Stansted Airport worker is crowned Miss England
- Credit: Archant
STANSTED Airport worker Kirsty Heslewood has set her sights on being crowned Miss World after winning the right to represent the country in Indonesia later this year.
The 24-year-old said she was still in shock after being named the winner of the Miss England beauty pageant at a glitzy bash in Torquay, Devon, earlier this month.
“I can’t believe it, I’m so happy I’ve won,” she said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet but I’m so pleased because I put so much work into it.
“It’s weird because I have had messages of congratulations from all over the world. I’m surprised people know about it outside my friends and family.”
The Little Hallingbury resident was crowned the victor following four days of intense competition – the culmination of months of hard work behind the scenes.
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Cakes sales at work and other charity fundraisers were organised by Kirsty, while she also went to an army boot camp to get fit, dancing lessons to perfect her talent and made an outfit out of old clothes – her choice for the ‘eco’ round, where beauty queens show off their creativity with recycled materials.
It was the third year running the 5ft 10in blonde, who handed in her notice at Stansted Airport last week after working as a FedEx import broker for five years, had entered the competition, having previously reached the semi-finals.
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Appearing on stage and giving interviews to the media were a far cry from the “timid and shy” teenager who suffered from selective mutism as a child.
She added: “It has definitely changed me as a person and made me much more confident but I’m still the same down-to-earth girl.
“My goal is to do well in Miss World but in the future I would like to be a good role model and help others with selective mutism because people don’t really understand it.
“I would sit in silence at school because I was too scared to ask the teacher a question.”
Kirsty, who beat 60 other rivals from across England to win the national competition, grew in confidence after getting into modelling in her teens.
She is now looking ahead to Miss World in September, adding: “It’s a little daunting representing the country because I class myself as an ordinary girl.
“I don’t see myself as a beauty queen or the most beautiful girl in the world. That is not what the competition is about – it’s not your appearance that matters.
“It’s what you’re like as a person and what you’re doing for both your local community and the country as a whole.”