East Lancashire 'Miss Great Britain' finalist says beauty contests are still relevant (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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East Lancashire 'Miss Great Britain' finalist says beauty contests are still relevant
3:00pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
A MISS Great Britain finalist from East Lancashire has defended the pageant industry against critics’ claims.
Darwen resident Cheryl Jepson, 26, was one of 55 women picked to take part in the final stage of one of the UK’s oldest contests next month.
A Rochdale-based graphic designer said she believed pageants were ‘still relevant’ and had been ‘misportrayed’ as encouraging the objectification of women.
Child competitions recently came under attack by campaign groups such as Kidscape, who said they ‘commercialised childhood and sexualised girls at a young age’. Cheryl, who lives with her husband Chris, 26, said she decided to enter as a way into modelling and to make friends.
She came third in Mrs Galaxy UK in March.
She said: “I think pageants have been misportrayed as bitchy and a place where women get objectified. Winners are chosen not just on looks but on the overall ‘package’ and, in my experience, they are usually not the prettiest girl out of all the contestants.
“I think everyone has a choice about whether they want to enter these contests and that they are still relevant. don’t think however that there is anything wrong with a woman demonstrating that she can take care of herself.
“Even when I’ve been to teenage pageants the girls don’t wear much make-up. I think people hold incorrect images in their head of what the girls look like.”
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