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.
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.