Miss Galaxy UK contestant tells us how beauty pageants are changing

London’s Hounslow-based candidate for Miss Galaxy UK 2019 will head to next month’s competition shortly after touching down from Miami.

Emma Hopkinson, 21, the winner of Miss London City Galaxy, will take part in the national beauty pageant final on 10 March soon after landing back in the UK for her job as British Airways cabin crew.

The Queen Mary University of London graduate said: “I’ve averaged three new countries a month.”

She added: “Fortunately I have managed to get time off for the competition. We do have so many days off as it is not a typical nine to five job. I learned to be quite strategic to be off at certain times to help with Miss Galaxy.”

Emma has done dancing and cheerleading, but Miss London City Galaxy was her first pageant and her motivation to enter was unconventional.

During her final year of studying international relations, in which she gained a 2:1, and while short of confidence doing job applications she took inspiration from a hit movie.

“I found public speaking difficult. I was sat watching Miss Congeniality with friends and thought I could put myself out there by doing a beauty pageant. My friends thought I had nothing to lose by entering,” she said.

Miss Galaxy City London included a round of interviews, which she said helped her to secure her job with BA.

Emma also put her education to use by winning the ‘Beautiful Mind’ round, where contestants were quizzed on topics such as current affairs.

“It showed my degree was useful,” she joked.

All contestants are raising money for the Christie charity that provides fuller health services than the NHS funds.

Emma said: “It’s a difficult time for the NHS, it’s under so much strain. The competition is an opportunity to put more money into an underfunded service.

“I’m on track to meet my target of £100 by doing clothes sales. I’m helping my friends clear their wardrobes.”

Although winning the UK final would put Emma through to the Miss Galaxy International Final in America, she is not building her hopes up.

“I’m not going into it thinking I am going to be Miss Galaxy UK. I think you would miss the point of the competition by just entering to win it. I want some more experience of public speaking and I’m going into it with the aim of enjoying myself,” she said.

As doing beauty pageants has boosted Emma’s self-esteem, she would recommend them to girls of a similar age.

“Some women think beauty pageants have no place nowadays. But they are really starting to change. If they were still about women just parading up and down they would not be in business,” she said.

While Miss Galaxy retains this traditional element, Emma will be also be quizzed by a panel of five judges and have one-on-one interviews, which is not as nerve-wracking as it sounds, she says.

“They get to know you as a person; why you are entering the competition and they want to know who you are. That can be quite daunting, but not like a job interview,” she said.

“The competition is going to show that there is more than one body size for women. I’d definitely recommend to girls in their early twenties if they want to be able to build confidence.”

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