On July 30, 23-year-old Anna Suengam-iam was bestowed the honour of being Miss Universe Thailand 2022. While many people dismissed the title as a normal achievement presented to an intelligent and elegant lady, there was in fact an inspiring rags to riches backstory for the recently-crowned Miss Universe Thailand.
She was dubbed “Miss Garbage” because of her parent’s professions
Before she took the stage at the Miss Universe Thailand 2022 beauty pageant, Anna grew up in a poor family who struggled to make ends meet. She revealed to the Thai media that both of her parents worked as Bangkok Metropolitan Administration garbage collectors. Because of their careers, she was once given the nickname “Miss Garbage” when she was young.
According to Thai PBS World, Anna quoted that she did not have the chance to play like other kids during her childhood because her parents had to work from 3 am until 7 pm. She could not even play with normal toys as her parents had to salvage most of her toys from garbage and repaired them for her. The only quality time she had with her parents was when her father took her out to ride around in the garbage truck.
As she grew older, Anna’s parents were unable to take care of her so they sent her to her grandmother, whom she regarded as an important figure in her life. She told Thai PBS World that they had to survive on food bought from alms given to monks by members of the public. She mentioned that her grandmother taught her Buddhist teachings during her childhood years, and she still followed them to this day.
The road to Miss Universe Thailand
Although her childhood was filled with many hardships, she never backed down and fought her way through it. She managed to obtain a Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science of Kasetsart University. Not only did she prove herself to be intelligent, Anna also proved her confidence by participating in many beauty pageants.
Prior to Miss Universe Thailand 2022, Anna took part in Miss Mobile Thailand 2018 and Miss Beautiful Thailand 2020 pageants, in which she won the former. Her perseverance led her to her dream pageant, where she competed against other 28 gorgeous contenders. Many Thai netizens believed that it would be difficult for her to win the pageant since she was not mixed-blood or as the Thai called “luk khrueng” (half Thai). However, this did not sway her confidence at all.
“Yes, I saw such comments. Some members of my team showed them to me, but I didn’t feel anything. I think I will do my best. I think being luk khrueng or not is not the main criteria to being chosen as Miss Thailand Universe,” she said to the media.
The show started with 29 contenders, then after rounds of elimination left 5 worthy finalists: Nicolene Limsnukan, Kanyalak Nookaew, Suchata Chuangsri, Renita Veronica Pagano and Anna Suengam-iam. In the end, she was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2022, a title she has fought hard for after years of tribulations.
When the media asked her to give a word of encouragement to those who are suffering around the world,
she urged them to keep on fighting.
“You’re not the only ones facing despair. I used to be in despair too. We learn from our troubles to adapt and survive. I would call on all of you to have confidence in yourselves and rise to fight again. If I can, so can you.”
Congratulations, Ms Suengam-iam for winning such an honorary title! Your story is an inspiration for all of us, and we wish you luck for the upcoming 71st Miss Universe Pageant.