My Miss British Beauty Curve Experience


Taking part in MBBC has changed my life and I don’t mean that in any pathetic or half-arsed way. I honestly mean it.

Let me explain...

There I was a 30 something working mum with pipe dreams of taking part in a national pageant.  I had longed to don’ a sensational gown and take part in something so glam, but I had never thought I was “pageant material.”  I didn't have the right look, I was definitely not the right size or shape or dare I even say colour!?

It was only when I happened across MBBC; a pageant geared towards women size 14+ that I thought I would enter, with nothing to lose.  But at the back of mind I had no hope of ever being accepted. I had almost forgotten that I had entered, so you could imagine my surprise when I received an a email telling me that I had been chosen to compete.

So much to do so little time and I had no idea where to start.  Pageant fees needed to be paid, a small fee but an amount I didn't have to just pay out right away. I was gutted, I wanted to compete so badly but I simply couldn't afford it on my own. Then,  I had a brain many of my friends friends & family had expressed support, could I approach them for sponsorship? A small donation from many could help me collect my fees. I felt like a muppet chasing a dream and asking my loved ones to contribute was scary!  I don't know why I was so worried,  the response to my seemingly odd request was overwhelming.  Many of my friends and family made a small donation, meaning this Cinderella could go to the ball after all.

Now I knew the financial side of the pageant was taken care of I set to work on getting myself out there. I could potentially earn extra points for every public appearance I made wearing my sash & crown.  This may not be easy for many reasons; would they take me seriously? I'm a big girl, so will they assume I am promoting obesity? I'm not exactly 'pageant material' Would my skin colour cause a problem, my town isn't known for being very diverse?   I had nothing to lose by approaching local businesses and asking for their support. I didn't need their financial help as my friends and family had that covered, but I wanted to have the backing of some of   the local trade. I sent each business a personalised email, I approached local newspapers, radio, local event organisers, shops and charities. Many companies blanked me, some politely declined their support, some not so polite.

The first person to accept was our local papers' editor. He offered to meet with me to run a story.   I was nervous meeting Kevin but I had no need to be.  He was a very kind and approachable man and he made me feel at ease. His story was very true to word, which in the press is rather unusual.

Off the back of the story in my local paper, I was approached by Louise of Louise Bunny Hop Dance & Fitness. She felt like my story gelled with her ethos and was interested in discussing sponsorship. Through meeting Louise I was introduced to Susie ofStyled By Susie. Susie, is a personal stylist and she planned to share her styling flair with me and help dress me for the pageant. She became my second sponsor.

I was a guest on local radio station; Ridge Radio for their Coffee & Chat show with Karen & Mims
where we spent 2 hours chatting like old friends about body confidence, modelling and pageant prep.

I took part in various charity events; I did the Tower of London Run, a charity fashion show in aid of St. Catherine's Hospice, a pamper day for SANDS & ARC, I travelled to Dublin to paint cottages for a charity called Barretstown; who run a fun summer camp for children with life threatening illnesses amongst other things.

This was so much fun, my personal brand was growing and I was starting to get really excited about the big day!  Just one little problem...what the hell was I gonna wear!?

I needed 4 outfits; 

  • A red/white/blue dress for the opening number
  • Swimwear 
  • Fashion wear  
  • Evening wear

I needed Styling advice so off Louise, Susie and I went for pageant shopping on Oxford Street. We were given the use of the personal shopping room by the fantastic staff at Simply Be and Susie worked her magic on me. We had chosen my opening dress, fashion wear from Simply Be & shoes from Debenhams in one trip! She's a genius! I was struggling with swimwear, so I asked my bestie Sian to help me.  She pulled out this beautiful bikini from Forever 21 and I looked at her like she'd grown 2 heads; "Me? A bikini? I don't think I'm ready to wear a bikini in public!" If it weren't for Sian reassuring me that I had nothing to lose and the fact that I wanted to push my own boundaries I probably would've chickened out. I had one last evening gown.

I had set myself a high bar.  I wanted my gown to be spectacular and fit the following criteria;

× Bright Colour
× Embellishments/Sparkle
× A train
× Complimentary to my figure without being to figure hugging or overly revealing 

After sampling many dresses from an array of shops from Birmingham to local shops nothing was dazzling me. I wanted the dress to impress me! A few ticked some of the boxes but none suited them all and I was being super picky!

