Ellen Aragay, First Papuan to Represent Indonesia in International Beauty Pageant

Ellen Rachel Aragay, a West Papuan English teacher, represents Indonesia in the Face of Beauty International 2018 in India, 7-17 September 2018. She was the first runner up of the 2014 Miss Indonesia and by participating in the beauty contest, she hopes to bring campaign to stop domestic abuse.

“We will campaign on how to stop violence against women both in the household and in relationships,” Ellen told Ata Hasegem, who interviewed her for BBC Indonesia.

The Face of Beauty International was known as Miss Teen Face of Beauty International and first held in 2012. This contest aims to share the visions and ideas of women throughout the world, according to her who was an alumni of International Miracle Institute in Florida. She also competed in the last ASEAN Basketball Cup in 2018.

Her experiences as a teacher also give her an important role to elevate education in Papua particularly through English education.

According to Ellen, her participation in the beauty contest confirms that Papuan or Melanesian are equal to other people.

“We are the same, have competitiveness, achievement, and creativity that are not inferior to other people in the world. Like intellectual intelligence and the ability to socialize,” she said.

Ellen said that her participation in this contest was also a kind of personal achievement. She told that she was once a victim of bullying when she was in junior high school because of her physical appearance. Because of that, she once didn’t want to go to school for about three months. But then she used it as a motivation for her success.

“I struggled, Then I was able to I graduated with good grades. So I proved,” she said while laughing.

 

Source: BBC Indonesia

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