Beauty Pageants have a stereotypical assumption among our Westernised society; they are glamorous, fashionable, skinny, controversial, beautiful, inspirational, intellectual, monotonous and in every country.
It has been way too long since beauty pageants were first criticised for their feminist mannerisms of judging women. They are often tagged as producing mere eye candies, with no real motive behind them.
But Miss Teen Australia has jumped the fence and created something unique, alongside the biggest teen beauty pageant in the Southern Hemisphere.
Running in its 6th year, this teen beauty pageant claims to be like no other. The organisers say it is “an opportunity to discover Australia’s most outstanding young women and provide a platform for local achievement and international recognition”.
But for last year\’s winner, Claire Parker, the crown took her on a journey of self-discovery and appreciation. She said, “I\’ve always enjoyed being in leader and role model type positions. I just want to be myself and hopefully encourage other teenage girls to do the same& I have gained self confidence and maturity”.
Parker was crowned Miss Teen Australia in December last year, and she recalls it being purely a stroke of luck. “My mum did a Google search about Miss Universe one day and stumbled across this competition. She showed it to me and asked if I\’d be interested, I said sure and sent in an entry,” said the 18-year old.
Growing up with the dream of being a professional Olympic gymnast, Claire had never seen herself as a beauty queen. During high school, she was immersed in the melodious strings of her guitar, whilst also mastering her fingers on the piano and the harp. After quitting her Irish dance lessons for the love of HSC in school, Claire was diademed with Miss Teen Australia 2009, which diverted her life\’s plan.
Claire is currently doing a Bachelors of Design in Fashion and Textiles from University of Technology in Sydney, and she is hoping to combine it with international studies in the near future.
“The best thing about the title has been the opportunities and connections, not only in the modelling world but also in terms of my design career. Through Miss Teen I now have a design role lined up with Rose Noir Designs which is such a great opportunity to get experience in the industry,” she said.
Finding modesty in this industry is very rare, but Claire has contradicted that fairly well. This Adpro Management Group (AMG) model has an unpretentious outlook of her modelling career.
“I don\’t know that I would ever want to be a full time model, unless I was ridiculously successful. It is such a competitive and inconsistent industry. You only last as long as your looks do, so you can\’t really rely on it to support you through life,” said Claire.
On a normal day you would expect a beauty pageant winner to have her bathroom cupboard spilling with beauty products, but not when you are talking to Claire.
On being asked to name five products she swears by, “This is going to be hard, I don\’t think I even use that many& Does my hair straightener count?” she giggled.
There is nothing extravagant or expensive in her list, apart from the practical items like; moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner. In her handbag, you wouldn\’t find anything but a large tube of Lucas Paw Paw ointment.
Just when the life of a beauty queen started looking easy and stress-free, Claire dropped the daily beauty regime bomb: “In the morning I wash and moisturise my face&then in the evening I cleanse and moisturise again. That is it.”
For someone who does not have any fitness secrets and fancies an occasional Zumba class, getting the “celebrity” tag is not a worry:
“A guy came up to me at a club and said “I don\’t mean to be weird but you look so much like Miss Teen Australia”, I laughed and told him I was and he said “sorry for being creepy but I stalk you on Facebook”. I\’m not going to lie I felt a little bit famous,” Claire said.
What does family support mean to you?
Family support is so important; I rely on my family so much. Whether it was them supporting me through the Miss Teen process, or staying up until odd hours of the morning with me while I finish uni assessments the night before they\’re due, my life would be a lot harder if I didn\’t have that safety net of my family to fall back on.
What have you been doing to help raise awareness around your chosen charity?
The charity that I have been supporting this year is Barnardos Children\’s Charity, which is a charity for children who are subject to neglect and abuse. It is the charity that the Miss Teen Australia competition supports and I think it is a really important cause to help out with. I know I am lucky to have grown up in a safe and supportive home and I think all children deserve the same start in life. We have raised nearly $3000 for it.
Career-wise, what is your ultimate goal in life?
One day I want to become a Creative Director of an international fashion house like John Galliano is for the house of Dior. I have been sewing and designing my whole life, my mum told me that when I was little I used to hand sew tiny clothes for fairies! It is what I\’m good at and what I love.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you visit and why?
I have always wanted to go to Spain! I have always loved the language, the people, the culture and the architecture, particularly in Barcelona, is incredible! That or Las Vegas!
We wish Claire the best of luck and thank her for her time, we’re sure she will be very successful and we’ll be hearing more about her, visit Miss Teen Australia’s website for more information about the pageant.
Category: Glossy News
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- Interview: Claire Parker « Sweet Dreams in my world | 20 October , 2010