Nikhil Goyal once represented Liverpool Youth Council but is now parading in pageant costumes on stage.
The Liverpool resident, 20, recently entered Mr India Australia 2018 where he placed as first runner-up and won the title of Mr Top Model 2018.
Nikhil told us he decided to enter beauty pageants because he’s on a mission to change stereotypes and help promote education in developing areas.
“I was born in India and came to Australia when I was 3. The last few years I’ve realised how fortunate I am to have parents who’ve supported me throughout my whole education. If I can, I want to share the same opportunities with children missing out. Some are orphaned who don’t have basic parental support,” he said.
“I want to open schools in places such as rural Mumbai through charity. From my experiences, I found education is such an essential tool for anyone to succeed in life. It helps to solve social problems and I believe it can change the world.
“I’ll be looking to take this to an organisation and I’m hoping they’ll partner with me and give me the money to support this cause.”
His plan is enter in international pageants so his voice can be heard far and wide.
“I’m hoping to compete in the Philippines in October in Mr Supermodel Universe.
“I feel like I get to express myself through this platform. I want to break stereotypes attached to different ethnicities. Through this I won’t just change Indian stereotypes but I’m hoping to motivate others.
“A lot of Indian men are conservative. Traditionally, we’re brought up to be focused on family and producing a good income. I think that’s important but not everyone has to be a doctor or an accountant.”
We asked him why he chose pageants of all platforms.
“Being a person of reserved nature, I wanted to put myself out there. I want people to understand the reason I’m doing this – I know in beauty pageants men aren’t the dominant gender but I believe we deserve equal opportunities.
“It’s a competition open to anyone – queer or straight. And I think unlike female beauty pageants, I’ve found there was a range of different men entering these pageant, it’s not just about physical appearance. You don’t have to be super built!”
He said the key to success was balance.
“There’s a lot of vanity in society. We need to be more accepting of each other. Our physical appearance changes over time, that’s the inevitable truth.
“We should work on being global citizens and help each other out. Being self obsessed is not a good thing. It’s possible to be in a pageant and have balance!”