Published May 6, 2023 10:39 a.m. ET
Updated May 6, 2023 3:38 p.m. ET
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Nineteen-year-old Rebecca Drouin says she never saw herself as a pageant queen — but this winter took home the Miss Windsor crown and punched her ticket to the Miss Universe Canada competition in the summer.
Having only competed in one pageant before claiming the Miss Windsor 2023 title, Drouin says the old beauty pageant might not be what you expect.
“There’s a big stereotype around pageantry but I think it’s so inspiring for Windsor and for our local queens,” she says.
“We really show people what we’re about and what we have to offer our community.”
Drouin says she has learned a lot about Windsor and Canada as a whole since signing up for her first competition, crowned first runner-up Miss Tecumseh last August.
However, while putting on the gowns and taking to the stage herself might be new, it was her sister who introduced her to the pageant game at a young age.
“I remember being a little girl watching her in the audience and I thought she was the biggest princess ever,” says Drouin.
For the first time, the Miss Universe Canada pageant will be held in Vancouver this August, as opposed to Toronto.
Drouin says that only adds to her anticipation, as she’s never been to the city before.
The winner of that competition goes on to represent Canada at the Miss Universe pageant – watched by millions worldwide every year.
“I’m very excited and grateful,” she says.
When she’s not preparing, Drouin’s a bartender in the city.
She’s also preparing to study medical esthetics at St. Clair College this fall, hoping to someday own her own medical spa.
She says she’d tell any young girl considering giving pageants a try: “Do it.”
“Even if it feels uncomfortable, because even now sometimes I don’t feel the most comfortable but I learn and grow from it.”
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Rebecca Drouin, Miss Windsor, in Windsor, Ont. on Friday, May 5, 2023. (Travis Fortnum/CTV Windsor)
Rebecca Drouin crowned Miss Windsor. (Source: Edwin Tam)