Miss Leeds: Pageant ‘with a purpose’ aims to aid needy children

Pictured (left to right) Gabbie Jarvis, Patrycja Fielder, Victoria Drye, Hazel Latner (Miss Leeds 2015), Sophie Lenik, Mayowa famakinwa, Olivia Shearon, and Lucy Coultas. PIC: James Hardisty

Beauty pageants might be a throwback to a less politically correct age as far as some people are concerned.

But one woman is hoping to drag them firmly into the 21st century.

Angie Beasley, director of Miss England, held auditions for Miss Leeds 2016 at the Queens Hotel at the weekend.

Eleven girls were selected to compete in the Grand Final on May 22, leaving nine spots still open for late wildcard entries.

Angie, who was herself crowned Miss Leeds Metro at the Queen’s Hotel in 1987, said: “I was living in a tiny bedsit in Headingley at the time and those competitions gave me so much confidence.”

She says beauty pageants have changed dramatically since the 1980s.

“Then, it was all about swimsuits and nice gowns with men judging,” she explained.

“It’s no surprise it got a bad reputation.

“Now we have moved towards a more worthwhile competition.”

These Leeds hopefuls will spend their time before the Grand Final designing an eco-friendly outfit and raising money for charity.

Later rounds even include a physical exercise competition led by trainers from the army.

The lucky winner of this year’s competition will advance to Miss England 2016 to be held in Southport in July and will receive over £2,000 worth of prizes including a professional photoshoot.

Huddersfield sisters Daisey and Ellie O’Donnell are already being tipped as the contestants to beat.

Daisey, who has previously appeared on The X-Factor, and fashion blogger Ellie, have over 200,000 Instagram followers between them.

Proceeds raised throughout the contest will go to ‘Beauty with a Purpose’, a charity which helps disadvantaged children all over the world. Angie added that money raised in Leeds will be spent in the local area.

To be considered, send a photo and interesting fact about yourself to info@missengland.info.

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