Beauty pageant isn’t all about people’s looks

By Gemma Nettle   |   Reporter   |
Friday 23rd September 2022 4:00 pm
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A Manx woman is in the running to be the next Ms Great Britain.

The beauty pageant, which sees contenders compete to be given a platform to start their own charity endeavour, is in its third year.

Johanna Martin-Edge is a finalist, having never taken part in a pageant before.

The beautician from Castletown said: ‘I’ve always been a great cheerleader for everybody else but I’ve never had the confidence to push myself forward for anything.

‘It kept flashing up on my screen, it felt like a sign and I entered. I never thought I’d get picked.

‘When it came through that I was a finalist, I thought “I can do this”.’

The 35-year-old explained that the contest is ‘trying to change the stigma’ of beauty pageants.

This doesn’t require participants to be unmarried, like the Miss Great Britain category historically did.

‘Years ago there were a lot of restrictions, you couldn’t be married, so it’s a lot more inclusive now,’ Mrs Martin-Edge said. ‘They also have a Miss Classic, which goes all the way up to 100, so there is someone competing who is 74 in that category.

‘I think it’s amazing that they’ve brought these new categories in. It doesn’t matter about background, shape or size.

‘It’s about your internal beauty now and that’s what it should be about.

‘It’s empowering women and saying it’s okay to be exactly who you are and being authentically you.’

To enter, contenders must write why they would deserve to win, which Mrs Martin-Edge said happens ‘before judges have even seen what you look like’.

‘We get a full rundown on the scoring process and none of it is on what your body looks like. It’s all about how confident you are in your skin regardless of your size or age,’ she said.

The hair stylist and skincare expert added: ‘When you’ve been selected as a finalist, you have two charities to fundraise for. We fundraise for Alex’s Wish for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Cancer Research UK.

‘Ms Great Britain alone has raised more than £100,000 for Cancer Research UK, which is phenomenal. People don’t see that this is really what it’s about.’

Mrs Martin-Edge took part in a skydive on Sunday as part of her fundraising efforts for Alex’s Wish, and she will also hold charity raffles and an SPF master class.

‘Without even winning the Ms title, even being part of it and being able to raise money for charity is brilliant,’ she said. ‘It’s about being part of a community of women that are all trying to help other people as well as being okay with who you are.’

The winner will be helped in setting up their own charity.

Mrs Martin-Edge said: ‘I’d love to set up something to do with mental health. I suffered with anxiety for a long time and it’s really crippling.

‘I suffered with eating disorders when I was growing up as a teenager as well.’

The two-day final will be held in Leicester on October 20 and 21.

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