Our Lives as Plus Size Beauty Queens

Meet Siân, Rachel and Isha: the three women who have just been crowned this year’s British Beauty Curve queens. Read, in their own words, about their journeys of self love; and discover a community of women who not only represent beauty at any size, but also show that a person’s worth is defined by a hell of a lot more than just their clothes size.

Rachel in her MBBC crown
My Life as Ms British Beauty Curve

Well where do I begin?

Im Rachel Silverton, I’m 32 and Ms British Beauty Curve 2018. When I’m not carrying out my Queen Duties, I work full time as a Software Trainer for a leading Software Provider, and I travel the country regularly spreading the Facilities Management buzz to leading companies such as BBC, Birmingham NEC and Ascot to name a few.

I love music, I studied music and performing arts at college and I’m never far from my phone, as all my music is there at the touch of a button. I have guilty pleasure which is Eurovision I’ve been a huge fan since I was little.

Rachel in her Zumba work out clothes, holding a MIC signMBBC was a very personal journey for me. For years I have fluctuated with weight up and down, and not just by little amounts either. I was bullied at school heavily because of my size and that always sticks with you. I wanted to prove to myself and to others that size is just a number and it doesn’t define who you are and what you can achieve. I’ve competed in fitness challenges and at one point was a Zumba Instructor, which just goes to prove that larger ladies are not what the stereotype says.

When I was younger I always focused on the ideal, whether it was family life, or what society expects of you. Now at 32 I’m the happiest I have ever been because I’m doing all the things I have set myself out to do. Also, with a great boyfriend, supportive friends and family I’ve been able achieve more than I ever thought possible; I did not for one moment expect to win MBBC.

My MBBC Pageant Journey started with Instagram! I knew nothing about plus size beauty pageants until one day Instagram I came across Emma King’s Account (Miss British Beauty Curve 2016/17). I was so inspired by her work and journey, I decided to message Emma and find out all about it, and truly she was an inspiration; plus, what is even better is that I can now call her a close friend – certainly a unique story if there ever was one. I put so much work into researching pageants (I had never even been to one), so I spent the whole run up to campaign researching previous MBBC years and queens, along with other pageant systems. I planned all of my pageant appearances out with a timeline so to not over expose myself at any one time. I worked on my walk (I was hopeless in heels so that took some work), and when it finally came to pageant day it was the most empowered I have ever felt. Being in the same space as so many talented and beautiful ladies, and hearing their journeys, was the most amazing experience.

Rachel at the MBBC finals on stage in her evening gownWhen it came to crowning I was just elated that I had attended and competed in the pageant, and that was enough for me; however, my goal was to get at least one award and I was so very shocked I came away with 4! When it came to the final 2 I was so sure it wasn’t going to be me, and as I was holding hands with Kerrie Downer I kept saying “its you, its you”, and then my name got called! I felt a little bit like a rabbit in headlights: it was overwhelming and exhilarating all at the same time.

During my reign, I’m going full steam ahead with more appearances and spreading the MBBC vibe to all. I’ve got some exciting announcements coming up so stay tuned…

Coming up next for me next is Miss International Curve where I will be competing as Ms United Kingdom Curve for the International title, I can’t wait for this next chapter in pageant journey to start and to continue moving forward.

Always remember, if you dream it you can achieve it!

– Lots of Love, Rachel
Ms British Beauty Curve xxx

 

Isha in her crown and a white dress, with her Mrs British Beauty Curve Sash
My Life as Mrs British Beauty Curve

Hey all!

So, my name is Isha-Nadeen Crosdale and I am currently Mrs British Beauty Curve.

Isha in her gown, sasha and crownI’m a 36 year old mother of 4 beautiful children (my pride and joys) and wife to Kerry Crosdale, my husband (yep… he has a girls name!) For my full time work I am a teacher in a secondary school, and I love my job working with sometimes challenging children. I am a praise and worship leader at my church (yes I sing – something not many people know about me); and I am also a keen netball player, but unfortunately about 5 months ago I broke my ankle which has slowed down my playing so I now stick to coaching.

Coming from a big West Indian family, having shape and curves is the norm. However, I always felt like the odd one out being not only one of five sisters, but also the biggest, as all my sister’s are size 12 and below.

It wasn’t until I started having my children that I realised that I had to show them positivity and confidence, so I started to embrace my body and love me again.

Entering MBBC was the best thing ever! Last year, my first time in a pageant, I placed 1st Runner-up; but although I was pleased with this, being the competitive person I am I knew I had to come back. Placing 2nd made me go away and spend the year pouring all good things into myself, so that I could come back a stronger, better version of me. My goal is to be a role model to young people, especially young girls, to chase their dreams and know that all things are possible, and I hope having this amazing platform will help me do this.

MBBC is an amazing pageant system, and although it sounds cliché we are all a big family. I got into pageants through my baby sister Samara- she really has been my driving force. My confidence has soared since joining the MBBC family, I love everything about it: from the glitz and glamour of it all, to the getting out in the community and letting people know about our pageant.

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I must also mention my sister queens Rachel and Siân who are amazing women in their own right (let’s take this year ladies!) Pageant day I had an explosion of feelings and emotions; rehearsals saw nerves and almost a self doubt; but come the evening it was excitement and adrenaline which I had to focus into my stage presence.

When my name was called…I cannot even begin to explain the feeling. All I remember was blubbering like a baby! Right now,  I can honestly say that winning MBBC is right up there with my most proudest moments and achievements.

