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A YOUNG woman from Melksham has been crowned Miss Wiltshire and is now preparing for the Miss England competition which takes place next month.
21 year-old Emily Peplow took home the Miss Wiltshire trophy last month, which automatically sees her entered into the Miss England Grand Final held in Birmingham next month. She will compete against 50 other girls for the crown and if successful, will go on to compete in the Miss World competition held in America at the end of the year.
Emily said, “This is my first competition and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, but I’ve never had the confidence to do so until very recently.
“I suffered with a severe skin condition when I was younger until I was about 19 and it’s taken me a few years to build my confidence back up. I live by the motto of, ‘If not now, then when’, and I felt that was so relevant just before I entered. You really have to snap up these opportunities when they arise as you never know what will come out of it, and you never know when the opportunity will come around again. I’m a complete believer in that where you are and what is happening in your life right now, is completely supposed to happen, so we must make the most of it.
“Pageants have changed hugely over the years – they used to be about who was the prettiest and most talented, but that couldn’t be further from the truth now. Its about being charitable, approachable, a good role model to others and a good ambassador for your area and the United Kingdom.
“The moment I was crowned Miss Wiltshire is a moment that I won’t forget. I was sat backstage with some of the other girls I was competing with and I didn’t think for a moment that I would win. The audience were stamping their feet with a drum roll and then they called my name out on stage and it was just immediate shock, excitement and I felt overwhelmed as I’d achieved what I’d set out to do. I definitely had to hold back the tears as I walked up on stage.
“The Miss England competition in July is similar to the semi-final, but we really have to prove that we are worthy of that Miss England crown. It’s a much bigger competition with more rounds, and as I said before, it’s not just about being pretty anymore – you have to be an incredible ambassador for the country, your area and the Miss England organisation. I will be competing against 50 gorgeous ladies who are county title holders and award-winners from all over the UK and the competition is so fierce.
“The thing I enjoy the most about the competitions is the people you meet. The girls that enter are in exactly the same shoes as you, and it’s like a sisterhood. We all empower and build each other up, rather than knocking each other down – the world definitely needs more of that. The confidence that you gain is incredible and the charities that we support are amazing too.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting people from our local community and making a positive impact. I also want to share the message of positivity, empowerment and all about the Miss England organisation, as it’s an incredible thing to be a part of.
“The charity aspect of the competition is one of my favourite parts of competing. The Beauty With A Purpose charity was set up by our founder, Julia Morley, in 1972 and is at the heart of Miss World and Miss England. It helps and supports disadvantaged children worldwide, and to date has raised hundreds of millions of pounds. To fundraise for BWAP for the semi-final, I rowed the distance of Dover to Calais and back again (42 miles) on the 31st May and 1st June, in total, it took just over eight hours. I did my challenge with the support of Atlas Gym in Chippenham as that’s where I’m a member. All of the money I raised was donated to Beauty With A Purpose. I’m planning on doing some bigger fundraising events during the lead up to the Miss England Grand Final to help raise more for BWAP – keep an eye out on my Facebook page.
“The local community can support me and my journey to becoming Miss England by letting me help support them and their events – any charity days, community events, or openings in Wiltshire I’d love to come along and show my support. I’d also love to have the opportunity to speak to some younger children in schools and share the message of positivity and the ‘you can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it’ attitude. I feel that it’s an important thing to be told from a young age, as many children now grow up with little to no confidence in themselves, and thus don’t throw themselves at things they’ve always wanted to do! I’ve been there myself so I think I’m a good ambassador for this.
“To be crowned Miss England would be absolutely phenomenal. After experiencing what I’ve experienced in my lifetime, I never thought I’d be in this situation, let alone going to the Miss England Final.
“I want to take advantage of that every day and spread the message of positivity, empowerment of others and that you can do anything that you put your mind to. After all, we have to use the beauty in our lives to put the beauty in others.”