Miss Plus Size UK Finals

Miss Plus Size UK Finals

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The build up

Entering the green room surrounded by makeup, curing tongs and fancy dresses I felt so excited about being the capable hands of my makeup and hair girls; Chiara and Laura, I couldn’t wait for them to transform me into a Rock chick, a mermaid and a Princess.

In the blink of an eye, and the sweep of powder brushes, we were being told that it would soon be time to make our way to the stage for the first round; Casual Wear. Everyone looked awesome, exhibiting the individuality in our styles, so many nice outfits in one place!!

Round One: Casual

I can safely say that I was nervous as hell lining up to go on the stage for the first round. As we stood backstage we could hear the crowd out the front, and all knew that somewhere in that crowd was a friend or family member waiting to cheer us on, and for us to make proud.

The words….and next we have Michelle Carter….have never set my nerves off so much as I stood in the spotlight…well I managed to get down the catwalk and surprisingly even smiled at the end, this is no mean feat when all you are doing is concentrating on not tripping over your own feet!!

Me

Round Two: Swimwear

I think this was either the most exciting or most nerve wracking round for most people, I was so excited about this round as I had decided to wear something a little different, I took my inspiration from Disney’s The Little Mermaid to go with my red hair, and was transformed into a mermaid. I loved it! I designed my outfit and with the help of my wonderful mother we were able to make an outfit, armed with a bubble gun I was giddy walking down the catwalk feeling a lot more relaxed and enjoying the experience!

meswim

 

Round 3: Evening Wear and questions

Whilst our families and friends were having a drink or two we were whipping off our clothes and donning our final outfits and I can honestly say that I have never seen such a lovely array of eveningwear. This was it the final round, the last chance to enjoy the experience of walking out there, last chance to appeal to the judges and a chance for our views to be listening to.

meeve

One by one we walked out in our dresses, and answered two questions and then took to the catwalk for the final time.

My questions –

  1. What changes would you like to see in the plus size industry?

Answer: I would really like to see the larger end of the plus size range represented in fashion models, it would be nice to see people up to maybe a size 28 in clothes rather than brands only using up to a size 18.

  1. What would you say to anyone thinking of applying for Miss Plus Size UK?

Answer: Go for it. You will have a great time, gain new friends and self-confidence, and have loads of fun along the way

On my walk down the catwalk this time I felt amazing in my dress, with amazing hair and makeup, gliding and twirling like the princess I never thought I could be. I knew my friends and family were out there; I could hear them cheering me on and saw them by the stage. Not only that but having people from the other groups of people cheering you on such an amazing feeling.

That was it, it was all over, we had all done amazingly to get out on stage and show everyone who we were.

The Results

For this, we all lined up behind the stage, myself, Laura, Elizabeth, Sophie and Helen held linked hands down one end of the line and all of us waited with anticipation as names were read out.

winners

As I am sure most had, I had made my predictions, some of which came to fruition and some didn’t, the winner, Jodie Folley was crowned and this ending was just the beginning for those who won, all gaining modelling contracts with Pose Plus Models……as for the rest of us? Well I am sure and have already been proved right…that this won’t be the last you hear of any of us…..watch this space…Plus Size Industry….we’re coming for you!!!

Congratulations to all our other Lovely Winners:

1st Runner Up: Sophie Wilson

2nd Runner Up: Jo Frost

3rd Place: Leah Deacon

4th Place: Elizabeth Bowman

Miss Personality: Jo Frost

Miss Congeniality & Miss Photogenic: Roberta Moore-Wilson

Special note: I would like to mention someone for achieving something that should be mentioned and should be celebrated. One of the contestants managed to do some amazing fundraising during the year long process, and raised over £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Charity, so Jodie Hughes I think you’re a star for doing this and I know that you will continue with charity work in years to come. Well done 🙂

JH3

Second special note: I would also like to mention the two girls that kept me sane, and made me feel like a million dollars throughout the evening. Not only did they do my hair and makeup, they helped me in and out of every outfit, kept me calm and encouraged me every step of the way, not just on the night, but for the last 12 months of this journey. Chiara and Laura, I love you two girls and you are both awesome women!

MUAs

Last (I promise) special note: To all those who organised and helped out with the running and planning of the pageant, Linda and her team, the Judges, Mary, our Presenter, The Paradise Guys and last but by no means least our Awesome mentors Sian and Cathryn, thank you for all the support and encouragement that you have given each and every one of us along the way.

 

SCMLCJudges

All Photos courtesy of PK Photography

 

 

I’ll be back 🙂

-ShellyC

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Boot Camp for Miss Plus Size UK

The Finalists

The Finalists

Day 1

As I set off with fear that I had forgotten to pack something that I would no doubt need, I was excited about getting to meet all the girls I hadn’t yet met and seeing those that I had. I must add I was also slightly apprehensive about how we would all get on and what lie ahead over the next 3 days.

En-route I stopped off to pick up 3 girls also travelling to boot camp, and it was great to meet up with them on the way and it made the journey much more fun.

Upon arrival, a few people had beaten us across the line and after we had unloaded the car we were given the keys to our rooms. We had all been allocated rooms, to share with others that we hadn’t necessarily spent any great amount of time with to ensure that we all got to know different people.

Room Mates

Room Mates

Once settled we were all to meet downstairs for champagne and introductions. Before this though everyone was mingling , it was noisy and excitement and anticipation filled the air, people were greeting those they knew like old friends and introducing themselves to those they hadn’t, this is it I thought, this is why I entered this pageant to meet all these wonderful and individual girls that had one common goal – empowerment!

