Miss Hertfordshire finalist from Hitchin credits pageants for confidence boost
- Credit: Archant
A Miss Hertfordshire 2018 finalist from Hitchin hopes to take the opportunity to break stigmas attached to both anorexia nervosa and the beauty pageant industry.
Georgie Snowden will compete for the crown for the second time in the finals, which takes place on May 6 at The Forum, Stevenage.
As the competition gears up, Georgie spoke to the Comet about her struggles with the eating disorder, and how even today there is a stigma attached to the illness.
She said: “Beauty pageants are often portrayed in a negative light and I feel that is totally wrong. Beauty pageant contestants raise thousands of pounds for charities every year.
“I think beauty pageants are also a great way to raise awareness for different issues. I would personally like to raise awareness for anorexia and tackle any myths surrounding the illness.
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“So many people believe that only teenagers develop anorexia when in reality anybody can, including children and the elderly.
“It is also common for people to believe that anorexia is not that serious, when actually up to 20 per cent of patients die as a result of the illness, through heart complications or suicide.”
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Georgie, 21, suffered with the illness as a teenager, and said taking part in the Miss Hertfordshire pageants helped her find the confidence she needed to confront her struggles.
“Shortly after I started secondary school I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, depression and anxiety. This lead to me leaving school aged 14 as I was too ill to carry on,” Georgie said.
“It affected both my mental and physical health and still impacts me to an extent today. At that time I had very low self-esteem, and rarely left the house other than for hospital appointments.”
Last year Georgie applied to take part in the Miss Hertfordshire pageant and, to her surprise, became a finalist.
“It was an impulsive decision and I didn’t even consider getting through,” she added.
“I found the experience amazing, made friends from all over the country, raised money for charity and had my princess moment. I found that taking part in the competition had a wonderful impact on my self-esteem and confidence.
“I believe the pageant forced me out of my comfort zone and helped me to confront my issues. To be in a pageant, you must believe in yourself and your ability to succeed.”
To find out more about Miss Hertfordshire pageants, go to misshertfordshire.co.uk.