Pageants have always been a sign of beauty and perfection. However, this year, Justine Clark, a contestant at the Miss Australia Pageant defied all odds by choosing to participate, despite being in a wheelchair.
The fashion industry was up for a surprise when she showed up to participate in the State Finals of the Miss World Australia contest, making history as she sashayed across the ramp with her wheelchair.
Living with a Disability Isn’t Easy
Although Justine Clarke has taken a giant step in the right direction, she admits that it isn’t easy having a disability. Although you may not put restrictions on yourself, you constantly encounter people who tell you that you are incapable of doing this or that because of your disability. It is like people believe you lack beauty if you are unable to walk.
But the young survivor pushes these repressive thoughts down and says since she can sit down all the time, she doesn’t need to walk and her personality certainly includes a lot more than being in a wheelchair. That is the kind of optimistic attitude that has helped this young lady to leave a mark in the industry and across the country.
The Joy of Creating An Inclusive World
Justine does not have many regrets about her life. She claims to love her job and her life because she is able to impact so many people in so many different ways. She strongly believes that being in a wheelchair does not change the person she is. It doesn’t define her and should certainly not curtail her chance to represent her country.
Although Clarke has been in a wheelchair for two years now, she refuses to explain how it all happened. She prefers looking toward the future instead of the past. This wheelchair contestant for the Miss Australia Pageant certainly defies odds in everything she does and wants to be a role model for young women across the country.
Although Justine did not reach the top in the pageant, she still stands a chance to reach all the way to the nationwide finals through the campaign of Beauty with a Purpose. This is a campaign that is aimed at raising money for charities in the area and the person who raises the most money certainly has a chance of walking across the national stage.
Although 26-year old Clarks is certainly striving to work toward that goal, right now she is just thrilled that she can send a message across to young girls everywhere – that even if you are in a wheelchair, there isn’t anything you can’t do when you set your mind to it. She believes that irrespective of your race, size or disability, you are always beautiful, she told a local newspaper, The Advertiser.
This move will certainly help break the stereotypes that have governed this industry for years. It is a big move for the fashion industry to accommodate and reward Clarke for having the courage and strength to be a part of the campaign. All of this just goes to show that this young wheelchair contestant of the Miss Australia Pageant is set to defy all odds and keep striving till she achieves her dreams.