As she nears the end of her year as Miss British Beauty Curve, Preston’s Rebecca Argent has spoken out about the importance of the contest in her life.
The 20-year-old size 18 student, beat competition from women across the country to be crowned Miss British Beauty Curve 2015/16 – and says winning the title is “the best thing she’s ever done”.
She said: “It’s been crazy. When it was in the paper people kept coming into the shop were I worked with my mum and asking about it.
“It’s 100 per cent the best thing I’ve ever done.
“I’ve had loads of opportunities to do modelling work, I’ve done photo shoots and I’ve started a blog.
“It’s a great platform to get the word out that you don’t have to be a size six to love your body. There’s nothing more beautiful than a confident woman.”
Rebecca regularly meets up with other competitors, blowing away the widely held belief that girls in pageant competitions are catty.
In fact, one of her biggest inspirations is Katherine Henry, who won the 30-plus section of the competition to be named Ms British Beauty Curve 2015.
Rebecca said: “She’s just been nominated for the best new blog in the UK and she’s doing a lot of work for Simply Be, and that’s what I want to be doing too.
“I’ve not met a horrible girl in the three years I’ve been doing this. We’re all on a journey together and we’ve become like a big family.
“And the public reaction has been amazing, generally, though some girls didn’t like the comments that were left on some newspaper websites. But it’s easy to write something like that behind the safety of a computer screen.
“There’s some stigma that plus-size modelling is all about obese people, fat girls, but it’s not.
“It’s about people’s body types, it’s the way they were born – with some women having bigger hips and so on.
“I spent four hours in the gym last night.
“I’ve never had anything bad said to me, and I do think things are changing.
“There’s just been an American size 16 model on the front cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, River Island are launching a plus-size range and Asos’s range is really popular.”
But as she looks ahead to this year’s competition, Rebecca admits to some mixed feelings.
She said: “I feel quite sad in a way about handing the title on, because it becomes part of you.
“You can talk all you want but with this, I’ve had something to back me up.
“But we’re all still part of the same family, and I can’t wait to see the next lot of girls.”
Rebecca’s success won’t stop when she hands her crown over. She’s recently had an offer to go on the books of a modelling agency and has set her sights on entering a major international pageant.
“I can’t really say which one it is, but it’s a big one”, said the UCLan student, from Lostock Hall.
“There’s never really been a big girl in it, so I want to be the first one who really goes for it.”
But due to the expense of entering the competition, she is looking for a business to offer sponsorship, for nails, hair or beauty treatments.
l Anyone wanting to help is asked to contact Rebecca through her Facebook page, Miss British Beauty Curve 2015/16.