I had begun to feel like all hope was lost when my fellow blogger friend; Tanya of Secret Plus Size Goddess offered to give me a dress that she felt might fit the bill.  She was travelling to London one weekend so we met up briefly so I could pick up the dress.  When I got home I tried it on straight away, Mya's reaction was enough to make the decision for me. She made a sort of squealy sound and jumped up and down clapping her hands with a happy and excitable grin. "That's the dress!" She said! I agreed, it ticked all the boxes and I felt like a million dollars too!!

Shopping complete, I was ready for the event.  I was excited about meeting all the ladies, I had heard fantastic things about the pageant experience with MBBC so was eager for the day to arrive.  

We were to arrive in the morning to the venue for rehearsals and then pageant prep. You're not allowed to bring anyone with you to do hair/make-up on the day, so I made sure I had an idea of how wanted to do my face and hair beforehand and had done a couple of trial runs at home too.  

The other girls in the pageant were all beautiful and vivacious women. Everyone was nervous but with all of us together those nerves were soon forgotten.   We practiced the opening number's choreography  (which was a very simple routine of steps and hand movements - don't be scared) we broke for lunch and then had our photos taken wearing an MBBC t-shirt and done a brief interview with the pageant director; Leah. I was dead nervous for that, she asked a few questions about why I entered and what I wanted from the competition, she's such a beautiful woman, with oodles of confidence. Leah is a former pageant queen herself so knows exactly what it takes to make it in the pageant world.    

Once all the formalities were done, it was time to get ready and the atmosphere behind stage was brimming with excitement. The ladies in the 'Ms' category were so kind and we gelled instantly. There was no drama or hate going on just a whole lotta love and appreciation for each other. I knew that if any of these women won the crown I would be honoured to call them a friend as they would each make fantastic queens.

I didn't get to spend much time with the  ladies from the 'Miss' category but from the time we did get to spend with each other was fun, I wish that we could've spent more time together.    

It was finally party time, each round went smoothly and everything was fantastically organised behind the scenes so that each girl knew where to be and what to do.  The changes between rounds were quick but there were 19 Misses and only 8 Ms' so we had a little more time to change.

My Closet dress from Simply Be - Opening Round
A few of the ladies had noticed that some of the awards had been announced in the programme; Miss/Ms Publicity and Best Application. I was quite honoured to have been awarded Ms Publicity, I'd worked my ass off for the last 6 months promoting both the brand and myself.  The other winners of the pre-announced awards were; Charlotte-Hannah Phillips; Ms Best Application. Emmie-Jade Hargreaves; Miss Best Application and Natalie Gilbert; Miss Publicity.

Each round was set to a fantastic soundtrack hand picked by Leah & Sam (Our Choreographer) each woman was called by contestant number and asked to take to the stage. Every lady though we were petrified, we smiled our biggest smiles and sashayed down the catwalk, trying our hardest to impress the judges and score the biggest crowd cheers.

Photo Credit: Josh Elms Photography (C)

The opening round was a group number and gave us all the chance to work the crowd and introduce ourselves. The second round was fashionwear. I was wearing a floral print jumpsuit pulled in with a black waist belt. A statement necklace, complimented by a splash of colour; a fuschia pink blazer and matching Roberto Cavalli pointed closed toe kitten heels.  This outfit was completely out of my comfort zone, I'd never worn a jumpsuit and when Susie suggested it I really wasn't sure it was me. Plus add that to the complete colour clash between my jumpsuit and blazer, I was nervous and I had to put all my faith in Susie's impeccable talent.
It paid off, I felt super confident stomping down the catwalk to Ed Sheeran's "Sing"
Photo Credit: Josh Elms Photography (C)

Swimwear was simply terrifying, for all of 3 seconds! We were walking to "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj which is quite a woman power tune.  I had planned to cover up Sian's bikini with a Saress (Cross between a Sun dress and a Sarong) and take it off mid walk. Now this proved to be a tad more difficult than I had envisioned, the second strap got caught under my chin and my shimmy for the judges practically choked me but I was determined to not let it phase me, I pranced on with a mega smile (whilst dying inside!)       

The final round; Eveningwear. 

Every lady looked elegant and there were so many beautiful dresses on parade. You could tell that everyone had put in serious effort to find a dress that ticked all boxes. All the gowns were sensational.     

The Ms category walked to Rihanna's "Diamonds" a very apt song; beautiful ladies shining brightly as we showcased our beautiful dresses. There was no lack of sparkle on that stage.
Photo Credit: Josh Elms Photography (C)
We got the chance during the break to go out into the foyer and meet our family and friends. The vibe was buzzing, everyone was so proud and excited about who could win.  After plenty of selfies and we'll wishes we rushed back to our rooms to freshen up once more.

