The Chic Edit sat down with Claire Parker to learn more about this pageant queen’s life. Parker showed us there’s another side to the polished pageant girl and revealed her free-spirited personality along with her self-proclaimed goofiness. We got to delve into what drives Parker and her passion to educate young women about self-confidence and self-belief as well as her aspirations to put her focus towards humanitarian work in the world.
Describe yourself in five words.
Determined, intelligent, goofy, affectionate, charismatic.
How did you begin modelling?
When I was 18 I entered my first beauty pageant – miss teen Australia. I’d never modelled or anything like that before but I’d always dreamt of being Miss Universe so my mum thought it would be a good first pageant to enter. I never expected to win it and I was offered a modelling contract through that!
Have taken on any studies?
I began studying a bachelor of design in fashion and textiles at UTS, after my second year I deferred to instead go and study my certificate of screen and stage acting at the actors college of theatre and television.
How will /do you use your degree?
I still like to design and make my own evening gowns, particularly my gowns for beauty pageants but acting definitely was much more my passion and definitely what I see myself doing long term. The acting training crosses over nicely with both my modelling and pageant careers because, aside from straight acting auditions, a lot of the skills you learn, like stage presence, self confidence etc. can be applied across all industries.
Do you have a career outside of modelling?
I suppose 8 years of judging and competing in beauty pageants could be considered a career.
Can you describe any highlights/accomplishments of this career?
Winning miss Grand international 2015 was the best highlight of my pageant career.
What do you plan on pursing after modelling?
Acting has always been my dream, I’ve dipped my toe into it a bit and done a number of short training courses but I’d really like to dedicate more time to pursuing this in the next few months and years!
Do you have any special skills/hobbies?
I come from a very musical family, I’ve been playing the piano over 20 years, taught myself the guitar 10 years ago, I’ve sung all my life, once upon a time I wanted to get into musical theatre but I’m not a very strong dancer ha ha, so set my sights more on a film and television acting career! I’m very creative and have always loved creating, whether it’s writing, sewing, painting etc. this has always been much more of a focus for me.
Have you ever won any awards?
Plenty of pageant titles!
Miss teen Australia 2009
Miss university Australia 2010
Miss world supermodel Australia first runner up 2011
Miss China Australia international tourism Australian finalist 2012
Cosmopolitan model search winner 2013
Miss universe Australia top 10 national finalists 2011 and 2015
Miss Grand Australia 2015
Miss Grand international 2015
Also have won loads of awards in public speaking and debating, sports etc. but that was all back in school.
Do you write music or play in a band?
I used to, I played in punk rock bands as a teen/in my early twenties, we wrote some of our own material and performed at school but that was it ha ha
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
I guess it would have to be winning miss Grand International, it’s considered the third largest beauty pageant in the world and is a huge achievement especially for an Australian considering I am only the second Australian woman to win a grand slam world beauty pageant title after Jennifer Hawkins.
What have been the highlights of your modelling career?
Getting to work overseas! I’ve done 5 contracts in Japan, spent some time in Thailand last year and soon am moving to LA to model, it’s definitely the highlight I love that my job takes me all over the world.
What are you most passionate about?
That’s a tough one – I’m passionate about a lot of things, I guess at my core I care very deeply about making a positive change in the world. It can be very overwhelming sometimes how much pain and suffering is happening in the world and being helpless to assist. I was able to partake in some small humanitarian trips during my reign as Miss Grand International and it was incredibly rewarding. Unfortunately since handing over my title and returning to normal life, it has been harder to gain any traction on these efforts but I’d love to be able to make a difference and influence others to step up and help out too.
What is your life philosophy?
Oh I have so many – mostly don’t be afraid to try anything once and do whatever you want to do always, as long as it’s not hurting anyone else. You only get one life so experience it to the absolute fullest and don’t let anyone or anything hold you back.