After Nyne Issue 7 out now: https://goo.gl/1mJBCV
For most, beauty is defined by the size of your waist, the colour of your skin and even the length of your hair. Even Nonni Shields – winner of the 1928 Miss England title grew out her hair to compete in this internationally renowned pageant, and almost 100 years since there is yet to be a short haired winner of the Miss England title.
After Nyne chats with Jade McQueen – the Miss England finalist willing to make a stand for change in the tradition of long haired Beauty Queens.
How where you introduced to the Miss England competition – has it been something you’ve always dreamed of competing in?
Beauty pageants are not what people think, they focus on inner beauty and are not as superficial as they are made out to be. You have to be smart. Talented, charitable, fit and confident. I am trying to make people sit up and see what Miss England does for the world and how it helps develop you into a better person.
I have always loved watching miss world and have always had a love for pageants but I never thought I would be part of the biggest one on the planet! It was however my love of charity work that finally led me to Miss England. I was searching online one day for a new charity to support and I came across beauty with a purpose the miss world charity that helps disadvantaged children worldwide. I was sold. I then saw that you could enter the 2015 Miss England pageant, I giggled to myself as I sent in a photo never expecting it to go anywhere of course or even hear back. But within 10 minutes of sending the photo off, the Miss England director Angie Beasley called me saying I was a finalist in Miss Surrey. I couldn’t believe it!
Congratulations on bagging the Miss Surrey title, how did you find the regional heat stage?
I had little time to prepare as I was a very late entry, nevertheless I found a beautiful brand new dress in a charity shop that seemed like it was made for me, I brought some sparkly shoes, got my nails done and off I went. I had previously been on the x factor and sung in front of 5000 people at Wembley arena so confidence was not an issue for me even though it was my first ever pageant and I didn’t know what to expect. I strolled in and was again pleasantly surprised when was greeted by the other contestants with hugs and kisses. They were all so nice and we all instantly got on with each other. I am still in contact with them even now. We had a practice run and then had individual interviews then had to catwalk in front of a panel of judges. Well….I loved this haha. It was a very pleasant experience and I had so much support from friends and family and even my boss and his lovely wife came to support me, so it was fantastic that I actually won.
Let’s talk HAIR – you’re competing for the crown with a short cut, do you feel there is extra pressure on you to do well given the lack of short haired winners of Miss England?
I come from a disadvantaged background myself and have overcome so much in my life to get to where I am now. Not only that, I have always been different from my peers and sometimes a bit of a loner, I was the odd one out. But was happy I had the confidence to deal with that and I never tried to fit in. Now I have many friends, even friends in different countries and fans that saw my article about short hair then began following me on social media and even messaging me saying how I have inspired them. This gives me even more drive. I love a challenge and I love proving people wrong, so I don’t see it as an extra pressure I see it as an opportunity to stand up for not just women but anyone anywhere who has an unconventional look or style. We are all individuals and should be accepted in any field we wish to foray in, regardless of an unusual appearance.
What do you feel makes a great Miss England finalist?
Passion. You absolutely must have passion. I love singing and entertaining, I am very sporty and health conscious, I am driven by charity work and I love meeting new people and learning about the world and different cultures. These are all things required to be a good delegate, but luckily for me, they are things I am very passionate about and always will be. Also, honesty. As a “miss” you are a public figure and a role model for young people in particular. The public need to feel like they can trust you. I have never gone off the rails, taken a drug, been promiscuous or been in trouble with the law ect I don’t even tolerate people swearing on my social media. I am a very positive person and wouldn’t do anything to tarnish my good character. I am serious about being a good role model and an ambassador for this country as well as various charities so I stick to my morals firmly.
What work have you been doing alongside the competition?
I have been busy raising funds for the miss world charity Beauty with a Purpose as well as other charities I want to support. I have sold a litter of kittens my cat had, on the night I won Miss Surrey and all of the money made from them went to the charity. I am doing a 10k run next month for Royal hospital for Neuro disability, a hospital my nanny Gina was a resident at after suffering a brain haemorrhage when she was only 36. She passed away two years ago after being paraplegic for 27 years, if I win Miss England my title, crown and sash will be dedicated to her. She also loved miss world and would always cry with happiness when the winner won. I will also be performing at various events to raise funds and support for the charity. I also take part in the current Miss England’s charity crown challenge once a month in support of various charities. As well as preparing for the talent round and sports round of the competition. I aim to go to gym and do singing rehearsal 5 times a week.
Have there been any particular hurdles you’ve had to overcome in the lead up to the finals?
Oh yes. When I was in London one evening a few months ago, I saw a very young homeless girl on the corner of a street in Soho. So me and my brother went into the nearest shop and got her some hot food and a few cans of soft drink then we went and sat with her for a chat. I was sitting on the pavement next to the girl who was also called Jade; when after about 5 minutes I just saw my handbag go flying past me and heard a load of shouting. A man, had mistook me for a homeless person and proceeded to try and attack me! He kicked my bag thinking it was my leg. My brother moved him away and eventually he stopped hurtling abuse and walked off. I was in total shock. Then I remembered my crown was in my bag from an event I had been to at an art gallery that evening. I looked in my bag, and my beautiful crown was in about 5 pieces. He had kicked it that hard. I had to then get a replacement crown off eBay haha. I used this experience to raise the issue of homeless people being attacked in the big issue.
Homelessness is something I am very concerned about and try to help homeless people in any way I can!
Talking future plans – where do things go past Miss England should you win?
If I won I would firstly and most importantly use the title to raise awareness and funds for beauty with a purpose. I would also like to use my title to get into film, action films in particular. I love acting and I have trained in various things including martial arts, so I am a basically a readymade action heroine haha. My goal is to be in a James bond film and I would love to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is my absolute hero and inspired me to get into fitness and muscles haha I also would like to release an album and also travel the world. Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to travel. Going to new countries and meeting new people of various backgrounds and cultures would be a dream come true. Especially if I am able to do something to help whilst I am there. My ultimate lifetime goal is to adopt a child.
I would like to serve in the navy. My Granddad was a commander in the army in Second World War and I have always wanted to serve my country also!
We certainly love a good crop cut so will totally be voting for Jade McQueen to win the Miss England crown!
Details on how to vote can be found here: http://www.missengland.info/vote-now Finals take place 13th and 14th of August at the Ricoh centre in Coventry.