A FORMER La Salle student who spent most of her school life being bullied, has turned the experience into a positive one by making a name for herself in national beauty pageants.
Paige Anderton, 29, is currently Ms Charity Australia 2022, a pageant with a difference that focuses more on bringing attention to worthy causes and less on image and looks.
Winning the title is giving Paige the opportunity to raise money and awareness for the Black Dog Institute, a cause that is very close to her heart.
“I chose a men’s health charity because my friend Josh passed away from suicide when he was 21,” she said.
“It was Valentine’s Day and he left behind a nine-month-old baby.
“Men are typically brought up not to talk about things and to be strong and I think that needs to change.”
Beauty pageants are mostly known for their superficial aspects, as contestants are judged on their looks and clothing.
It’s an aspect of the events that Paige is hoping to change.
“For myself, it’s breaking that stigma that pageantry comes with just a look,” she said.
“I’m trying to break that stigma for young teens and young women and to let people know it’s not just about image.
“I think you see too many magazines or the ways women are portrayed to look and I’m very passionate about changing that.”
Paige is now a mum to 11-month-old Skylar, something that has driven her further to do something she feels is meaningful.
She will be Ms Charity Australia until November this year.
“I want to be able to use my platform to go around to local schools, libraries, youth centres and be able to share words of positivity and inspire others,” she said.
“We are also in the process of creating a Charity Australia Telethon Flood Relief – a video featuring submissions from all over Australia to raise money for those that have been affected by the floods.”
In the past Paige has held the titles of Ms Sapphire Australia and Ms Premier Elite Australia and managed to raise thousands of dollars for alzheimer’s charities after losing both her grandmother and uncle to the disease.
By Rebecca Peppiatt