As I said, this year I want to get stuck in and do some work with young people (I have a few things in the pipeline so watch this space!) I’ve also began some charity work and have chosen to support three charities during my reign: ACLT (the African Caribbean leukaemia trust), McMillan and SANE, which is the official charity for Miss International Curve.

Not only that, but in winning MBBC I automatically go on to represent the UK in October. I think I am actually more nervous for this as prep time is much shorter, but you better believe I’m going to give it my best shot.

I know that my faith in God has allowed me to be a stronger more determined me, and I thank God for that inner strength. I’m hoping to do big things with, and for, my platform this coming year and hope you will join me on this journey of discovering how awesome we are!

– Isha-Nadeen Crosdale
Your Mrs British Beauty Curve 2018/19

Sian against a dark background, holding her crown out towards the camera
My Life as Miss British Beauty Curve

My name is Siân Yapp, I’m 29 years old and I’m from a small town in the Midlands called Evesham. I moved to London in January 2014 to pursue new ventures and modelling, and I now work in wholesale customer services for a shoe brand and I model part time.

I am also the current Miss British Beauty Curve 2018.

My journey to self love, acceptance and confidence started in 2012. Up until that point, I was not a happy person and did not like what I saw in the mirror. I often experienced heckling in the street by people on nights out; in fact, on one particular night out, I even had people throw their food at me. I was with friends and was utterly embarrassed: not because someone had thrown food at me, but because it was done in front of everyone, including my friends.

Sian modelling photo

At that point, I had basically accepted that I wasn’t good enough to be treated as a human being and not have pieces of burger thrown at my back. What hurt me the most was that my friends had to be around someone like me who wasn’t good enough.

To this day, I wish I could go back and tell myself that I was perfect as I was, I was not a burden and my friends loved me for me; those girls who threw food were drunk and behaving poorly most likely due to their own insecurities, and I was just an easy target.

The pivotal moment in my journey came when I went shopping with my mum and my auntie around Christmas 2012. I saw the most Beautiful dress by Julien Macdonald. It was a body con. I looked at it and thought against it, but my mum spurred me on.

I tried it on… and I liked it. No, I loved it!
However, I didn’t think it was something I should wear being plus size. So I showed my mum for a second opinion. She loved it and told me to get it.

I walked back into the dressing room, looked at myself in the mirror and something just clicked. I remember thinking to myself ‘I have a nice shape’.

It was the first nice thing I had ever thought about my body.

From there, I decided that I needed to not be so harsh on myself and love who I am.
After all, my appearance is only a small percentage of who I am, and if people only want to judge me on face value then they are not the type of characters I would surround myself with.

So, with a little boost in confidence, I applied for a beauty pageant on a whim after watching a documentary on it one night. Thinking nothing of it, I carried on as normal.

After a few months, I had received an email inviting me to an interview for the pageant.
I booked my tickets and spent the weekend in London where I had the interview. The day was such a high and I came away feeling amazing. I later found out I had been accepted and was a finalist in Miss Plus Size International 2013.

Sian crowning

Throughout the pageant process I gained an evening wear sponsor who took me under her wing. She gave me my first couple of modelling jobs for her brand and invited me to come to London to work for her after the pageant, and even though I did not win Miss Plus size International, I felt like I had won. In January 2014 I moved to London and started my new career. I was then signed to two modelling agencies and I have not looked back since.

I first heard about Miss British Beauty Curve when my friend was competing in it in 2015. Watching Kat’s confidence grow, and seeing her determination throughout the lead up to the day and on the stage was infectious and I was extremely proud to call her a friend. The moment she was crowned Ms British Beauty Curve 2015, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of, so I applied for MBBC 2016 and competed.

I met so many wonderful ladies throughout the process who I keep in contact with now. You truly do meet friends for life! That year, I placed in the top ten and won “Miss Top Model”,  though I do remember feeling deflated afterwards, because I knew I didn’t represent myself and show who I was to the best of my ability.

I decided on my birthday this year that I wanted to compete again, but if I was going to compete, I wanted to ensure I had control over my outfits and truly show who I am.
With less than 4 months until the final, I kept my head down and buried myself with outfit preparations, planning my walks for each round and watching pageant videos, along with the occasional appearance where I could fit it in.

The day of the final arrived so quickly, I remember coming in and feeling incredibly empowered. Seeing so many beautiful women in the same place with such confidence and in high spirits made my heart warm. We spent the day in rehearsals for the opening round and plus practicing our walks, and we also had a private interview, which I was excited for.

This year felt different for me. I felt ready.

The moment I was crowned was truly unbelievable.
I was extremely shocked and overwhelmed by it all. I feel so privileged to have been given the chance to represent MBBC, to stand along side my sister queens and all of the contestants past and present, to show that your size does not determine your worth!

The three MBBC queens in the gowns, crowns and sashes

The future for me is set to be a busy one, and I am up for the challenge.
Part of winning MBBC, means that I am now representing the United Kingdom in Miss International Curve 2018, which is being held on October 20th 2018 in Maidstone, Kent.
My days are currently being filled with preparation for each round whilst supporting other events, and representing both Miss British Beauty Curve and Miss International curve.

Regardless of the outcome of Miss International Curve, I have some projects up my sleeve which are extremely close to my heart and I can not wait to get them started. I will also be modelling at the Curve Fashion Festival again this year, where you can catch me in the catwalk and also at the MBBC/MIC stand.

The one piece of advice I would give to anyone wanting to compete, or even just some general life advice? Just do you. Don’t focus on what anyone else is doing, your journey will never be same as theirs, so don’t compare them.

– Siân xxx
Miss British Beauty Curve

Feeling inspired by this year’s queens? Head to the MBBC Website and take the next step in your body positive journey.

 

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