A WREXHAM woman is promoting the positive effects of beauty pageants after winning a national plus size pageant in Kent.

Kayleigh Williams, from Ruabon, said she got into beauty pageants as a way of boosting her self-confidence, and after winning local and national competitions, she says they have helped her grow as a person.

She is now doing work for various charities at events and hopes that people can see beyond the notion that pageants are all about supermodels.

Speaking to The Leader, the 28-year-old said: “I applied for the Wrexham plus size beauty pageant around about 10 months ago and I was accepted while I was on my honeymoon of all times.

“I actually managed to win that competition, which was a big shock to me. I then went on to represent Wrexham in a national plus size beauty pageant in Kent last month, and I won that as well which was incredible. I was competing against around 30 other women and I did not think at all that I would win that pageant, so it was amazing.

“I’m so grateful to have won because I’ve got to do some great work in the local community since. I’ve been doing a lot of work with various charities in the area, particularly with Nightingale House. I believe all the different events I’ve been a part of have come together to raise about £10,000 for them which is great.

“Charity work has probably been my favourite part of all of it, being able to be part of something that helps within the local community is something that I’m particularly proud of.”

Speaking about the stigma that surrounds beauty pageants, Mrs Williams added: “I think there definitely still is a negative feeling from some towards these types of competitions, and I think a lot of those people just go off what they see on TV.

“Pageantry is a lot more than supermodels and skinny girls, or who is the best-looking person, people don’t realise how much hard work really goes into beauty pageants.

“They’re about how you carry yourself as a person, how you can represent the pageant as the winner, they’re about body confidence and boosting confidence, they’re also empowering for women.

“They have helped me in so many ways, before I started competing I was sort of a recluse and I didn’t really have many friends, but taking part in these pageants have brought me out of my comfort zone and it has allowed me to come out of my shell and grow in confidence and as a person.

“There’s great camaraderie between all the competitors and you really do make friends with a lot of the people you compete against.

“They’re great events that can really help people in a lot more ways than people realise, and I can personally attest to that.”