Meet the second year competing in Miss Nottingham 2016
She wants to break the beauty pageant stereotype
So it’s officially 2016 and we’re all looking to change ourselves for the better. To make sure that this year is “our year”. This is the year we finally stop telling ourselves, “I’ll do it tomorrow”.
Notts English student, Chrissie Quilty, is determined to make it her year as she attempts to become Miss England 2016, and promote a positive role model for young girls.
Where are you from?
So, what is Miss Nottingham and how does it work?
Miss Nottingham is the regional heat of the beauty pageant Miss England. The current Miss England is also a University of Nottingham English student, proving that the competition is not just about parading girls around in bikinis anymore. The pageant has tried to change this perception in recent years, with another recent Miss England being a medical student from Cambridge University. Girls are not only judged on modeling and catwalk but their charitable efforts and academia.
What inspired you to compete in the pageant?
I have two reasons; one more personal and one to be a positive role model to younger girls. After a bad back injury I gave up ballet and put on weight.
Although I’m a healthy size 10 now, body image for young girls is still a massive issue and I still think the general consensus when somebody says beauty pageant is a skinny beautiful model – I want to put myself out of my comfort zone to try break this stereotype.
The other motive of winning Miss Nottingham is that it would put me in a position to promote the dangers of weapon carrying. I lost people I knew personally from knife crime in my hometown in Essex, and was also in a position where I had gone to school with the offenders and had seen them get involved with the wrong people.
It made me really want to do something about encouraging young people to get out of this vicious cycle and find vocations in life.
What are your thoughts on the Essex stereotype? Is it a trend you’re trying to break?
I’ve got used to the strange obsession our country has with TOWIE, and find it hilarious when people actually think we all live our lives exactly like that show.
I’m a bit of a pathetic excuse for an Essex girl – I fake tan, but so does every girl in every town. Fake eyelashes terrify me (I cant see the attraction in putting glue on your face), and watching the pain a lot of my friends have gone through back home in terms of plastic surgery makes me even more opposed to doing it myself.
In terms of my accent I admit I do tone it down in Nottingham, but at the same time I’m not ashamed. I had the best childhood in Essex and it shouldn’t determine how people perceive you. I’m pretty genuine and what you see is what you get, so yes I guess I am trying to break the trend that image isn’t everything.
Do you think that beauty contests are too focused on the glamorous and super skinny?
I want to say yes, but I’m keeping an open mind until I see what the Miss Nottingham 2016 final has done to challenge this stereotype.
I’ve made good friends with some of the girls competing, and they are all ambitious, caring, lovely girls ranging from law students to England Netball players, so all the fears I had of that American bitchy pageant stereotype have gone.
I still believe more needs to be done in terms of body image for young girls however, as Photoshop and fad diets have created an unobtainable image that is deemed perfect in our society.
Miss England have removed the bikini catwalk round now as it was deemed sexist (I’m pretty happy about that with my post Christmas holiday stomach still very much present), and they are focusing on females as being positive role models in all aspects of their lives, not just the way they look. That is why I’m doing this pageant, to continue the positive move towards challenging the stereotype of beauty.
The first time I ever went surfing in Western Australia I managed to knock myself out on the board, had to be rescued by the lifeguard but unfortunately my bikini did not make the rescue and I had to be covered in towels on the beach until I regained consciousness – it was like the walk of shame at midday on an Aussie beach.
Ocean or Crisis?
Orange or Blue VK?
If you had to spend the night in with a celeb who would it be and why?
David Bowie. I love how he didn’t give a shit what anybody thought of him.