Interview with Miss Diamond Curve Gloucestershire – Charlotte Philips
Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog it’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens especially Diamond ones.
Can you introduce yourself ?
Hello – I’m Miss Diamond Curve Gloucestershire, Charlotte Phillips and I’m 39 years old.
What made you enter pageants?
I sort of ‘fell’ into pageantry in 2014. Having had a back injury, I entered ‘Curvy Idol’, which was an online pageant. I was the only UK entrant and I came 12th out of several hundred ladies from across the world. Having been ‘bitten by the bug’, I looked to see if there were any UK based pageants that would take plus size girls like me, and that got me started on a five year pageant roll!
Can you tell us about your pageant journey?
I took part in Miss British Beauty Curve in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, in the Ms division, scooping the Ms Congeniality title in each of the four years, Ms Pageant Spirit for three successive years, coming 1st Runner up in 2017 and 2nd Runner up in 2018. I really enjoyed my time with MBBC and I wouldn’t swap it for the world. The friendships I have made are friendships for life and the change I have found in myself in terms of confidence is immeasurable.
What made you decide to compete in the Diamond System ?
I decided after 4 years of competition that 2018 would be my year to hang up my pageant shoes – but I missed the buzz so much. Having been away from my previous system for so long, I wanted to try something new and Miss Diamond came very highly recommended, and it didn’t take me long to see why. All the ladies are so welcoming and lovely, and as directors Tina and Danni are worth their weight in gold.
What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?
Pageants taught me that I am enough. Just as I am. Not that I could be enough if only I weighed a little less; or if only my hair were a little longer, or if only I were a little shorter – but that at 6’2”, size 24 and nearly 40, I have worth and I matter. I have been a victim of bullies my whole life and pageantry has made me realise that what Eleanor Roosevelt said is true “People can only make you feel inferior if you give them your permission”. Taking part in pageants was my way of removing my permission.
What’s your pageant platform and why ?
I am a staunch supporter of Mental Health Awareness. With one in four people in the UK now being diagnosed with a form of mental illness, more needs to be done to reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill health. I have battled with MH issues for most of my adult life and I understand the need for openness and support. In 2017, I started an online campaign to raise awareness of the masks that people too often use to hide their feelings. It was very successful in terms of raising both awareness and much-needed funds to support the MIND Christmas campaign. I continue to work with Mind as a fundraiser and I want to continue to do so through my work with the Diamond pageant system.
What’s your dream title?
I’d love to compete internationally, and if successful in the Miss Diamond final, I would have the opportunity to go to India to compete in Ms Exclusive & Extraordinary Plus Size. Winning any pageant at national level is an honour so this is up there on my wish list!
If you were to win Miss Diamond Curve what would it mean to you?
If I were to win Miss Diamond Curve, I would be ecstatic. It’snot the end of the pageant journey- it’s just the beginning. It is the chance to build on the work that you did towards achieving the title, to do more for your community and to strive to be worthy of the crown.
What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant contestants?
Be yourself. No-one can do that better than you.
What have you been doing in the run up to the Diamond finals ?
This year has been hard (since lockdown), and appearances have been limited. I had planned a gala dinner in March but this has been rescheduled for October. I have two other exciting things in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled!
Favourite ever appearance?
Having lunch with real life astronaut, Joe Tanner, who flew four missions (including the first and last missions) aboard the Atlantis space shuttle programme at NASA!
How has the lockdown due to covid19 affected your pageant journey?
It has had a huge impact on appearances, as I said, but also on the final. It has been postponed from our finals weekend in early May and we are awaiting a new date. Can’t wait to get back to stepping out in my sash!
What makes a good pageant role model?
Kindness, compassion, empathy and hard work. I think there is so much more to being a queen than being beautiful on the outside. A good role model has depth and real character.
What’s your favourite pageant round ?
Evening wear – I mean, who doesn’t like to wear a big posh dress and feel like a princess?!
How do you deal with pageant nerves?
Remember myself: ‘Anyone who has paid to come and see the pageant has done so because they want to see people like you, doing what you do best. No one is there to criticise or heckle. Just be you and shine’.
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Thank you so much for answering my questions it’s been lovely getting to know you better and your platform. I’ll see you at the finals much love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.