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Pageant star stays true

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2014
Wairau Creek
SUCCESS STORY: Torbay’s Casey Radley placed third in Miss International 2013 held in Tokyo, Japan.

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A self-titled "black sheep" of the pageant industry hopes her international title will inspire young women to stay true to themselves.

Casey Radley represented New Zealand in the Miss International 2013 pageant, held in Tokyo, Japan in December.

She placed third out of 68 contestants.

Although the final marks are not public, Miss Radley says not conforming to pageant stereotypes may have given her an edge over other contestants.

Being herself was key as "undercover" judges marked contestants while they were attending traditional Japanese dance and tea ceremonies, the Torbay resident says.

A 45-second speech she gave during the pageant conveyed her desire to rid New Zealand of inequality through education.

Miss Radley told the judges she wanted to help young women around the world.

"There are many ideologies on how women should and shouldn't be, rather than embracing who they really are."

She chose to wear a one-piece in the swimsuit section, breaking tradition, she says.

Miss Radley says after the competition she googled herself and found people discussing her "larger measurements".

But she doesn't let the comments affect her confidence and knows what she stands for.

"My voice is more powerful," she says.

Miss Radley won about NZD$8000, jewellery, a trophy and was also crowned Miss Friendship. Filipino Bea Rose Santiago, who was also Miss Radley's roommate, won Miss International 2013.

The contest was broadcast on video streaming website UStream.

Miss Radley says she is retiring from pageants and wants to help young women entering the industry.

She hopes to run workshops for aspiring contestants.

Email caseyradley92@ gmail.com to register interest.

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- North Shore Times

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