18-year-old Gitali Ram is carrying Fiji’s hopes at the 2023 Face of Beauty International pageant which is currently underway in the Philippines.
The Year 13 student of Xavier College in Ba said she decided to take part in this pageant to break free the stigma that beauty is within and in acts of kindness.
Ram who hails from Namosau but now resides in Votualevu, Nadi, first stepped into pageantry last year where she was crowned the first runner-up and that exposure saw her gain recognition.
“After taking part in the pageant in Suva last year, I thought that that would be the end of my pageant journey but to my surprise, a very well-known person in international pageants, Mila Manuel reached out to me to represent Fiji at an International pageant being the first ever teen contestant,” she told FijiLive from her hotel in Philippines.
“I chose to enter this pageant as the platform that I get is so powerful to spread my voice to the world.”
“I became a youth delegate for international model at the United Nations just at 17. The pageants are not all about beauty but they develop young female leaders and focus on charity which we have been doing for the past 8 days.”
She said her advocacy message to the large audience is that beauty is skin deep and “to all the girls out there that it’s okay, we are all imperfectly perfect just be kind.”
“Also I am aiming to put Fiji out there as hardly anyone over here knew what or where Fiji is, so as an 18-year-old I have achieved the most already by putting our country on such a huge international platform.”
Speaking about the competition, Ram said: “It’s challenging and I am having the absolute best time over here in Philippines helping the less fortunate and doing charity along with so many of my sisters from all over the world.”
The Face of Beauty International pageant began on 8 March and the winner will be crowned this Saturday.
The pageant was created in 2012 and the title ‘Face of Beauty International’ has grown to become an internationally renowned beauty pageant.
The international beauty pageant has been hosted in the beautiful countries of Thailand, Taiwan, Mongolia, India and the Philippines.
The Face of Beauty International pageant aims to develop young female leaders from around the world with the goal to empower contestants to find beauty and to become that beauty.
Candidates participate in charity events, workshops and symposiums, preliminary competitions, while traveling across the host country together.