Interview with Miss Eco U.K. – Charlotte Brooke
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 and more about the systems that they represent.
Can you introduce yourself ?
Charlotte Brooke, Miss Eco UK and 28 years old.
What made you enter pageants ?
I actually entered as a favour to a woman I had done some modelling for, they needed someone to replace a girl who dropped out last minute and asked if I would do it. I was 22 (I think?) and just agreed to go to Nigeria to compete in an international called Miss Exquisite. I had no idea what I was doing but after that experience I was hooked!
Can you tell us about your pageant journey so far ?
My first pageant was that one I mentioned above, the following year I was asked to represent England in Miss Global in Jamaica which was an amazing experience. I competed in numerous national pageants over the years! Miss London, Miss England, Miss Galaxy, Miss Scuba, I even went to Monaco with Miss Motors. In 2017 I won Miss Earth England and spent a month in the Philippines which was genuinely life changing for me, that pageant really helped me shape my future and recognise the type of legacy I wanted to leave behind. At the end of 2018 I took part in Miss Multiverse, a reality TV pageant show which was probably the most fun (and the most stress) I’ve ever experienced in a short 3 weeks! Now I am prepping for my current international Miss Eco.
What made you decide to compete in Miss Eco ?
Miss Eco stood out to me as a pageant system because I genuinely share a lot of the same values as they do as a pageant. I care deeply about the environment and am building a business in eco-friendly fashion. I consider myself to be somewhat business minded and believed that I could bring something good to this pageant with my future being focused on biodegradable fashion and I know it could provide me the right type of audience, people who were already in line with the same ethos. Ultimately I think, if I were to win, we could start a genuine partnership built on a shared desire to change the world for the better.
What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?
The most important thing I’ve learnt from pageantry would be direction. Over the years, through the challenges you face with pageants, I was able to get to know myself and develop myself in ways that most people don’t. It truly allows you to learn who you are and whats important to you, it allowed me to see how I want to leave my mark on the world and gave me sisters to support me along my journey.
What’s your pageant platform and why ?
My platform is influencing people to make smarter choices when it comes to fashion, this being not spending so much on throwaway fashion, investing in pieces that will last, shopping second hand or renting gowns and the like. I’m actually setting up my own online rental store, featuring some of the amazing gowns I’ve worn on stage! I’ve got some friends who are also keen to put their dresses up on the site, sometimes you don’t want to sell something if it’s special but you want someone else to be able to experience wearing an amazing gown! I would love to change the way renting and thrift shopping is perceived. If you could rent a Leo Almodal for a couple hundred, instead of spending £5k, that definitely seems like a wise choice to me! So look out for my insta store, I’ll be setting it up soon!
What’s your dream title ?
I couldn’t think of a more fitting title than Miss Eco International!
If you were to win Miss Eco International what would it mean to you ?
It would be such a honour to win a pageant that lines up with my personal values so well. Sometimes when I talk about my platform I get told it’s too big (I kind of want to change the way the fashion industry operates, so I can see why people would think that), but someone has to do it, right? Someone has to be the next Bill Gates or Greta Thumburg. I truly believe that with the right connections and an active and engaging platform, we can inspire change in a big way. We need to revolutionise the fashion industry, with it being the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases it is in need of serious change. With the help of Miss Eco International, we would be able to work together to reach the right people, we could do so much good! So with that in mind I think it’s fair to say that winning could be life changing!
What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant contestants ?
Get a coach! If you are serious about winning, getting a coach to help you develop your personal brand and figure out what your style is, it’s the quickest way to do that. I didn’t get a coach until this year and I really regret it! I did learn a lot just by trial and error but I think if I had a coach to help guide me then I could have focused more on my performance at each pageant and relaxed and enjoyed it more.
What have you been doing in the run up to the final of Miss Eco ?
I’ve been focusing on my health and fitness, I always try to be healthy and workout regularly but in the lead up to pageants I will always step it up a notch. I have also been working hard on developing my personal brand with my pageant coach, I’m happy with the progress we have made in just a few weeks so far and the best part is the work we have been doing also ties in with my business and that rental store I mentioned above! I am making sure everything is in line with my future goals so that regardless of the outcome of the pageant, I will continue this work on myself and my business.
What’s your favourite ever appearance ?
Not sure if this really counts as most of the pageants I’ve done haven’t focused too much on appearances, but when I took part in Miss Universe GB I won the award for Miss Charity and the prize for that award was a trip to India with a few of my fellow sisters to visit one of the charities we raised money for. We went for 6 days and met so many wonderful and inspiring women from Sheroes Hangout. There will be nothing that can top this appearance!
How has the lockdown due to COVID19 affected your pageant journey ?
Yes, unfortunately my pageant was postponed due to the pandemic, it was supposed to take place in March. It has been pushed back to August – hopefully.
Has your reign been extended due to COVID19?
Not as far as I know, but I suppose it depends on when the international can take place!
What makes a good pageant role model ?
I think the key parts that make up a good role model in pageantry are:
Someone who listens, you are there for a reason, yes you should enjoy it but don’t forget to treat the organisers and others there with respect.
Someone who understands what pageants are about, is flexible and able to show their personality through each of the challenges.
Someone with an advocacy they believe in, it takes more than raising money for a charity you know nothing about, you have to want to make a real difference and you should have a clear plan on how you will do that.
What’s your favourite pageant round ?
Ballgown round! I always used to wish I could have been born in a different era, maybe the mid 19th century when balls were popular and men and women would wear fantastic gowns and suits and dance so elegantly together. When I walk on stage in my ballgown this is the type of warm, happy feeling that flows through me.
How do you deal with pageant nerves ?
Truth be told I don’t suffer too badly with nerves, I was catwalking on stage from the age of 15 and I’ve been modelling half my life so I am very used to interacting with new people and walking in front of a large audience. I think it’s easier to be calm when you really know who you are and believe in what you’re doing. This is why it’s important to develop a strong sense of self, be confident in who you are and what you have to offer and remember to have fun!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions it’s been lovely learning more about Miss Eco and also your platform. I wish you all the best at the International of Miss Eco, fingers crossed it will take place in August. Much Love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.