Published: 2017-07-19 16:21
Last Updated: 2017-07-20 09:51
Smart, beautiful and Muslim is the new face of Australian beauty.
Esma Voloder, 25, was crowned Miss World Australia 2017 on Friday, taking home a gorgeous $68,000 pearl-encrusted crown and a contract with Thailand Tourism and Novo shoes.
The pageant queen’s new glitzy ‘n glamorous life is a far cry from the Bosnian refugee camp she spent time in as a baby, before fleeing her war-torn country with her family to Australia.
While winning the prestigious “Miss World Australia” title is important to the seasoned pageant competitor, she is hoping to use her title to break down the misconceptions surrounding Islam.
The practicing Muslim said after her crowning ceremony:
“The Islam that I know, that is in the Qur’an, I don’t associate that with any acts that are occurring around the world.
“People tend to blame religion for the atrocities that are happening, but if we do that we take responsibility away from the individuals.
“A lot of things have been misconstrued about Islam.
“I feel that a category has been created that is not really what the Qur’an actually promotes. I believe Islam is about peace, unity, prosperity and inclusion.
“Despite what your personal beliefs are, if we all believe in what is good, we can work together and make this world a beautiful and liveable place while we are here.”
In 2008, Esma was named Miss Teen Australia.
But the winner has brains as well as beauty: she has a degree in psychology and works as a criminal profiler in Melbourne.
Looks like some of us can indeed have it all.