10/10/2017 07:37 BST | Updated 10/10/2017 07:37 BST

'Waist' Away... I Think Not


Tough times are inevitable. Millennials forcefully challenge their own inner demons and whatever life decides to throw into the mix. In the present day, personal goals have radiated more and more towards the focus on aesthetics. With buzz words like 'the perfect body', 'weight loss' and 'flawless' becoming ever more prevalent across social platforms, we now live in a digital age where we try to calculate degrees of perfection by striving to meet the unrealistic expectations set by the media.

You can no longer flick through your Instagram feed without seeing a combination of filters, fillers and diet products which are usually endorsed by popular figures. The industry is becoming ever more saturated and these posts have become so popular that many believe it has now warped the true meaning of beauty. Statements like these ultimately raises very important questions: Why do we feel that if we aren't striving for the perfect physique, that we aren't beautiful? Since when did the focus on our aesthetics suddenly overtake us wanting to grow as people? What example are we setting for the future generation?

Every single day I see people criticise their bodies in some way, never do I hear them say that they are proud of what they see, and it saddens me that we self-loathe the one thing that carries us every day. Is it no longer acceptable to see a person's beauty through their personality and drive? Loving who you are and accepting the way you look does not mean you are arrogant or self-obsessed, it means you know you are worthy and understand that clothing tags do not define you. If you want to eat a slice of cake at the office party, go ahead and enjoy every bite. If you have bits of your body that jiggles, so what? You are still awesome. What matters most is being able to be comfortable in your own skin and focusing on what we can do together for others. That's beauty.

I am an advocate for promoting body positivity and in June this year I was ecstatic to be crowned Miss UK. However, despite winning this notable title in an industry meant to promote beauty and empowerment, regrettably I was then told I was deemed 'too fat' to compete because I was a size 10. Of course, I was evidently upset by this notion, questioning everything I have ever stood for and was left wondering if I needed to be a size zero in order to succeed?


After the initial shock had disappeared and my tenacious spirit returned, I was even more determined to promote to the true meaning and importance of real beauty. It is no surprise that there are people who have thrown insults claiming these types of competitions are damaging and wrong. I celebrate that everybody has the right to their own opinions. Despite the animosity, my faith in pageants is not completely lost because I do still fully support those who enter the industry to spread positive messages. To all those who continue to raise money for charities across the world, thank you for being so inspiring. I admire your hard work helping others and still being able to pay your bills!

I may not have competed internationally and I did hand back my crown, but it is hard not to see what could have had devastating consequences on my mental health, as a blessing. I believe it has acted as my cue to go the extra mile in spreading good morals and principles to live by every day.

Today is not just any ordinary day. Today is a day that should matter. Today you have the choice to make a difference in both your life and those around you too. Be grateful and love who you are.