Anna Sueangam-iam, 23, was crowned Miss Thailand last weekend. As a little girl she could never have dreamed that. Because of the profession of her parents – both garbage collectors – Anna was bullied and called ‘Miss Garbage’.
Anna didn’t have the same privileged childhood that many of her beauty pageant contestants did. Her parents worked from 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. As a result, they could not take good care of her. One of the few times she was able to leave the house with them was when she went for a ride on her father’s garbage truck. She spent the rest of the time at home alone, with toys her parents had rescued from the dump.
Because her parents couldn’t take good care of her, Anna’s grandmother eventually took over. Nevertheless, it remained a struggle to get food on the table. Therefore, the family depended on donations.
After participating in several beauty pageants, Anna managed to beat 28 other candidates in the Miss Universe Thailand pageant on July 30. It was a dream come true for her. Especially because her chances on social media were estimated to be low in advance because unlike many other candidates, she is not of mixed origin.
Anna tells the media that she believes that everyone can be successful, regardless of your past. To those who are now in the same underprivileged situation as she used to be, she says: “You are not alone in dealing with despair. I was also driven to despair. Through our problems we learn to adapt and adapt. survive. I would tell everyone to trust yourself and stand up to fight. If I can do it, so can you.”
This December, Anna will represent Thailand during the 71st edition of the Miss Universe pageant.
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