Pageant winner inspiring with words of wisdom
FREELANCE make-up artist Suzi Dent spent years making other people look glamorous and feel good about themselves and now it's her turn.
Gold Coaster Suzi, 56, - who has never been a model or into dresses and had a "complete fear of frocks" until less than a handful of years ago - was named Mrs Earth Health in 2017 and has never looked back.
And now she is taking the next step, setting herself up as a professional public speaker along with friend and fellow international pageant winner Robyn Canner - when Robyn gets back from appearing on the Ellen Show in the US that is.
Robyn, 60, was crowned Ms World mid-year, despite competing against women in their 20s.
"I met Robbie 18 months ago when I was crowned the first Mrs Earth Australia we both knew straight away that we were into the same thing - aging with a positive mindset," Suzi explained.
"And as I've become an inspirational speaker I love to be able to talk to people about not letting their generational mindset and their limiting self-belief stop them from achieving things and to say yes to opportunities.
"Both Robbie and I competed against women who we could have given birth to so age is just a number."
For both women pageantry has been a game-changer - a life changer - at a time when they needed it both. Robyn, a massage therapist who has operated her home business for the past 33 years, turned to pageantry after her beloved son died at 22 from non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma seven years ago. While she was no stranger to modelling, Suzi was used to being on the other side of the make-up brush an was surprised when she was approached by the people behind the pageants in Australia to take part. She said at the time her husband was suffering from depression and her own self esteem was at a low ebb and despite anxieties about doing she decided to give it a go. Since then she has been changing her life (and that of her family) "one frock at a time"
"I was a bit of a tom boy for decades, I've dressed down I've worn shorts and runners I never wore dresses, never wore high heels shoes, completely covered myself up. So, for me it was a really big challenge to overcome my fear of frocks and my low self esteem to be honest because confidence and self esteem are two entirely different things.
"I think I was born with bucketloads of confidence but not the self esteem but not the self esteem to wear a frock so doing that really changed my entire life. I sorted out my self esteem one frock at a time and then I competed against women and went into a pageant - something I would never have dreamed of doing except they came to me.
"My husband has brownie points now because he's married to a beauty queen - I love using the sash and the crown when I go out and do speaking gigs, they are a really great prop. People come up to me and I'm wearing the crown - it's a great conversation starter.
For more information go to, Suzident.com.