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Interview with Abbey Halliwell – Miss Intercontinental York 2020

Firstly thank you so much for being part of my pageant lockdown blog project it’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens and more about the systems they represent.

What made you enter pageants ?

I first entered a pageant in 2015, when I was 18 years old, I was always quiet and shy and my mum saw an advert for Miss Leeds so applied for it for me as she thought it might help me gain a little more confidence and bring me out my shell a little bit, I went along to the interview they held for auditions for it and it went from there.

Can you tell us about your pageant journey so far ?

I first competed in Miss Leeds which led to Miss England and I placed in the top 10 which was a massive achievement for a shy and not so confident 18 year old girl, but being involved just helped me so much and from there I then competed in Miss West Yorkshire where I placed 2nd runner up and was the highest place teen and won a place in the Teen Supermodel England finals! I then took a break from pageants for personal reasons but then in 2018 I came back and competed in UKPP which was amazing, I had my eyes on Miss Intercontinental title which at that point was part of UKPP but it was just to get me back into the swing of it as I hadn’t competed in 2 years and I had missed it so much and then last year I competed in the Miss England Semi Finals which was so good, I also did apply for the Miss Intercontinental Finals last year but it fell on the same day as a charity pageant I hold Top Model of Leeds which has this year turned into Miss Scarborough so I wasn’t able to take my place but I am now so excited to be able to take my place in the finals this year!

What made you decide to compete in Miss Intercontinental ?

Miss Intercontinental has always stood out to me as a system to empower women and to be the best version of yourself and it has been a dream I would love to achieve.

What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?

They have taught me to always be yourself and the best version of yourself, I have learnt so much from pageants and they have helped me along the way too!

What’s your pageant platform and why ?

My pageant platform is Women’s Aid, I have being raising money for Women’s Aid and carrying out different challenges and raising awareness, domestic abuse is something a lot of people are not aware of, an estimated 1.6 million people in 2019 were subject to domestic abuse and It is something I am proud to raise awareness for and support.

What’s your dream title ?

My dream title is Miss Intercontinental

If you were to win what would it mean to you ?

It would mean the world to me, it would show how far I have come and I would be so proud, it would also give me the opportunity to carry on with my platform and charity Women’s Aid, I will continue to raise awareness and spread the message about domestic abuse as it is so important, I will also continue to help and support others during my time as a I have created a group called Bag the Bug and this was set up to make uniform bags for our NHS staff and care workers across York, Harrogate and Knaresborough and I ended up with a lot of people helping with sewing and donating bedding and pillow cases and I distribuited over 4000 bags to our workers, aswell as organsing a charity pageant to help and support other girls get into pageanty, this is something I thrive from.

What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens ?

Always be yourself and true to yourself, show off your personality!

What have you been doing in the run up to the final of Miss Intercontinental?

In the run up to the finals, I had alot planned but some things have taken a turn due to Covid-19, however that has not stopped me and I have carried on, I have been raising awareness for Women’s Aid and I have virtually climbed Ben Nevis which was 515 flights of stairs! I do also still have my charity pageant Miss Scarborough and Mrs/Ms Yorkshire Rose planned for September 2020 which I am working hard for with my fellow pageant sister Lucy Gowan. I have also set up a campaign with my called ‘Bag the Bug (York, Harrogate & Knaresborough) and we have made uniform bags for NHS staff and care workers and we have had so many people come forward and donate materials and volunteer to sew which has been amazing and in 2 and a half weeks we have distributed over 4000 bags, which is truly amazing!

What’s your favourite ever appearance ?

Because of Covid – 19, it has been hard so most appearances have been virtual appearances which have all been amazing but if I had to pick one it would be ‘Bag the Bug’ for our NHS and Care workers, it has received so much good publicity from local radios and papers over the past couple of weeks and it is something I’m so proud of!

How has the lockdown due to COVID19 19 effected your pageant journey ?

I wouldn’t say it has effected my journey as I haven’t let it and I have tried to carry on as best as I can in the situation but I have used the situation to my advantage and to make the best of a terrible situation, the only way it would have effected me is some appearances and charity work I had planned but I have tried to substitute them with online appearances and virtual events such as virtually climbing Ben Nevis or as well an online just for fun charity pageant Miss Lockdown 2020 which applications are open for until 17th May 2020, I have just tried to stay positive and do my best.

What makes a good pageant role model ?

I personally think it is someone who is graceful, passionate, kind.

What’s your favourite pageant round ?

My all time favourite pageant round is Eco Wear which was a round in Miss West Yorkshire when I competed, it is where you have to make an outfit out of recyclable products and I absolutely loved it but I also love evening wear.

How do you deal with pageant nerves ?

I always get super nervous beforehand, but who doesn’t? For me I just think once the first round is out of the way I always feel less nervous, I think its then not knowing who is out there beforehand and where people are sat but I just go in my own little world and stay focused.

How can we follow your journey?

My social media is – Abbeyhalliwel1 for instagram and it would be great if anyone wants to follow my journey.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions it’s been lovely reading more about your journey and your platform. Good luck at the finals ! Much love, Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.

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