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A 17-year-old Thai beauty pageant winner went back to her hometown after her contest to kneel before her single mother, who collected and recycled trash to raise her.
The beauty queen, Khanittha “Mint” Phasaeng, won the title of Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 last month, according to the People’s Daily Online.
A photograph of the young woman in her tiara, sash and heels kneeling at her mother’s feet in front of garbage bins touched hearts everywhere. She thanked her mother, who raised her single-handedly, for her hard work and sacrifice.
Mint was neither ashamed nor embarrassed by her mother’s work, DramaFever News reported. “What I have today is because of my mother. She and I make a living by doing honest work, so there is no reason why I should feel inferior.”
The humble beauty pageant winner grew up helping her mother recycle trash and work menial jobs. She reminisced: “When the referee announced the winner it felt like a dream. I thought how can an ordinary girl like me be a beauty queen.”
The Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 pageant, which took place on September 25, is open to women and transgenders.
Mint grew up in poverty, and her family was unable to afford her college education after she finished high school. Her parents separated when she was young, but her mother has since remarried, according to the Bangkok Post.
“All I have accomplished today is because of my mother’s hard work.”
The beauty pageant winner has since been approached for work in advertising, television and film.