19-Year-Old Chloe Brookes, a University of Lincoln student, has been crowned Miss Grantham, 2018 and hoping to go onto be crowned Miss England 2018. After reaching out to us regarding being involved with Lincoln Fashion Week, we decided to follow up her request with a few questions so that us, and you, could get to know Miss Grantham 2018.
George: How did you become passionate and involved with pageantry?
Chloe: I first was properly introduced to the competition when I met our current Miss England at a photo shoot, where I worked at the time. I’d been dressing girls and seeing them for a few months, so I had a relative knowledge of the dress side of things. Stephanie actually inspired me to get involved. You could see her drive and determination and all the amazing things she was taking part in. I think also a competition like Miss England, is so easy to love when you know more about it and the charity work involved, also the life experiences, but despite this, it is still shunned by many. It shouldn’t be! The contest has moved on, there’s no on stage swimwear and is about a woman’s ability to be a role model, and I think that’s why I am so passionate about this contest. I entered on account of my boyfriend, I’d been thinking of getting involved for some time but had never really had the guts to do it, but eventually he talked me around and I applied. First auditioning at Miss England HQ and then being accepted into the final of the Lincolnshire Heat.
G: How does this first experience compare to competing for Miss Grantham 2018?
C: I think initially I wasn’t ready. It’s true I had worked hard but the week of the final is when the nerves set in (more than it ever had on stage during my theatre education). But the day came and the words of friends and family resonated with me. The first walk is the worst but then from there it’s just a lot of fun! I expected competing to be just that – competitive, but it wasn’t, everyone got along backstage and we all enjoyed ourselves doing it.
G: How did it feel to achieve the crown of Miss Grantham 2018?
C: I don’t think I could describe it. I didn’t think I’d make top 10 never mind walk away with a title. It’s immensely rewarding to work hard and be recognised for it. I think it was a big achievement in my own self worth too, buying my dress for the finals I was wearing a size 14 on the night and it didn’t stop me being recognised and being given this opportunity to prove my worth further!
G: In regards to the competition, you have to make a dress out of recycled materials. What are your plans for this?
C: I don’t want to give too much away but I’m sticking to my theatre/acting roots!
G: What interested you about being involved with Lincoln Fashion Week?
C: Being represented! I think largely girls my size aren’t seen enough on the runway. You’re looking at a few sizes bigger or smaller. I know so many girls that are my size that have told me how amazing it is that I’ve pursued my goals and haven’t listened to the typical negative comments. It’s also important to me because I think there’s girls out there that will come to see the shows who will take a career in fashion, buying, designing, modelling or turn out to be the next Miss England, and I’d love to be a small part of that push to achieve.
G: If you could pass on one piece of advice to a person walking the catwalk or taking part in a pageant, what would it be?
C: Work hard, be yourself. It’s free to be kind but it’s also not going to cost you anything to add your own little sparkle to things. Show them who you are! When walking you need to be confident, hold your head up, anyone watching can see if you aren’t invested in your walk.
G: How are you feeling in regards to representing Lincolnshire at the Miss England Semi Finals?
C: Honoured! I fell in love with this county when I first visited, the rich history is something I’ve always been interested in. My only hope is I can do Lincolnshire proud!
G: How are you preparing for this?
C: I’ll be fundraising as much as I can, I’ve set myself a high target and I aim to meet it. I’m also trying to get to different events, to get out there and get my face and name known with the people I am representing. I’ll also be creating my eco outfit and of course practicing walking!
G: What are your short term goals? E.g. where do you see yourself a year from now?
C: A year from now I hope to be graduating with a strong degree from university and beginning the process of my Masters. I also hope to still be part of the Miss England team, competing, inspiring and spreading the word.
G: Any final comments?
C: I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for me as Miss Grantham, way beyond the Semi Finals. And for any girls sat thinking “maybe I could do this”, you need to listen to that voice, I did and now look!