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Miss Universe Australia – Finalist interview Kirsten Clemens of WA

Congratulations on making it so far in the coveted Miss Universe competition.. Tell us a little something about yourself?
I am a country girl, who grew up on a farm in a small country town called Quairading and had three years of boarding school in Perth. I now live in Cottesloe where I love being outdoors, by the beach and spending time with my friends and family. I have completed a Bachelor of Mass Communications degree in Marketing and Public Relations. I am now excited at the idea of heading to an even bigger city soon, basing myself there for a while and taking on new challenges.

 Why did you get involved in Miss Universe? What drew you to such a competition?
After the experience of competing in 2012, I wanted to put myself to the challenge again as I found the opportunities that arose to help others so rewarding. I was driven to achieve more and I realised how many chances you are given to support and create awareness for charities. I have seen myself grow so much as a person and mature with the competition. I have made amazing friends and everlasting memories.

What do you do for work?
I am currently modelling full time with Chadwicks modelling agency.

 We now live in an age where women are world leaders and trailblazers. With that in mind, how do you think miss universe, a competition based largely on looks contributes to the women’s movement?
The competition allows you to build confidence within yourself. As Miss Universe Australia you become an instant ambassador, especially to younger generations. By developing your own confidence and using Miss Universe as a platform, you are able to inspire others to feel empowered, take risks and drive themselves to go for and achieve their dreams. As Miss Universe Australia you are able to use your leadership skills to create awareness and become a positive inspiring role model, as well as bring causes close to your heart into the spotlight.

 In a time of celeb-culture where we know nearly as much about celebrities as our real-world friends, who is your favourite celeb figure and why?

If I had to say one person for me it would be Angelina Jolie because of her recent success with creating awareness of breast and ovarian cancer, through her own decisions to have her breasts removed. She has made her story public and made others feel comfortable with the idea that it is ok to make tough decisions like this, all for the benefit of women’s health. I admire her bravery to do this in the public eye. I also admire her work with so many charities and the care she provides for under privileged children in third world countries.

  How would you use your voice or platform purposefully if you take out the crown of Miss Universe?
I would like to use the title to promote the importance of education and to work with young people to encourage them to embrace that ‘knowledge is power’ and to keep challenging themselves. I would love to see the upcoming generations grabbing every opportunity they have to grow and further themselves in life with both hands. Being a West Australian finalist has been so rewarding in the way we have gotten to give back in our local community, I can only imagine how many more opportunities you would be given when crowned Miss Australia. I would love to be an ambassador to a range of charities that do incredible work internationally and do everything I can to make a difference.

jess-yeh-shots-2There is obviously much pressure associated with being in a beauty pageant, what are your secrets to coping with the stress?

Being a country girl I am very relaxed and I am also very efficient. I have amazing support from my family and friends, who remind me there is nothing to stress about just enjoy the experience and be grateful for the opportunities you are given.

 Speaking of secrets, do you have any health and beauty secrets you would like to share with us?
Always drink plenty of water and keep a healthy, balanced diet. Smiling always makes your skin glow!

 With the view that beauty pageants are all about empowering women, what do you think is the essence of being a woman? The essence of a women would have to be strength and compassion.

  You can often tell a lot from someone biggest role mode/icon/legend.. Who is yours and why?
I don’t have one particular role model or icon, I take elements from many different role models which I admire and try to embrace those qualities. I really believe it is important to be yourself, just the best version of yourself.

Photo Credit: Jess Yeh

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