Pageants are known for wanting complete perfection from their contestants. This year, the Miss Australia pageant has a contestant in a wheelchair, showing just how perfect women of all kinds can be.
Justine Clark, 26, became the first contestant to compete in the Miss World Australia pageant in a wheelchair.
I love my job. The impact I'm able to make just by being a part of other people's lives in whatever makes them feel whole. This year I decided to help people do more of what makes people happy. In case you missed it, over the weekend I hosted the Adelaide @missworldaustralia preliminary with contestant; Justine. @fitalicous_vegan_barbie Being in a wheelchair does not define her or limit her abilities to represent our country with the #missworld #crown and I congratulate my boss @pageantqueenaus for always supporting and empowering us women in more ways than our exterior beauty. Love, serve and nurture. I was in tears when I presented this group of girls. They make me proud to be a part of a social and emotional revolution which is changing history in the way beauty is being viewed. #lovemyjob #wellnesscoach #mc #presenter #Adelaide #author #healthyliving #wheelchair #eveningwear #beauty #beautywithapurpose #beautiful #model #rolemodel @dailymail
Although she didn’t win, she could still progress to the nationwide final through the Beauty with a Purpose campaign, which raises money for local charities. If Clark raises the most money, she can wheel across the national stage.
Clark is just happy she got to compete and show young girls that even though she’s in a wheelchair, she can do anything.
“For somebody in a wheelchair to be able to compete is a big thing,” Clark said to The Advertiser, a local Australian newspaper. “I really hope it sends a message that no matter what your race, size or disability — whatever makes you different -— you are beautiful.”
Clarke has been in a wheelchair for two years but won’t reveal what happened to render her disabled, according to The Advertiser. “I don’t really want to go in to what happened, but I want to be a role model and empower young women,” she said.