The Brisbane girl explains why Miss World Australia is not just about having a pretty face.
The Miss World Australia finals are kicking off in Sydney today and Brisbane’s own Lauren Ashlea Fraser has beat out hundreds of hopefuls across the nation to make it through to the end.
Miss World is the largest and longest running international beauty pageant around. Launched in 1951, it has become one of the world’s most watched annual events, with a worldwide viewing audience of over 1 billion people. Under new directorship since 2011, Miss World Australia holds their annual pageant to identify young Australian women who exemplify beauty, talent, intelligence and compassion. Organizers say it aims to create and empower role models who will serve as ambassadors to charity, enrich the perception of beauty, and enhance a new strength, energy and spirit for the advancement of women, while positively impacting their communities.
Songstress Lauren is a graduate of the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, having completed a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Classical Voice. She is now her post graduate year and has decided to set her sights on the Miss World crown.
We caught up with the beauty queen, and former Bmag cover girl, in-between her hectic last minute rehearsals and dress fittings in Sydney to find out what goes on behind the scenes at Miss World Australia.
What made you want to enter Miss World Australia?
I wanted to try something completely new and I wanted the chance to make a difference in the world, the chance to make my voice heard and become a positive role model for young girls.
What was the process of getting through to the finals?
It has been an amazing journey and I have learnt so much – both personally and professionally. Through the Beauty with a Purpose component of the competition I have had the opportunity to do things I never would have done before – like organising multiple fundraising events.
What was the hardest part of the competition for you?
Not eating lollies every day! I have the biggest sweet tooth and it took a lot of discipline to cut out the naughty foods so I am ready for the swimwear component!
What was the best part of the experience?
Everything! It has honestly been the best experience. I have grown so much as a person throughout this journey and I have accomplished things I never would have done otherwise. I have organised carnivals, raffles and themed nights to raise money and awareness for Variety. I hope that through my hard work I have helped make a difference to a child’s life. Through hard training I have become a physically fitter and I have made wonderful new friends.
Organising all of the charity elements sounds like a big job, how did you pull that all together?
Through lots of hard work and commitment! It involved being very proactive and calling businesses to see if they would be interested in supporting the cause by either donating services or sponsoring the event. Variety is a Children’s Charity that helps sicks, disadvantaged or disabled children live life to the fullest. I wanted to create events for children to enjoy.
There is a perception out there that pageants like this are full of ‘mean girls’ or too centered on woman’s looks, is there any truth in these stereotypes?
Not Miss World Australia! Every girl I have met here is so beautiful, talented and kind in their own special way. Miss World is very much focused on finding a positive role model and ambassador for our country and the various charities it supports.
What does the Miss World Australia final entail?
There are so many aspects. There is fitness, talent, Beauty with a Purpose, beach beauty, Top Model, media calls and the final crowning gala!
What is your talent for the finals?
As a trained Lyric Coloratura Soprano (Opera Singer) I will be singing.
Is it true that you are the first redhead to make it to the finals? Is there a lot of pressure to represent the redhead community.
It would be amazing to be the first redhead to be crowned Miss World Australia. There is often a lot of stigmatism about having red hair, lots of ginger jokes (as you can imagine) about our lack of souls, aversion to sunlight and being a close relative of orangutans. I believe it is high time the stereotype changed and red hair was embraced for the natural, rare beauty it is.
What will be going through your head when you step out onto the finals stage?
Smile big and don’t fall over!
Click through the gallery to see Lauren Ashlea Fraser’s journey to Miss World Australia.