New beauty queen comes from humble roots
This year’s Miss Uncensored News Thailand has won admiration for admitting her mother collects rubbish for a living and they live in a slum.
Khanittha “Mint’’ Phasaeng, 17, won the beauty pageant held for the first time by the magazine Exclusive Star. The contest, held on Sept 25 at the Imperial World Department Store, is open to both women and transgenders. One of its purposes is to promote samesex partnerships.
Khanittha’s story became known after the Facebook page, Feel 96.5 Rayong, published photos of the young woman, wearing the contest crown and sash, paying respect to her mother by prostrating at her feet.
Khanittha said she finished school at Matthayom 6 because her family is poor, according to local media. Her mother collects and recycles rubbish to make a living. She also sells secondhand clothes.
Khanittha said she helps her mother out whenever she has a chance.
“I probably started to help my mother collect rubbish when I was in primary school,’’ Khanittha said in a report at Thai Rath Online.
She has never been teased by friends, and nor does she feel ashamed about her mother’s profession either.
“I am very proud of it. It is an honest profession. I can grow up, have enough to eat and was able to finish school because my rubbish-collecting mother supported me,’’ Khanittha said.
She added her mother separated from her father when she was young. Her mother has since remarried.
Khanittha said she often helps her mother separating the garbage for resale. She said they earn a few hundred baht each time.
“It is probably not much for other people but for my mother and I, every single baht that we earn is precious,’’ Khanittha said.
She said she plans to continue her study at college as soon as she saves enough money.
Khanittha said she never expected to be crowned the winner.
“It felt like a dream when the result was announced,’’ Khanittha told MThai.
“I was overjoyed. I never thought an ordinary girl like me could become a beauty queen,’’ she said.
Asked why she chose the contest even though it is little known and a relatively small event, Khanittha said she liked the idea of giving equal chances to both women and transgenders.
The newly crowned Miss Uncensored News added her mother turned up at the contest to give her moral support and cried with delight when she won.
Khanittha would like her life story to offer hope for other people.
“Some people may feel discouraged. They may think their lives are terrible. I would like to tell them to fight on. Don’t despair. There is no poverty if we work hard,’’ Ms Khanittha said.