It all started with this fiery little red head or Fireball ( as my mum would call me...and still does).
Because I was born with the genetic makeup to have red hair, it opened up a world of torment from children and adults as I got older. I was bullied throughout school due to something I couldn’t change. My mum was my rock and was so inspiring throughout my school years, despite battling demons of her own.
I gradually gained weight through my teenage years and even coloured my hair, so the bullies could only focus on one thing to “label” me as. I brushed it all off and decided I wasn’t going to let someone’s words and actions dictate to how I live my life. I took on the mindset of Everybody is UNIQUE! I started to enjoy life and slowly started to build my confidence up.
My world was turned upside down when I was 17, two policemen knocked on my door and informed me that my mum had gone missing after seeing a Doctor saying she would take her life. After an hour the police found my mum and she was sectioned. This was when I suddenly had my younger brother and sister to look after and support my mum when she returned home. A week later my mum returned home and it has been a huge battle for her but 8 years on she is still fighting her demons and continues to inspire me to be as strong as she is everyday.
So how did I come to apply for Miss Voluptuous do you say?
Well, the answer is my Mum Sharon. She encouraged me to build my confidence up a little and go to my first ever plus sized event, The Curve Fashion Festival. Of course, Mum joined me as I was terrified of being judged, but she reassured me, reminded me of my motto and we did it! There I met Queens from another system and they encouraged me to do something different that would put me outside of my comfort zone; this is when I came across Miss Voluptuous.
I read all about the system and loved the fact that the ladies competing had a platform which they could raise important awareness. I read the website over a course of a week and spoke to my mum at great lengths about applying. That’s when I completed the application form and spoke about what my platform would be - Inclusiveness for all; nobody should be discriminated against. 'Everyone is unique' is a phrase I regularly use and say it’s my life motto.
When I got the email saying I’d been accepted as a finalist, I screamed the house down, I couldn’t control my excitement and the feeling of success (just for being accepted)!
There was a few tears and now I have started my pageant journey I have met some amazing new people who I have the pleasure of calling my pageant family.