boss!
It’s typical gush material.
But Olivia doesn’t gush. Oh no.
Read her interview and you’ll discover a cool, calm and level headed teenager who comes across almost as though she is above the title.
But as someone who advocates the fact that brains and beauty don’t have to be mutually exclusive, who could blame her for scoffing at the somewhat ‘inane’ questions posed by a site like Dear Pageant Girl?
Some may call her an ice maiden, others a sponsor’s robot. Others call her the next generation of beauty queens, a role model for positive and healthy body image.
What were your initial incentives to enter the Miss Universe Australia pageant?
I didn’t have any initial incentive per se; I entered as a bit of fun. What girl doesn’t enjoy feeling pretty and glamourous every once in a while? As I progressed through the pageant I realized that if I won I would have a wonderful opportunity to be a role model for girls like me who aren’t sample size, who aren’t necessarily the prettiest or part of the cool crowd but have other qualities to offer the community.
Do you feel that becoming a beauty queen will make you a less serious candidate in your medical career?
I hope that my abilities as a doctor or surgeon will speak for themselves in my future workplace. I’m confident that I will be judged in the workplace on the basis of my merit as a healthcare professional and not by this title. I do not believe that being Miss Universe Australia and being a professional are mutually exclusive and I hope to prove this in the future.
Tell us something that the media and we don’t know about you?
I love acting and in my school production career I have played a rat called Snortle, a loony psychic, a neurotransmitter that got lost in the body and an ant who needed to find the other side of the garden.
How do you think you will stand out and edge out the international beauties at the final in November?
Honestly, I have no idea! I am going to continue to be myself but I haven’t looked at any of the competition so I cannot say if or how I am different as of yet. Maybe ask the judges?
If you were to win the international pageant and got offered a career overseas, would you forfeit your medical career or does that come first still?
I have always dreamed of being a doctor, and so my medical career will come first. That being said many students complete a 3 year undergraduate course before they even begin medicine. I still have time to take these opportunities before I resettle into university. I am so thrilled and honoured to be representing Australia and very excited for Moscow and the future!
Have you always had a health and fitness training schedule? or is this something new to you since you entered this pageant? And if so, tell us about it.
I have always had a very rigorous fitness and exercise schedule. Coming from a competitive athlete background and training upwards of 20 hrs per week, an hour in the gym each day comes very easily. I really enjoy exercise and pushing my own boundaries in the gym. I especially love aerobics and step aerobics classes!
You participate in volunteer work. How do you think we can better promote volunteering in Australia?
I hope to use this platform to better promote volunteering especially among older teenagers. My high school offered a number of social justice and volunteering opportunities that I readily took up, and the majority of my cohort did also. University life offers a myriad of social clubs and societies and many give the opportunity to volunteer whether locally or abroad. I think the best way to promote volunteering in Australia is to make sure young people are aware of the different pathways and organisations they can work with. Sometimes the hardest part is finding a group or cause that you believe in and that works in with your schedule and ability.
If you could be on the cover of any magazine what would it be?
With your studies and now the pageant coming up, where do you see yourself, or hope to be, in a year?
In a year I will either be finishing of my year as Miss Universe Australia or maybe nearing the end of my year as Miss Universe. After that I do see myself back at university. I will be continuing to volunteer with the charities I support, and hopefully being able to use any notoriety or connections I have gained from this year to benefit others.
There has been a lot of talk and debate regarding your selection. What do you have to say to your detractors?
Absolutely nothing at all! I prefer to use my time and energy towards positivity and not “feeding the trolls”.
With this controversy already beginning between some of the contestants, how do you feel you will deal with this type of behavior at the international pageant so it won’t effect your performance and mind set whilst over there?
For me it’s not a matter of “dealing” with this type of behaviour. I will continue to go about my business as I did in the lead up to the national pageant.
And finally, tell us something that will make us remember you?
Interview by DPG Paris
Intro co-written by HRH DPG