INNER beauty matters more than outward appearances.
That's the message 19-year-old Titilia Roganivatu wants to advocate during the University of Fiji Sugar Festival that starts in Lautoka today.
Representing Wilderness Amusements and Rides, Ms Roganivatu said she agreed to become a contestant just as a fun venture but realised it could provide a platform to highlight issues close to her heart.
"When I signed up to be a contestant, I was just doing it for fun but when I was chosen I noticed that some of these pageants usually have slim girls as contestants," she said.
"After seriously thinking about it, I realised I could represent girls who think they are too big for these kind of things.
"I want to tell those young girls that size does not matter and if they want to be part of something like this, then they should go ahead and do it."
Ms Roganivatu wants to advocate the appreciation of self-image.
"I was watching one of the films shown at the FNU film festival that focused on teenage suicides.
"I believe that for some teenagers, not being comfortable with the way they look is a contributor to something like suicide.
"Some girls starve themselves and they go to extreme lengths to improve their image but what I want to highlight is that people need to be comfortable with who they are and how they look."
The former Wanganui City College graduate said teens did not need to change the way they look just to fit in.
"Every human being is unique in their own way and people should celebrate their uniqueness."