On Sunday 10 women from across Canada took centre stage to compete in the finals for the title of Mrs. Canada Globe 2018.
“We are a pageant that’s all inclusive,” national director Kimberly Castle said. “So every age, every colour, every shape, every size.”
Each of the 10 women made it to the finals after receiving top marks in three categories during preliminaries.
“They’re judged first on their personality profile, the ladies do a little speech, one minute they have do to a little speech about themselves. The second thing is swimwear and the third is evening gown,” Castle said.
But this pageant is more than a beauty contest. Castle explained that it’s about what’s on the inside and not what you look like on the outside.
“These women are busy in their communities raising money and funds and making a difference in their communities,” she said. “So you don’t necessarily have to have that typical standard of beauty that people might think. Beauty on the outside is even greater than beauty on the outside.”
That’s why for the first time in the pageant’s history, they brought in Ashley Nemeth, a judge who can’t see the contestants but can only hear them.
WATCH: Mrs. Canada Globe Kimberly Castle
Nemeth’s vision problems began in early childhood, caused by a genetic disease called ocular albinism. Today, Nemeth can only see light.
“You can hear a lot in somebody’s voice or the way that they walk down the stage, you get a lot of information,” she said. “That’s how I judge everybody that I meet on a day-to-day basis.”
The 31-year-old is also recognized in the community as an advocate, helping to break down barriers.
“There’s so many misperceptions and stigmas around blindness still to this day, that the more we can eliminate those barriers and those misperceptions, the better we are,” Nemeth explained.
Even though she can’t visually assess the contestants, it’s a lesson that goes beyond beauty.
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“I think within society nowadays we all need to remember that beauty comes from within not necessarily what dress you’re wearing or how your makeup looks today, but what comes from within,” Nemeth said.
“Ashley is an incredible advocate for showing that just because you’re blind, it doesn’t hold you back from doing anything,” Castle said.
At the end of the day it was Mrs. Toronto, Urszula Urac, who took home the crown. Urac will be competing at the Mrs. Globe pageant in China in August.