With two international and two national crowns to her name, Dr Sonia Sonia of Kallangur Dental Surgery in QLD discovered that it’s actually hard work to become a beauty queen. Interview: Frank Leggett
“Last year was a year of massive personal growth for me. During this time, I met a woman who had recently won a beauty pageant and she evoked my teenage dream to be a contestant. This was a proposal way outside my comfort zone—I’m a dentist and a professional, not a beauty queen.
“However, I was intrigued and decided to give it a go. I entered my first pageant in November last year but I wasn’t prepared for what was involved. Then, early this year, I won three different pageants. At present, I am Mrs Earth Wind, Mrs Earth South Pacific and Global Elite Miss Australia.
“To become a beauty queen you must complete a minimum of 30 hours’ community service and raise funds for charity. Some of the girls raise as much as $30,000. It was this aspect that got me hooked on beauty pageants.
“Mrs Earth is all about raising awareness of sustainable practices and promoting tourism, peace and friendship. Global Elite is a more community-based pageant and it complemented my not-for-profit organisation that I’m launching at the end of this year. It’s called Restored and provides free dental services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and orphans. I already have 12 other dentists on board across Australia.
“I represented Australia at a pageant in the USA in June with contestants from 41 countries. The passion they have towards charities and for helping each other is amazing. Initially, I thought pageantry was just a matter of frock up, doll up and walk up. In reality, the community service and charity fundraising is hard, but satisfying, work.
“Entering the world of beauty pageants has been one of the best things I’ve done. I’m meeting all kinds of different people, travelling the world and working with women in the community. I also get to dress up in beautiful outfits—and what woman needs an excuse for that!
“I own three practices and it’s all too easy to get so involved with dentistry and business that you forget how to live, especially if you are a woman. Pageants teach you to love yourself and that’s essential. After all, you cannot give what you don’t have. Whether it’s beauty pageants or something else entirely, you have to chase your dream.”