A six-foot paramedic, who describes feeling “a freak” because of her height, has overcome her body image issues to star in a global beauty pageant.
Alice Jones, 27, from Walsall, West Midlands, suffered for years from crippling anxiety due to her height, which caused her to tower over her classmates at school.
“Mentally, I had a lot of self-doubt and body image issues,” she explains.
“Growing up, I thought I was worthless,” she continues. “Being six feet tall made me feel like a bit of a freak for being so tall.”
Although she says her problems started in childhood, they continued into adulthood and affected her personal life as well.
“I never really got into relationships because I was taller than all the guys — that didn’t do anything for my confidence,” she explains.
“I had to make a conscious effort not to get too gangly. I got comments like ‘Gee, you’re tall’ and it made me uncomfortable.”
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As she got older, her self-esteem issues continued even after she qualified as a paramedic.
“I used to feel like I didn’t deserve to be a paramedic,” she explains.
The turning point came when she took five months off to receive therapy and overcome her physical problems.
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And after some encouragement from her peers, who urged her to “go for it,” she found the confidence to run in an election.
“I entered Miss England as a challenge for myself because it was completely different from my day job as a paramedic,” she explains.
“I went from spending most of my time in steel-toe boots and my hair in a messy bun to wearing a fancy dress with my hair and makeup done.”
Another reason she wanted to enter the competition was to use the Beauty with a Purpose platform (the Miss World charity) to teach the public how to do CPR and how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
“I have been working in the ambulance service since I was 18, where I have provided care, treatment and even cups of tea to people in need,” she says.
“Being a nurse has always been an ultimate goal of mine and I have fulfilled it and will continue to do so.
“But by entering the Miss England contest, I’ve unlocked a potential in myself that I didn’t know I had.”
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Jones, who works for West Midlands Ambulance Service and is the current Miss Black Country, says she enjoys the challenge of juggling her work as a paramedic with taking part in pageants.
“I want to show others that you can do both and that life is all about challenges,” she explains.
“I love attending photo shoots, participating in different rounds, wearing dresses and really focusing on my fitness.
“Sometimes I find modeling more of a challenge than saving a life,” she continues. “It’s certainly not as easy as it seems, but I welcome that challenge.”
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After reaching the semi-finals of the competition and winning two awards, Jones has now been invited to represent the UK at the World Top Model final in Egypt.
“I’m really looking forward to representing the UK and hope to inspire others to step out of your comfort zone, whatever that may be.”
Jones will represent the United Kingdom in the 29th Top Model of the World pageant on March 3 at the five-star luxury White Hills Resort in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.
Additional reporting SWNS.