World of opportunity beckons for finalists

The world�s longest running beauty pageant is moving into the modern era and away from the bikini-clad bimbos of yesteryear, according to two local contestants.

Winthrop resident Kate Ami Bryant and Melissa Stevens, of Booragoon, are two of 34 finalists from WA competing against hundreds of young women from around the country.

While the competition is tough, it is not deterring the duo from putting their best foot forward.

�What really interested me was that Miss World is more than what you look like; it�s beauty with a purpose,� 24-year-old Ms Bryant said.

�It gives you a window of opportunities, with personal growth, a chance to meet amazing people in the industry and seeing what you�re able to achieve.�

Both contestants will |be raising valuable funds for children�s charity Variety.

�With the donations Variety can provide supportive equipment that will help children improve physically and mentally, getting them ahead in life,� Ms Bryant said.

�I hope to raise as much funds and awareness towards this cause for families in need so their future can improve.�

Ms Stevens is studying dance and drama at John Curtin College.

The 17-year-old said some of the cliches about the competition being sexist were not true.

�Miss World gives young women the chance to break out of the preconceived ideas and stereotypes that have been held against them for so many years. It gives young women a chance to become leaders,� she said.

�Having met the WA state finalists less than a month ago, I can guarantee these girls are in fact some of the most intelligent women and several have double degrees.