I am 4ft11, size 10 (depending on the shop) and shop in Primark, H&M and New Look usually. Oh and to top it off I am in a wheelchair! Not your usual contestant, you would think. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Which is why …
I am a contestant in Miss Bristol 2017.
Let’s get the sob story out of the way first. In honesty I was never able to accept how I look. I’ve got scars, blemishes, I’m under 5 foot and use a wheelchair. I thought all these things, especially the scars, made me unattractive. Now that I’m older, and dare I say wiser, I have realised that a quote from my favourite film, Beauty and the Beast, is right. "For beauty is found within".
On the outside my scars may be unattractive in my eyes, underneath that they tell a story of what I have been through. They say that I made it through and I am stronger for it (The height restriction and wheelchair come as part of that package). I may be branded “disabled” but I have never been unable to do the things I want to in life. I will find a way to do anything because I believe the only limits are the ones you set yourself, and I won’t do that for myself.
As for the blemishes, they are imperfections, but nobody is perfect. I am normal and natural. Now I’m not saying this next part because I necessarily believe it, but I am always told how “enchanting” my eyes are. So when people look at my face they don’t see the blemishes, the imperfections, they see my eyes (which my Nan says can tell you everything).
My attributes that I have mentioned above are exactly why I have entered as a contestant in Miss Bristol 2017. I don’t know about ALL wheelies, but I know when it comes to my appearance I have always felt like we can’t compete with people like that. Now I haven’t really entered to compete (but I am an athlete underneath all this so may be part of me is feeling competitive). I am doing this to raise awareness. To show people that beauty isn’t always black and white, there is a grey/coloured area too.
Actually the dictionary definition of beauty is “a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight”. If you read that again, and read it closely, you’ll see that it doesn’t really say about how you look necessarily. It’s more than that ...
Hands up, part of me is really nervous about this and is wondering if I have made a bad decision, but the other part of me is feeling almost empowered. If by doing this I open people's eyes to a different type of beauty and encourage other people like me to follow in my umm … what can I say instead of footsteps … but you know what I mean!
So here’s the part I’m shy about … to have a chance at recognition for doing this (and for a chance of winning) I need people to vote for me. But not just for me, but for all the people like me who don’t have the courage to do these sort of things yet, but hopefully by seeing this will!
Please visit the Miss England website via this link: http://www.missengland.info/regionals/bristolavon to find out how you can vote for me.