WA beauty defies pageant odds
Stephanie Trinh. Picture: Dionne Davidson/The West Australian

While many beauty-pageant hopefuls enter their first quest while still in their teens, Stephanie Trinh has bucked the trend by making her debut at the age of 28.

But so far, age has proved no obstacle, with the Manning bombshell landing a spot in the WA State finals for Miss Galaxy 2014.

A pharmacy student studying for her masters degree who also juggles work in pathology by day, Trinh has always harboured an interest in modelling and told Access All Areas she had put off entering the pageant world for too long.

"I have had friends say 'You're too old to do this'," Trinh said. "That's not true. It doesn't matter how old you are, it's how you feel. If you feel like doing it and you're ready for it, who can stop you?"

Trinh, who is of Chinese, Cambodian and Vietnamese heritage, plans to use the contest as a means to promote cultural awareness and healthcare in developing countries.

But rather than just putting her medical knowledge to use, the brainy beauty said she would like to educate others in areas such as self-confidence and mental wellbeing.

"Health has a lot of aspects - it's also the mind," Trinh said.

"It starts with how you see yourself and see others. I want to be able to give people the view that there is hope no matter what situation they are in."

In the lead-up to the Miss Galaxy WA finals on January 23, Trinh admitted she had encountered people who thought pageants were all about glittering tiaras and spangled dresses.

The *Curtin University *student said it was just a case of proving to people it is inner beauty that counts most.

"I know it does look like it is the prettiest girl who wins because on the day you are all glammed up," Trinh said.

"But the truth is, it takes a lot of strength and courage to be able to stand out there and fight for a cause, which is, from my point of view, health."

The West Australian

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