From an apprentice electrician to a nurse who specialises in electroconvulsive therapy – this year’s crop of Miss Universe contestants are making their mark in the best ways possible.
As they storm across our iconic Matagarup Bridge, these six contestants make it look like they woke up like this.
The reality is a lot of effort goes into these beauties routines.
Here, we get behind the scenes to find out what being a Miss Universe contestant is really like.
From the peculiar talent of fitting your fist in your mouth to the pop star past – the class of 2023 really has it all.
Zayne O’Meara, 24, Attadale
By day she works for the Department of Veteran Affairs as a medical claims manager.
By night, she’s on the runway in hope of becoming a WA state finalist for Miss Universe Australia.
O’Meara has revealed she’s got an “embarrassing” unique talent, and it’s one you’d never guess.
“I can almost fit my fist in my mouth,
“It’s because I’ve got a big mouth – it comes back out,” she says.
Caitlin Grljusich, 21, Port Kennedy
Being a Miss Universe contestant is just the latest feather in her career cap.
The occupational therapy assistant studying primary school teaching revealed to The West Australian that has a pop star past.
“I was in a girl band when I was younger so I’m pretty decent at karaoke,” the 21-year-old says.
Mary Lopez, 23, Piara Waters
Mary “electrocutes people for a living”.
The registered nurse – who specialises in electroconvulsive therapy – has wanted to join the competition since she was 18 and says it feels like she’s leading a double life.
“Going to work and putting my scrubs on and then going to an event later that night – I feel like I’m leading two different lives,” she says.
Natasha Huisman, 22, Mt Helena
While Mary is “electrocuting” people, Natasha is trying to do anything but.
The model is breaking into a male-dominated industry as an apprentice electrician.
We asked the 22-year-old her about a staple item everyone should have in their wardrobe.
Her advice? “A nice pair of jeans”.
Devina Chavda, 20, Cottesloe
Devina has revealed the not-so-glamorous side of the pageant, proving she can look this good getting ready over a bathroom sink.
“My getting ready process is very not-glamourous. Before the State final my sister tinted my hair in the bathroom sink,” she says. “The polar party – I got ready in the upstairs bathroom and just quickly did my makeup and hair because I was rushing from work.”
The fashion student – who also works in social media, PR and marketing – likes to upcycle old clothes and repurpose them into something new.
She says her celebrity crush is Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachan, who won Miss World in 1994.
Sarah Dang, 22, Churchlands
Sarah’s celebrity crush is in fact Shawn Mendes.
But the positive behaviour support practitioner says there’s a beauty item everyone needs. She’s cracked the code to cracked lips.
“A Laneige lip mask,” Sarah says.
“It’s my favourite thing, I have it on all the time.”
Despite varying ages, interests and backgrounds, the girls could agree on one thing – social media being the biggest issue facing young women today.
“I feel like social media plays a big part in body positivity,” Natasha says.
Mary shared the same sentiment, seeing the effects of the issue first-hand:
“I see a lot of body dysmorphia or eating disorders at work with young girls,” Mary says. “That’s a major issue that we deal with and it’s usually related to social media or social norms.”
Caitlin wanted to encourage authenticity when it comes to posting online.
“I wanted to think (about) how I could do it the most authentic, and just be myself and not putting anything out there that’s not real,” she says.
These talented women find out on Wednesday night who progresses to the next round as WA finalists in the national competition.
The highly anticipated Miss West Coast winner will also be crowned.
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