One Miss Waimarama hopeful wants to show that you don't have to be a stereotypical beach babe to strut the catwalk with confidence.
Former Tamatea Head Girl Casey Petersen, 19, had previously dabbled with the idea of entering, but didn't believe she could do it, until now.
"I have told myself every year that I'm going to enter, but this year I am actually going through with it," she said. "In the last year I have become a lot more confident."
Working as an apprentice tattoo artist at Spacifik Ink in Napier, Ms Petersen has acquired her fair share of skin art and enjoys expressing herself by frequently changing the colour of her hair.
"It's purple at the moment," she says and laughs.
"Being a tattooist, I do have quite a few tatts, but I just want to get up there and show people they don't make me a horrible person."
While she had the support and encouragement of friends and family, it was a boost of inner confidence that pushed her to give it a go.
"Looking at past winners, the wholesome beach babe always wins, but I just want to get over that and just do it."
A self-confessed, "natural-born talker", she wasn't worried about being asked tricky questions by judges on the day.
"As head girl, I got pretty used to being in front of people."
She wouldn't be going all out on hair and make-up, opting to style herself, but did have a new bikini for the occasion.
Ms Petersen said she followed her passion for art and began training as a tattooist after missing out on NCEA Level 3 by a few marks after suffering from an illness that year.