Interview with Miss Voluptuous Australia 2020/2021 – Amber Jane Powson
Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog. It’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens and more about the systems that they represent.
Can you introduce yourself ?
Miss Voluptuous Australia 2020/2021 – Amber Jane Powson 23 years old.
What made you enter pageants ?
The current Miss Scuba International was a fellow modelling trainee with me. She shared stories of all the inspirational women she met and friends she made that became sisters. It’s overall a fun experience that also focuses on self reflective practices which is incredibly important in mental health.
Can you tell us about your journey ?
This is my first pageant and I’m so honored to already be appointed as the first Australian national title holder!
What made you decide to compete in the Miss Voluptuous System ?
Plus size body image isn’t represented in mass media as much as it should be. Miss Voluptuous has entry as at minimum a size 14. Celebrating these curvy women in a pageant sounded like the most fun, self-invigorating and inspirational pageant around to me.
What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?
How much self reflection is important for your own goals and your future. I’m always learning new things, but I didn’t know what to with it all. Pageants have shown me that self-reflecting and learning together makes one adaptable for the future. I now don’t feel so lost.
What’s your pageant platform and why ?
Mental Health and the effect it has on body image. Around 30% of young Australians say they’re extremely, or very, concerned about their body image. This creates a higher risk of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. I was diagnosed in 2017 with severe Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and depression when I attempted to take my own life. Only with awareness and support about body positivity and mental health was I able to graduate with a university degree, while working part time, acting as an extra on blockbuster film sets, and be a plus size runway model for award winning designers.
What’s your dream title?
Miss Voluptuous International 2021!
If you were to win Miss Voluptuous International what would it mean to you ?
It would mean I achieved an important step towards my goal. With the title, my goal to lead plus size women to be showcased more in mass media will be easier. Research shows that having more realistic, physical representations in the mass media can minimise the unhealthy risks associated with aiming for “the ideal body.”
What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens?
Not so much advice but a question, “would you regret it if you didn’t try?” I find this helps me in most situations when I need advice.
What have you been doing in the run up to the final of Miss Voluptuous International ?
I have a number of mental health events that I am helping assist with and I am currently in the middle of designing my legacy project titled, “Are You Body+? (Also read as Body Positive). It promotes plus size orientated clothing brands, mental health services and medically professional programs/events that are available all around Australia. It is a website and Facebook page dedicated solely to having all plus size promotional efforts in one place. This is so that others won’t have to search for brands that cater to their size and to be aware of professionally recommended events that can help them enjoy life with their body. I love the tagline I have which is “A plus body is a positive body.”
Favourite ever appearance?
I’ve got one coming up which hasn’t been announced just yet but I’ll keep you updated!
How has the lockdown due to Covid19 affected your pageant journey?
My day job of social media marketing has always allowed me to work from home, so it hasn’t changed anything so far. I feel sad that I have missed out on social events where I get to see people face-to-face. With communication a big priority in my life, having less of that connection is difficult.
Has your reign been extended due to COVID19?
As we have the International Pageant next year in 2021 my reign has been extended. It just means I have more time to plan and organise and help my community with my platform!
What makes a good pageant role model ?
A person who genuinely wants to make a positive difference in the world and whose actions display that.
What round are you most looking forward too ?
The interview. It’s the time the judges truly get to know the delegate. The person behind the face, the dress and jewelry is so much more important. It’s who that woman is.
How are you planning to deal with pageant nerves ?
I pretend I’m just meeting a friend for tea and that I want to know everything about them. Not focusing on myself helps my nerves with every public speaking event.
Thank you so much for answering my questions, it’s been lovely getting to know you and more about your platform. I wish you all the best at the International final. Much love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.