Plus-size beauty from Chelmsley Wood named as finalist in national pageant
She was once attacked by school bullies for being overweight – but now Leah Deacon, from Chelmsley Wood, is proving big is beautiful by wowing judges to make it through to the finals of Ms British Beauty Curve 2016.
The 28-year-old beat hundreds of hopefuls to come third at the Miss Plus Size International global beauty contest. Now the size-20 stunner will be going for gold at the latest pageant in a bid to promote positive role models for plus-size women.
Leah said: “I have got involved in a lot of plus size modelling and it can be empowering and liberating.
“At Plus Size pageant it was great to meet all the other contestants who were on the same wavelength.
“We modelled day wear, swimwear and evening wear, and also had to talk about who inspired us. I said my Mum as she is a single parent and has brought up four kids on her own. She is an inspiration, and makes me want to achieve a lot for myself.”
Leah, who plans on going to university in September to study medicine, was once attacked at school by bullies for being overweight.
Now she hopes that by accepting her body and being proud of who she is, she can inspire others to do the same and be happier.
She explained: “I entered because I would have loved to have had plus-size role models as I was growing up.
“I would have learned that I’m not the odd one out, and just because I look different it doesn’t mean you can’t love yourself.
“Kids can be quite cruel, so for me it is all about promoting equality and learning to love yourself.
“The average woman in the UK is a size 16, and so when we look at super models in the magazines they really aren’t representing real women.
“Women can be size 8, size 12 or size 16 or 18, and they can all live healthy lives.
“Someone like Serena Williams would be classed as overweight for her BMI, but no one would ever say she is unhealthy.”
As well as beauty and brains, Leah is also a talented violinist and recently recorded a single with singer Basil Gabbidon from the reggae band Steel Pulse.
Leah said: “I’d love to collaborate with UB40. But that might be aiming a bit too high!”
In the meantime, Leah is looking forward to possibly lifting the crown as Ms British Beauty Curve 2016.
“Hopefully, it would be nice to get to the top spot, it would definitely be a bonus,” she added.
“But the main thing is to enjoy meeting the other contestants and feeling empowered.”
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