Teen beauty helping to beat eating disorders
A TEENAGE girl from east Hull is making a stand against the idea of stick-thin models by raising money for an eating disorder charity.
Sophie Draper, 18, has been selected as a semi-finalist for the national Miss Fresh Teen competition.
After a photo shoot in London, the retail assistant has been rallying round friends and family to vote for her.
Sophie, of in Ings Road, said: "I've modelled before and I'm in the process of building up my portfolio.
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"I want to become a beauty queen and inspire young teenagers by not being the perfect size 6 model.
"I'm a size 10 to 12 and I didn't have a lot of confidence when I left school.
"Young girls always feel pressure to wear loads of makeup and be really thin, because it's the image they see on TV and in magazines."
Thousands of girls entered the online Miss Fresh competition and judges will choose a winner with the help of online votes.
The winner of the semi-final will receive a place in the national final, which will take place later in the year.
Sophie, along with other contestants, is helping to raise awareness and funds for eating disorder charity Beat. She said: "I've done promotional work and raised funds for charities before and I think this one is just as important.
"I am planning how I'm going to raise money for the charity and make sure people know about it.
"There's a lot of dieting in modelling and young people think they need to be very thin.
"I want to show them they can be successful and work in modelling without starving themselves.
"You just have to be yourself and not put yourself down like I used to do when I was younger.
"Since I started modelling it's really helped with my confidence and I don't focus on being like anyone else."
If Sophie goes through to the final and wins the overall competition she will fulfil her dream of modelling for Lipsy London, and will walk away with a cash prize.
She said: "I shop in Lipsy and love the clothes. It would look fantastic in my portfolio to say I'd been the face of the brand.
"I've been posting on Facebook about the competition and I hope lots of people vote for me.
"I studied health and social care at Hull College and I'm just about to start a new job in retail but I love modelling.
"I'd also like to keep going and one day win a pageant and make everyone really proud."
If Sophie reaches the final she will be interviewed by the judges, take part in a catwalk presentation and be treated like a celebrity with her own hair stylist and make-up artist.
She said: "Everyone has been really supportive and it has been great to get this far but it would be fantastic to win.
"I've only been modelling for just over a year but it has been an amazing experience so far."