Competitions featuring beauty contestants look for perfection. A wheelchair confined woman participated in Miss World Australia contest to shackle this stereotype of perfectionism.
Justine Clark made history by becoming world’s first wheelchair confined beauty contestant. The contestant was not able to advance to the next stage with other contestants Sophie Ludbrock and Aishah Stocker. She can still go the national finals. Clark has also got the chance to raise funds for her favorite charity.
There are several elements which make these beauty peasant contests so much enjoyable. The beauty contestants promote themes like female empowerment, equality, and diversity.
Why The Wheelchair?
Justine Clark says she is bound by wheelchair for two years due to lower leg deformity. Here is what she had to say about competing while sitting in a wheelchair.
“I want the catwalk to be a fair and inclusive place for everyone. A wheelchair does not define me or limit me. I can still be strong, feminine and beautiful.”
When asked about her illness, the wheelchair confined woman said that she did not want to go into detail. She said she wanted to serve as a role model and empower young women.
In another interview she said,
“For somebody in a wheelchair to be able to compete for a big thing. I hope it sends a message that no matter what your race, size or disability — whatever makes you different, you are beautiful.”
Why Should We Encourage Such Participants?
We need to encourage seemingly less-perfect women to participate in such contests. Millions all over the world watch these contests. When women with particular physical challenges in their lives attend such events, they inspire other women to brave through their struggles in life.
Justine Clark has not only made history by becoming the first ever wheelchair confined woman to participate in a beauty contest, but she has also proven to be a beacon of hope.
These kinds of participations communicate women empowerment in real terms. Women in the future facing social, economic, physical or other challenges hindering them from realizing their true potential would always take inspiration from Justine Clarke.