Hi everyone! I hope you have all had a lovely Easter weekend and are enjoying the Bank holiday! I’m truly sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. A LOT has happened since I last wrote on here. You may have seen my exciting announcement on Instagram / Facebook while I’ve been on (a working) holiday in Venezuela. And in case you haven’t… I AM A FINALIST FOR MISS UNIVERSE GREAT BRITAIN 2017! I’m still pinching myself!
I decided to write more of a personal and honest blog post today to share with you my decision to enter Miss Universe GB and what I hope to achieve in the lead up to the finals and thereafter!
A little background
I have always been very private about my day job as it is something very personal to me that I didn’t feel the need to address until very recently. I have been a Languages teacher in London for 3 years now and it is a career path that I chose to pursue for many reasons. Introducing and teaching others to communicate in different languages has always been a passion of mine. I always grew up surrounded by strong women and I wanted, particularly, to teach girls and instil confidence and self-belief in them. To teach them and show them that anything is possible if they work hard enough. Teaching is not just what I do, but it is also part of who I am. This is why I decided to start this very blog about a year and a half ago. To reach and inspire women of all ages, who have similar interests, from travel to fashion and beauty and merge my passions for teaching and the beauty industry together.
After a long time of trying to get on the property ladder in London and failing to do so, I decided the best option for me would be to move away from London and buy a house in the south coast with my partner. This is why, back in November, before I even thought about entering Miss Universe, I decided to jump into the unknown and hand in my notice at my current school. I did not “quit” my job to pursue my “dreams”. This is far from a choice between pursuing a career as a teacher or as a beauty queen, because life is not that black and white. My aim is to educate and empower young women both inside and outside the school’s boundaries, either as Miss Wilkes or as Miss Universe. Winning Miss Universe GB would give me the platform to reach a greater number of young women and do just that. The opportunity to compete as a finalist really could not have presented itself at a more perfect time.
Am I a good role model?
I believe I am a great example to girls who want to become independent young women who use their intellect to decide what they want to do with their lives. I am pursuing what I want to do with my life and not letting anything about what people think influence that. I’ve seen people already dismissing this pageant as something purely linked to vanity and that is simply not the case. If it were, then there would be no need for interviews, a tough round of questions or public speaking. We should be encouraging young girls and boys to explore every positive opportunity that comes their way and that no choice (within limits) is better than another. This is my first ever pageant and I am willing to make the most of the experience, with determination and grit, whilst having fun in the process, making new friends along the way and supporting charitable causes. Before criticism, it is important to seek first to understand what this competition is all about. I can tell you, as an educator, that there are a lot of positive aspects regarding pageantry that people overlook. The end goal for me would be to win and become an ambassador and representative for Great Britain, all whilst embracing my femininity and being the best version of myself.
Do I have responsibility as a teacher?
As teachers, it is our duty to be the best possible role models to our students. I have a responsibility as a teacher to encourage my girls to be comfortable in their own skin and to love themselves no matter what. Aside from teaching languages, I also educate my girls about issues regarding body image, self-belief and confidence, healthy eating and peer-pressure. I am not encouraging brains over beauty, and any sentiments regarding this train of thought are nonsensical. We don’t tell the cleverest of our girls that they must follow a purely academic field, or the sportiest to simply be sports people. Just because I am a teacher and have languages at my disposal that doesn’t mean I should be only a languages teacher and nothing more. That is limiting and unhealthy.
How will I balance both?
This is a question that I know many people will be asking themselves. As a professional, with a postgraduate degree under my belt and 3 years of teaching experience at a top school, I will not allow myself to get distracted or drawn away from my responsibilities as a teacher. Yes, I am taking on another role as a Miss Universe Great Britain Finalist, and it won’t be easy to balance both, but I know that I am a strong enough woman to take on that challenge and be able to succeed in both areas. I do not have children at home to look after, no pets, I’m not married… therefore, what I choose to do with my free time is entirely personal and no one can influence that. I will dedicate my spare time, when I am not planning lessons and marking books, to preparing myself both physically and mentally for the finals in July.
I am determined to enjoy the experience no matter what, whether I win the crown or not. This is a once in a lifetime oppotunity that I know I will remember forever. So here I am, willing and ready to enjoy every moment!