The Group

The Group

We had a bit of a fun get to know you session and heard many different reasons for people entering into this pageant, from those that saw this as a platform to launch a modelling career, to those who wanted to inspire and encourage others and meet like-minded people, and those that wanted to increase their own confidence

The management team talked us through some information about how the rest of the weekend was going to unfold. After this we had a buffet dinner all together. People congregated in groups, catching up or getting to know one another and the night was topped off with a few drinks and a lot of laughter.

Day 2

So today was all about the catwalk, today we would be learning to walk. I did think that after 35 years I had this talent mastered, but it would appear to be a very different ‘walk’ to what I was used to.

Catwalk Practice

Catwalk Practice

Again ‘walking’ in front of everyone was out of my comfort zone, I felt awkward, I felt silly, and most of all I felt that people would be making judgements. Now in normal circumstances this would probably have been the case, but here……it was different. Positivity breeds positivity and all the girls where constantly uplifting one another, when someone was worried we supported and encouraged, not judged and criticized. It was refreshing!

I looked down too much, I needed to smile more and I needed to relax a bit – this was feedback from our catwalk coach on my walking. As the day progressed, so did I, not much but it was all in the right direction. I discovered I have a better face for songs with ‘attitude’ than cutesy fun ones….who knew ;0)

Catwalk Practice

Catwalk Practice

We had some free time before dinner which I utilised to get ready for the evenings fun, showcasing some of the girl’s talents, it was time for XL Factor.

I had no discernible talent to showcase, and my breath was truly taken away when we all saw just how many of these girls had amazing voices! It was the kind of singing that evokes memories and emotions, and for some in the room it was a very emotive evening. There were also some fun talents shown that got the group laughing and showed great creativity and humour.

We all voted for who we thought should win, and the wonderful Jo Frost won with her rendition of ‘Pearl’s a Singer’ and when I say this girls voice was amazing, that is no word of a lie, she was fab, and will be singing at the Plus Size Awards in November, such an exciting invitation for her to do so. As a double whammy for Jo, it was also just after midnight and it was therefore her birthday!! We all sang her a little happy birthday!

Dancing and silliness ensued.

I have never been that great at being the centre of attention in this kind of environment, sit me within a room full of people and I’ll act the class clown, tell the jokes and make fun of myself and others, but get me to stand up and just ‘let loose’ and I am less able due to worrying about what people will think of me. But you know this is also part of my journey in this competition, to ease up on myself a little and stop being so afraid to be myself.

Day 3

This day we had a couple of workshops to attend on media, public speaking and confidence. We all know that with a competition like this, there will be negative media towards the winner. We need to be prepared and this is what the management team wanted to achieve. Alongside this we would need to be prepared for public speaking, not only if we won, but on the night of the pageant, we will have to say a few things.

And lastly a confidence building workshop led by a plus size model with her story as to how she overcame obstacles in her own life and is positively moving forward in the industry.

The whole day was positively positive, and to end the day’s events off, we were all interviewed individually about the pageant. This was filmed so watch this space………..

The evening’s entertainment was us…..well we had to pick our outfit and it was catwalk time. This again I was kind of dreading, I was still not ‘letting myself go’!! So we all walking in turn, and had to answer a fun question at the end of it, this was just a bit of fun, and I have to take the time to mention three people in this…Kim, Danielle and Courtney….

Three Bootcamp Winners

Three Bootcamp Winners

Kim because she became a gold hot pant clad super heroin for her catwalk.  Danielle because she had been recognised for growing in confidence throughout the weekend and Courtney because this girl was so creative with her outfit, she made a dress out of bin bags….out of bin bags!! It was truly amazing!!

Courtney and The Dress!!

Courtney and The Dress!!

We also had a little matter of celebrating Jo’s birthday, there was a cake and some singing and I think that Jo was a little overwhelmed by it all, it was great fun and then she was in for a real treat…

Earlier in the evening, we had been told that there were two latecomer’s to competition and to boot-camp and they would be arriving within the next hour or so, I smelt a rat…something wasn’t quite right, and sure enough, right on cue these two ‘girls’ were introduced to the room…

As Jo was pulled up to a seat in the middle of the room, she was getting a very special birthday treat, a slightly creepy birthday lap dance from our very own Mark and Chris or should I say Martina and Christina?? Both teetering about on heels and in dresses, putting on a show, they were great sports for doing it and it provided all of us with a lot of laughter.

Knowing that it would all be over tomorrow and that most of us wouldn’t see each other again until the finals, we stayed up into the small hours of the morning, not wanting this to end in many ways.

Home Time

The weekend flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and ship out. After a quick tidy round of our rooms, and some photos, the management team advised us of what happens next and it was at that moment we all realised that this was now the countdown to the finals in September.

If I take nothing else from this pageant, I will take away the inspiration from the girls I met at boot camp, that no matter what, its ok to be yourself, and show the world who you are!

The Finalists

The Finalists

Miss Plus Size International

Part of the reason for me starting this blog is to blog about something that I am competing in this year.

I am a finalist in the Miss Plus Size International 2015.  For those that may not know this is a plus size beauty pageant, and is open to women of any age a size 18 or higher.

I am a UK size 26 and am at the larger end of the spectrum of the entrants in this years pageant.  There are 26 of us in the finals, all of various sizes, ages and locations.

The best thing about this pageant so far, is meeting a wide range of women, from all over the country, who all have a similar outlook in life, and also have been through some of the similar emotions that in life I have gone through myself.

For some, including myself this pageant is pushing me outside of my comfort zone, and that is something I have always relished doing in my professional life, but not so much in my personal life, so this is it!!!  I will be blogging bout my journey through this competition amongst other things.

-ShellyC