The 'Miss Wheelchair World' Pageant Recently Crowned Its First Winner

"We change the image and the attitude for the disabled."

As we are making progress in expanding our definition of beauty to include people of all backgrounds and abilities, the beauty pageant industry is keeping up. In the past, pageants have been known for promoting a very stringent set of ideals, but more recently we've seen ones celebrating people for their achievements, different types of beauty, and for bringing awareness to an important cause. India's first transgender beauty pageant, and the first-ever albinism beauty pageant in Kenya are brilliant examples.

Now, another pageant celebrating beauty of all abilities has hit the scene. It's called the Miss Wheelchair World pageant, and it recently crowned its first-ever winner. 



Aleksandra Chichikova, a 23-year-old student from Belarus, was crowned the winner of Miss Wheelchair World after competing in Poland against 23 other women from around the world. 

Previously, there were four versions of the Miss Poland Wheelchair pageant, but this marks the first time the pageant went global. The event was put on by the city of Warsaw and The Only One Foundation, an organization founded by two woman with differing abilities who want to break down barriers for others like them. 

The Only One Foundation states the pageant's mission is to "change the image and the attitude for the disabled all around the world." Their principle aims for the pageant are to change the image of women with disabilities, to break down barriers, to have integration of environments of persons with disability in the whole world, to facilitate the exchange of information on the newest scientific and medical achievements, and to show that disabilities are not a limitation.

Chichikova's contestant profile reads, "I am convinced my life can illustrate that a person may be successful, strong, purpose-driven, beautiful, and attractive regardless of how he moves."

See the video below to find out more about the pageant:

(H/T: ABC)

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