‘Now I have so much more confidence after I was bullied at school’: Meet the Miss Universe finalists
They also raise loads for charity
Some people think Miss Universe is just a load of blonde hair, big tits and grinning so Donald Trump, the 68-year-old competition owner, can get his toupéed jollies off for another year.
But the contestants say that’s not what the beauty pageant is actually about — they swear it’s helped them overcome confidence issues and raise thousands for charity.
Meet the student finalists of Miss Universe Great Britain 2015. The winner goes on to represent GB on the the world stage.
Jess Martins, 20, History at Kent
“I started pageantry about three or four years ago, my mum got my into it.
“It’s built up my confidence so much. I got bullied for about six years at school but now I’ve got so much more confidence to speak to people.
“With Miss Universe GB we’re trying to raise money for families and children with bone disease.”
“My mum and my dad are very proud. My brother’s a bit embarrassed, especially when it comes to the bikini walk.
“In the future I want to open up a charity, maybe one that helps people find their families after they lose each other in natural disasters.
“If I could solve one world problem it would be to give education to everyone — it’s an amazing privilege that we have but not everyone does.”
Anna Burdzy, 23, Law at Nottingham
“I competed for the first time last year and came second, so hopefully I won’t do worse this year. It would be great to win.
“I planned on going into Law but did the usual thing of taking a year out and going travelling and now I’m working back home in Leicester. I will do my training contract though I’m just not ready to settle down.”
“I’m really passionate about improving people’s lifestyle changes. There’s no mythical way of losing weight, it’s just about dedication.
“As cringe as it sounds that’s one thing I’ve definitely learnt through this process.”
Nadia Achha, 20, Drama at Queen Mary
“Miss Universe has really taught me the importance of helping other people.
“It’s really highlighted how easy it is to help others. I’m doing a lot of work with charities now and as a citizen of the world I am in a position to help people.”
“I’d like to become a professor at a university — I like to focus on the humanities like Drama and English. I want to bring my personality to the world.
“My world problem to solve would be to raise awareness among people who are privileged to help other people who aren’t.”
Jasmine Chavda, 24, Psychology at St Mary’s
“This is one of the biggest beauty pageants in the world. I’m the current Miss Bedfordshire so I thought ‘why not give Miss Universe a go’.
“We raise lots of money for charity and we make loads of friends. We have t- shirts and buckets to raise money for children with bone diseases.
“I want to become a head teacher so I can broaden my skills in the future.”
“If I had to solve one problem it would be world hunger — there are a lot of things we take for granted, we can pop to the shops for food.
“There are children out there who are absolutely starving. Hunger and health are so important.”
Anna Modi, 22, IT at Edinburgh Napier
“Somebody sent me a Facebook message to say I should get involved in Miss Universe.
“I love modelling — that’s what attracted me to it.
“Helped humans and doing charity work is inspirational. This is all about doing things for charity and empowering women to be who they are.”
“I’ve gained more confidence in myself. You have to have courage to be part of something like this and to achieve your dreams.
“I’d like to help people with their lack of confidence — coming from our an ethnic minority I feel like we deprive ourselves from achieving our goals and dreams because we’re different.”
Charlotte Hodson, 23, Media at Salford
“Miss Universe is a really prestigious pageant and I’m really excited. I’ve been doing pageants for about seven years now.
“I’ve also opened the only frozen yoghurt shop in Merseyside called the Yog Bar, which is a cool place for young people to hang out in.
“I think it starts at home. Having opened the bar, we have a lot of young girls working for us and they’re exposed to so much.”
“I’d love to empower young girls. I want to tell people you can get on stage and do a swimwear round and feel amazing about yourself.
“In the future I would like to get back into performance. I’d love to do some singing or maybe be on TV.”
Emma Williams, 18, Psychology at Cardiff Met
“I’ve been doing pageants for two years now but Miss Universe is the first big one I’ve gone in for.
“It’s always been my ultimate goal. This year I just thought ‘I’m going to go for it’.
“I’ve met so many amazing girls. I can honestly say I already feel part of a family. Go for it, if you have any doubts about it.
“I would absolutely love to work in clinical psychology, that’s what my dream is.”
“Miss Universe is all about empowering women and showing women they can be whoever they want to be and giving them confidence.
“I totally agree with what everyone says about women’s rights and equality. I would love to play a part in solving problems about equality. We’re all about strong women.”
Rebecca John, 24, Italian and English at Swansea
“I’ve never done a pageant before, this is my first time. I just thought I’d try something different and something new.
“It’s not something I thought I’d do. This is a completely new thing. My parents think it’s great.
“I’m not sure what I want to do as a career, to be honest. My friends and family say I have the attitude and personality and the patience to be successful.”
“I’ll probably going into teaching or possibly something in supporting people.
I would continue trying to improve education.
“I think in other countries it’s an issue. Often teachers don’t get the support they need. It’s a major problem.”
Ella Davison, 24, Human nutrition at Newcastle
“This will be my first ever pageant – I’m quite surprised I got through, I’ve done modelling since 14. I work part time as a nutritionist alongside my modelling.
“I think there’s always an aspect that people will think a certain stereotype of people who do modelling, they think they’re not very clever. I have a bachelor of science from a redbrick uni.
“With my degree people know I’ve worked hard, and people are often shocked I juggle the two.”
“People sometimes think I do glamour modelling, particularly as I’m quite curvy, but that’s not something I’ll do.
“I’m still doing an extra diploma. I enjoy my nutrition because it helps other people.
“Obviously I want world peace but world hunger is main answer because it relates more to my job.”