Sophie Leyshon - Miss Wales finalist - March 2016

29 March 2016
Comments 0
29 March 2016, Comments 0

With the Miss Wales Grand Final approaching, it has led me to think of what an amazing experience it has all been. I had been encouraged by friends and family to apply for the competition for a few months, but I was very cautious as I am not the most confident girl and the main thought that ran through my head was ‘what if I fail?, however I decided to face my insecurities head on and give it a shot. When I received the email about being invited to the interview, I was in a complete shock, and honestly since then the whole experience has been almost surreal to me. The most important life lesson that I have gained from entering is that there is no possible way to fail. After being selected as a finalist, the first thing you are made aware of is the Miss Wales and Official Miss World charity, Beauty with a Purpose, which raises money for disadvantaged children. All of the finalists are given the task to raise money on behalf of the charity, whether it is a large or small amount. I have had a fantastic time raising money and awareness for this charity during my six months of being a finalist, and if I could do the experience all over again given the opportunity, I would grab it with both hands.

During my experience, I have learnt that there is a lot more to pageantry than big hair and a crown. It is about self-empowerment and building your confidence. The women I have met throughout this have been friendly, strong and independent which defeats another stereotype regarding the attitude women have towards each other during pageantry.

As a young woman, it is noticeable that there is a lot of pressure on young girls in society today to be perfect, and live up to an impossible standard set by the media and celebrities. This is something that I myself have personally struggled with and therefore by entering Miss Wales I would like to show young women like myself that it is good to be confident and that your imperfections are what make you, unique. I would encourage all girls who lack self-esteem and confidence to take a chance on entering Miss Wales, because from personal experience it is one of the best decisions I have ever pushed myself to make. I am now a lot more confident and my self-esteem has grown massively since taking part in this experience and I could not be more thankful to Paula Abbandonato, and the current Miss Wales, Emma Victoria Jenkins, for being so supportive. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for myself and the other finalists, and whether I win or not, I regard myself a winner for taking part in this fantastic opportunity given to me, and the wonderful friends that I have made along the way.

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