Sussex Rotarian Vicky O’Farrell is just coming back down to earth after reaching the finals of Ms Great Britain.
The 48-year-old, who is President of Haywards Heath Rotary, took part in the contest in Leicester – and though she didn’t win the title, the experience was one she will never forget.
Vicky said: “I was completely outside of my comfort zone. It was a challenging experience, but also the most wonderful. I loved every moment, every smile and even the tears when I couldn’t get the dance right.
“But the whole process has been such an uplifting, confidence-building, friend-making wonderment. I would highly recommend this to any women out there.”
Vicky works as a personality profiler, helping others to overcome challenges. So when the opportunity presented itself to take part in a beauty contest, she jumped at it.
“I’m not just going to be sitting on the side-lines,” she said. “If I want to drive change, then I’ve got to be in there driving change, and making a difference.”
There was no bitchiness on the side-lines for the two-day contest, with Vicki, who is Haywards Heath’s first female President since the Rotary club was established in 1932, describing her fellow competitors as “an amazing, supportive and inspirational group of women”.
In total, 60 women were competing for the Miss Great Britain and Ms Great Britain titles.
“The women were a little shocked that this was my first ever pageant, and that I had gone for one of the biggest titles possible,” explained Vicky. “Then, when I told them I was 50 next year, this shocked a few of them.”
During the event, the contestants had to learn a dance routine, which the West Sussex Rotarian admitted she struggled with. There were fashion wear, swimwear and presentation rounds at the Athena Ballroom in Leicester.
The Ms Great Britain organisers are trying to move the event from the beauty contest stigma it once had, and seeking out female role models. That is why Vicky said she entered.
She added: “Beauty is not about lipstick power and paint, it is about the person behind the skin, the thoughts, the love and the support they give to all of human kind.”
Take a look at a previous article about Vicky O’Farrell’s journey to the Ms Great Britain competition here: