During high-school, she was bullied for being too skinny and wearing braces.
Now West Leederville beauty Ashleigh Munro-Smith has had the last laugh, after being crowned Miss Hawaiian Tropic Australia, the nation’s longest running swimwear-based model search.
“Growing up, I was the ugly duckling at school,” she said.
“I can laugh about it now, but I had it a little tough.
“I was picked on by boys for being too skinny and girls would pass notes about me and put them on my desk.
“Year 12 was actually the worst year of my life.”
The 25 year-old beat 22 other stunning women in the final on the Gold Coast on Friday night.
She also won the Miss Photogenic category and $5000 worth of prizes including cash and an all-expenses-paid trip to the US.
This year alone, she has won Miss Motorvation 2013 and is one of the 24 state finalists in this year's Miss Universe WA.
Employed as a VIP host in the private gaming rooms at Crown Perth, Munro-Smith said beauty competitions have helped boost her confidence.
“Never in a million years could I have stepped out on stage in a bikini or talked confidently on a microphone,” she said.
“I wouldn’t even put up my hand up in class to answer a question because I didn’t want anyone to look at me - the thought of it made me sick.”
But she now has some advice for other victims of bullying.
“Don’t let your past be an excuse for your future,” she said.
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