The entertainment took over while we patiently awaited the crowing ceremony.

There were a lot of awards to be won; Miss / Ms Best in Fashionwear, Miss / Ms Best in Swimwear, Miss / Ms Best in Eveningwear, Miss / Ms Congeniality, Miss/Ms Best Interview, Miss/Ms Best Model, Miss / Ms - 1st Runner Up, Miss / Ms - 2nd Runner Up and Miss / Ms British Beauty Curve 2015.

With there being only 8 girls in the Ms category, by my calculations, there were potentially enough awards to allow everyone to get something as all the ladies were so deserving.  Nerves were rising & the excitement was building.

We came on stage in our respective categories and watched four beautiful women, all previous queens from past years, including Emily and Yvonne reigning Miss/Ms, announce the winners...

They gave the awards to the pre-announced winners, so Charlotte & I picked up our placards. I was so proud to have won an award that I had worked so hard for. Charlotte was also awarded Ms Congeniality, I whole - heartedly agree with that choice, she had taken the time to buy each girl a small gift to give out on the day and took the time to get to know each lady. She is always kind and helpful, a true Ms Congeniality.

Photo Credit: Aar De Photography - permission to use given by Charlotte-Hannah Phillips (pictured)
Me & Stephanie
Ms Best Interview went to Stephanie Juliet Jaziri. Stephanie is a fantastic woman and she is always so confident and smiley, it's no wonder she won this award.
Tracey being crowned :)

Ms 2nd Runner Up was given to Tracey Haynes. She was so confident on stage full of life and daring in her beautiful outfit choices, so happy for her, totally deserved. 

Kim in her evening wear

Ms 1st Runner Up was given to Kim Ireland. Kim is gorgeous and she had in my opinion the prettiest dress of the night. She rocked the swimwear section, such a proud moment seeing her confidently take the stage even though she was so nervous behind the scenes.

Aisha in her evening gown
Ms Best Model went to Aisha Namurach. Aisha is a beautiful soul, she is such a kind lady with exceptional beauty. She totally stormed the fashion wear round in her handmade sequin jacket and catsuit.

Hearing my name being called to win Ms Publicity was more than enough, so to hear it called again for, Ms Best in Fashionwear, Swimwear and Eveningwear, broke me...I couldn't believe it, tears streaming down my face I was simply speechless.  I instantly felt a pang of guilt though, all these women in my category deserved to win too.  When they announced that I had also won the crown, I felt weak in the knees. Are they sure? Has there not been a mix up?  I walked forward to receive my sash and to be crowned by Yvonne. I was filled with pride, but not only for myself but for the other 7 ladies who shared the stage with me, I turned to them and gestured for more applause for all of them, this crown was for all of us really, we all deserved it.

Photo Credit - Josh Elms Phtography
They announced the winners of the Miss category next and those awards went to;
Left - Right (Top) Emmie, Shirin, Lori
Left - Right (Bottom) Natalie, Rebecca & Emma

Miss Congeniality; Shirin Arabpour
Miss Best Application; Emmie-Jade Hargreaves
Miss 1st Runner Up - Lori Macdonald
Miss 2nd Runner Up - Natalie Gilbert
Miss Best Interview - Rebecca Argent
Miss Best Model - Rebecca Argent
Miss Best in Fashionwear - Natalie Gilbert
Miss Best in Swimwear - Emma King
Miss Best in Eveningwear - Lori Macdonald
Miss British Beauty Curve 2015 - Rebecca Argent

Every single one of these women exude poise, beauty and elegance. They are kind and inspirational women who empower women around them.

Taking part in MBBC was the best risk I have ever taken for many reasons; my confidence has grown tenfold by being surrounded by strong, confident and like minded women who inspire me daily.  I have made fantastic friends and hold so many memories. I won some fantastic prizes including my crown and sash, a Michael Kors tote bag, a pair of GHD curlers, goodies from Lisser Moi, Fake Bake and jewellery amongst other things. I have a title which I can use to inspire others to follow their dreams. What I think is cool is that many previous contestants re-apply, mainly because the experience is second to none.

If you are debating whether pageants are for you or if you should take part, my one piece of advice is...DO IT! You will not regret it!  The experience is heavily dependant on what you put into it, it can be everything you've ever dreamed if you let it.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment - I'd love to help you on your journey....

Applications are still being reviewed  >>>>  ENTER HERE


You Might Also Like


I'd love to hear your thoughts & comments...