A glamorous postgraduate student is paying her way through university — by strutting her stuff as a beauty queen.
Instead of taking on a part-time job in a bar or supermarket, 22-year-old Lana Elaine Fraser is sashaying down the catwalk to pay off her student loans.
The student has beaten off competition from 1,000 contestants to make her pageant debut in next month’s Miss Galaxy Scotland after being crowned Miss Edinburgh City Galaxy.
If she wins the UK final, she will jet off to Orlando, Florida, where she will stay in a luxury hotel and take part in the world famous Galaxy International Pageant.
Lana graduated from Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a degree in traditional music and is now studying a masters degree in music therapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.
She said: “At the moment I’m doing a masters degree which is a two-year course. It’s not funded so I’m trying to pay that off as well as make a living to pay for standard living costs.
“I’m hoping that by modelling, performing, composing, teaching and selling my art I’ll get through the course.”
The talented musician, who plays accordion and piano in an award-winning folk quartet called Gria, was shortlisted after submitting a portfolio from a photo shoot.
But the beauty queen scene will be a bit of a change for the student, who will have to pose in front of judges in just a bikini during the Scottish final.
She said: “I have never had to walk on a stage without having an instrument in front of me.”
Lana hopes the pageant will also be a platform for her to raise awareness of issues and charities that are important to her.
She also felt the stereotype that beauty pageants are for “airheads” and are demeaning to women was unfair.
She added: “The girls I’ve spoken to are well-rounded, hard-working individuals who aren’t just skating by on their looks.
“Many of them are very successful in their varying lines of work and have done a lot of work for charities too.
“I don’t think it’s fair to cast judgement just because they are competing in a beauty pageant. Just because it is a beauty pageant doesn’t mean they are airheads or bimbos.”
Event director Holly Ilkin said pageants had moved on in the past 30 years and had become “much more about the personality inside”.
She said: “We are not looking for the next Katie Price. Lana studied at university and she’s naturally pretty. It’s not all about hair and make-up.
“Lana has studied music therapy and she’s in a band. It’s nice to be well-rounded in that respect and that’s what we encourage.”
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