Miss Universe's Joelle Webber: "Pageants aren't for sissies"
"PAGEANTS aren't for sissies."
After 20-hour days on the other side of the world, Joelle Webber's assessment of her experience with the Mrs Universe pageant may seem to clash with the cliche of bright lights and bikinis.
But after placing in the top 20 of the worldwide quest held in Belarus, Mrs Webber is determined to spread its message to fight domestic violence against children.
"I wouldn't be surprised if at least three of them go on to be leaders of their country."
The Mrs Universe quest has a platform of fighting domestic violence against children, and Mrs Webber said it was a difficult topic for her to speak about.
"We had to produce a three-minute video for the two day forum , and I've started a website called http://www.freefromfear.info where the video is linked," she said.
"We had to research and speak about it, as well as talking about implementing plans to reduce its effect on children."
Mrs Webber's whirlwind week started each day at 5am - in full hair and make up - with visits to orphanages, sponsors' photo shoots, rehearsals and even a little sight-seeing, and the days often did not end until well after 1am.
The week concluded with the pageant final night and Mrs Webber said that placing in the top 20 in the event was a fantastic result.
"Many of the women are specifically trained for these events" she said.
"To place in the top 20, as well as being awarded a special award of Mrs Aesthetic with no experience and just winging it is a great result."
And to top it all off, Mrs Webber will continue her pageant work, after one of the coaches offered to mentor her for a special pageant she was invited into next year.
"The pageant work is not just hopping up on stage and being a pretty face," she said.
"You have to be fit, strong, poised, so well researched and you are always on - and remember that you're always doing it for others, not for yourself," she said.