From Lancashire, England, Jessica Gagen was endlessly bullied as a child because of her red hair. Now 26, she has become the first-ever redhead to win the Miss England crown. What makes this story even more impressive is the fact that Jessica is also an aerospace engineer.
The gorgeous Miss England stole the title from 30 other beauty queens at the glamorous event held a month ago in Birmingham. Jessica is now on her way to represent England in an attempt at the Miss World title.
The Semi-Finals for Jessica
Placing second last year, Jessica never gave up! Dressing up in all sorts of crazy outfits to grab the attention of her fans, she also approached girls in many different schools, reaching out to them about STEM in the classroom.
The new Miss England speaks out on bullying
“Throughout secondary school I was teased for being a redhead,” she said. “I didn’t mention it much during last year’s competition as I’m a big believer in leaving negativity in the past, but with there never having been a red-haired Miss England I feel it’s important to educate people about what redheads face in school and empower kids who are facing the same things I did.”
The gorgeous 26-year-old was called names, spat on, physically assaulted, and even had things thrown at her as a child. “[The worst time] was when a girl burned me for having ginger hair,” she said while having the last laugh.
Read: Should Schools Fine the Parent of a Bully?
Since signed up with multiple agencies when turning 18
Jessica was fortunate enough to land some really great contracts with modeling agencies at 18. She was even lucky enough to model on international catwalks. Her motive behind all of this? To push for further interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for students.
“For me, by competing in Miss England, my campaign last year and this year is to help people get girls into STEM subjects.” she said. “But after realizing there has never been a redhead winner, I looked back and I was thinking there are not that many redheads on TV.
She added: “I think it would be so good if there could be somebody in that kind of position who is a redhead. Even last year there wasn’t one redhead in Miss World.“
94 years and not one redhead has won Miss England
In the history of Miss England, not once has a redhead won in 94 years. The ambitious science student went out there to strut her stuff. For all the redhead kids out there who may often feel segregated and bullied by their classmates. She sure has left a powerful message.
“I thought if I could win this, I could empower kids who are being bullied for the way that they look and the color of their hair.” the British beauty said. “It is nice to be able to represent the younger kids and say ‘I have been through it and you can use that pain to raise your game’. Make it your superpower.”
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