Today we are catching up with Natasha Knox of New South Wales, one of the 24 talented and inspiring women from all walks of life who are hoping to be crowned Miss Universe Australia 2023 at The Sofitel Melbourne on Collins this Friday.
So, Tash why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 21 years old and currently a university student, model, and bartender (and by ‘bartender’ I mean I can make a mean vodka soda). My dream is to become a clinical psychologist, as I’ve always been passionate about helping people. Everyone is the hero of their story, and I love helping people embrace that level of fulfilment and self-love. I’ve also hiked through the Himalayas, lived in Indonesia, and fallen down a flight of stairs (twice. I’m quite clumsy).
We all have motivations, mine usually around good coffee, but what was your key motivation for entering Miss Universe Australia?
Honestly? I submitted my application to Miss Universe Australia purely to see if I could get in. I had no faith I would, but once I did and got over my initial shock, I realised this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I grew up incredibly insecure, and Miss Universe Australia became the perfect opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone, force me to take myself seriously, and become the representation I always sought out growing up.
Now, I’m in this to make my family, my community, and my younger self proud. I’ve come so far, and I’m excited about the journey still to go.
As part of the program, you recently went on the National Finalist Trip to Vietnam at Furama Resort Da Nang, what was the experience like?
It was INCREDIBLE! It’s not every day you get to embark on a week-long luxury retreat, especially to somewhere so beautiful. The entire week was a blur of introductions, workshops, and photoshoots, and I am so beyond grateful for all of it. I left with a wicked sunburn and life-long memories that I will always cherish, as well as life skills that I can’t wait to implement everywhere.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
Definitely meeting all the finalists! Everyone was incredibly accomplished, talented, and intelligent. They all have an unrivalled sense of passion and ambition. Walking into a room with that type of energy is indescribable; it makes you stand a little taller, take up a bit more space. I can’t wait for the day I can spot them in the newspaper and say that I know them because they’re all going to make history.
With everyone bringing their own unique and individual flair to the program, what is something that sets you apart from the other finalists?
Something that sets me apart is that I’m openly queer! Growing up, I struggled deeply with myself, in part because there wasn’t a lot of positive representation for individuals like me. Particularly, the portrayal of queer women in the media left me feeling like I had to fit a specific mould in order to validate and ‘legitimise’ my sexuality. If I didn’t match that criteria, I couldn’t be queer, and I couldn’t be open about it. It’s taken me a long time to find the confidence to be comfortable in who I am, and Miss Universe Australia has helped me to believe in, and spread the message that there is no particular ‘way’ to love and to be queer; being yourself is enough.
If you could ask our current Miss Universe Australia, Monique Riley, one question, what would it be and why?
One question I’d ask Monique is how her life changed since winning. There’s only so much seen through social media, and after going through this experience myself, I can’t imagine just how much she must have had to sacrifice to do as well as she did. There is so much hidden time and effort that’s poured into these events, and I’d love to know her top secrets in doing so without burning herself out, as that’s something I’ve struggled with in the past.
Tell us something you’re passionate about and why?
I’m deeply passionate about failing. I think it’s a brilliant skill to fail things spectacularly, and still continue. By acknowledging failure as imminent, you let go of the anxiety to be perfect. There’s a lot of pressure nowadays to do everything perfectly on the first take, when truthfully, that is almost always impossible. It’s taken a long time for me to recognise that, and to believe that failure isn’t the end of a goal; it’s a forced reality check. By acknowledging what you lack and where you went wrong, you grant yourself more stamina and clarity to continue working towards success.
To finish up the interview we have a few quick questions
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
New York City! I’ve never been, but I have watched gossip girl and how I met your mother about a dozen times, and it seems like such a wildly fun place to be. I also really want to try 99 cent New York pizza, just to see what all the fuss is about.
What’s your ideal way to spend a day off?
Uber eats Thai food, in bed, with my girlfriend, watching a terrible B-grade rom com.
What makes you laugh out loud?
My friends. They’re so ironically funny, you can’t help but laugh in the best way possible. I love them dearly.