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Upminster pageant contestant urges girls to love themselves for ‘who they are’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 January 2017

Emma Knight

Emma Knight

Emma Knight

Not everybody fits into a size eight dress and for Emma Knight, who is a size 20, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Emma KnightEmma Knight

The 25-year-old from Upminster has been selected for the 2017 Miss British Beauty Curve contest and she is determined to prove beauty is not all about size.

The 6ft-tall contestant is not the usual catwalk model, but she brings with her a strong message that every woman should learn to love herself.

She told the Recorder: “It’s OK to love yourself for who you are, whether you have wobbly bits and stretch marks. You don’t have to be this stick thin, brushed-hair, baby smooth-skin type of person. No one is the same.”

This is the second year Emma has entered the competition, but this time she hopes to make it to the final 10.

Plus size modelling and beauty pageants have gained attention in recent years, as the debate has grown over super-skinny models.

“Plus size is becoming a new thing and there is a lot of controversy about it. But having a big bum and big chest doesn’t necessarily mean you are unhealthy, lazy and fat.

“I’m not as fit as I could be but I am completely happy with who I am now,” said Emma.

Describing herself as “on the large side of life”, Emma, who works for the government as a personal assistant, is active in the community.

She is a member of Havering Hockey Club and a volunteer adult instructor at the Royal Air Force cadets. She has also joined a London-wide group of women called Positively Perfect.

Growing up as a 6ft-tall 14-year-old was no easy experience for Emma, who explained she could never relate to models and what they were wearing because it would not fit her.

A couple of years ago, she took part in a photoshoot for the plus size clothes brand Scarlett & Jo and it gave her the confidence to enrol in the Miss British Beauty Curve contest.

“I never really had much confidence and the thought of walking on stage in heels was very distressing. But I thought if I can get up there after feeling so insecure, then I 
can prove to others they can do it 
too.

“I want to inspire younger generations and tell them it’s OK to be different. You can be your own person – you can be plus size and still be beautiful.”

Looking ahead to the contest, when Emma will have to convince the judges over three different rounds, including swimwear, ‘glitz and glam’ and an evening outfit, she is feeling confident.

“This year I have a bit more experience and know what to expect. Once I’ve decided what to wear, it will just be exciting,” she said.

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