Wheelchair-bound contestant enters Miss World Australia pageant, breaks stereotypes

The fashion industry saw a different kind of ramp walk when a differently-abled Australian woman, Justine Clarke, participated in the South Australian State finals of the Miss World Australia contest on Sunday, 19 February 2017.

Justine Clarke made history by becoming the first Australian woman in a wheel-chair to compete in the pageant.

"I want to be a role model and empower young women," 26-year-old Justine told The Advertiser in an interview, even as she made headlines all around the world.

In the interview, she mentioned, “For somebody in a wheelchair to be able to compete is a big thing. I really hope it sends a message that no matter what your race, size or disability — whatever makes you different — you are beautiful.”

It sure is a big thing for an industry that's known for its perfection, to not just accommodate a participant like Clarke but also reward her for her courage and strength.

Clarke did not want to reveal the reasons that brought about the change in her life but wants "the catwalk to be a fair and inclusive place for everyone (sic)". She strongly believes that being in a wheelchair does not limit or define her.

Miss World Australia South Australian State Final 👑👏🏼 #beautywithapurpose

A post shared by Miss World Australia (@missworldaustralia) on

Justine Clarke still has chances of making it to the nationwide finals of the Miss World contest with its Beauty with a Purpose campaign which is raising money for local children's charity, Variety. 

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 A post shared by Author / TV Presenter (@andi.lew) on

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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 12:26:27 IST

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