As part of a military family that moved around a lot, Amber Hart felt the community was always accepting of differences, until she moved to Revelstoke.
“In the high school my experience was ‘well you’re not tall, skinny, tan go away’,” she said.
With that came a lot of issues with self confidence. But her mom was always there to lift her up, reminding her that it isn’t what others think that matter but what Hart thought.
With that newly developing confidence, Hart competed in the last Miss Revelstoke ambassador program and travelled around the province to other cities with leadership programs.
Hart said that the best part was talking to the little girls who were in awe that she was a princess and telling them that they could be princesses as well.
Now, more than five years later, Hart is competing in the Miss Canada Globe competition in Toronto in August.
“They are focusing on women who are confident and beautiful in their own way,” she said. “They don’t care about how tall you are, what size pants you wear, they just want to see how confident you are in what you do.”
The pageant runs August 15-17. Hart said the first few days will be training.
“This is how you’re going to model, this is how you’re going to speak to the judges, just our general training,” she said.
The pageant begins with regional assessments where titles like Miss Southern BC and Miss Vancouver will be awarded.
In the days following they will be appearing around Toronto, including fun activities like visiting the CN Tower and going to a karaoke bar.
The pageant will continue in the last few days with the evening gowns and talent competition followed by the crowning of Miss Canada Globe.
Should Hart win, she will be advocating for the Canadian Celiac Association, as she has celiac disease.
“Last summer I was diagnosed with celiac disease, a gastro-intestinal autoimmune disease that, basically I am gluten free for the rest of my life, right down to my toothpaste and my hand lotion, not just what I eat,” she said.
Though there are many people with the disease the funding for research is slim, she said, and the public understanding of the disease isn’t really there.
In her Miss Revelstoke days it was about winning the crown, now it is more about the experience and friendships for Hart.
“I want to show that you can be a size 16 and still do a beauty pageant, that you can still bring home a title, even if it’s not necessarily the national title,” she said. “I would be happy if I came home as Miss Southern BC because I’ve shown people that it doesn’t matter what size you are, it doesn’t matter where your from or what background you’re from.”