Have you ever thought what it would be like to be a beauty queen?
Well tside reporter Natasha Hart caught up with 19-year-old Rebecca Risdale who recently finished her year-long reign as Miss Tees Valley to find out more.
The teenager from Eston, Middlesbrough, was crowned the winner of the Miss Tees pageant in October 2015.
Rebbecca now aims to be the successful candidate in her current run for Top Model of England 2016/17 and World Supermodel England 2016/17.
The Teesside University student agreed to talk to tside in her local pub to dispel the myth that being a beauty queen is simply about looks.
She said: “I promise you we don’t just prance around in a makeup room, looking pretty! Pageants are about a lot more than that.”
“I love the modelling side, I started with a modelling contract at the age of 13 but my main love is the friendships you make along the way.
” You work all year round, it’s a lot about helping out in the community.
“I have volunteered in community centres, worked with many people with learning difficulties, helped in hospitals for years and fundraised for lots of charities on Teesside.”
Her current competition- World supermodel England– could see her travelling to the Caribbean or China if crowned the winner in November.
As a huge part of Rebecca’s role, since beginning to compete in pageants at the age of 16, community spirit has been extremely important.
The MFC employee, said: “To me, Middlesbrough acts as a huge family that doesn’t criticise others
or what they do, we help to put the wrong, right.”
“The bad publicity surrounding the area I personally grew up simply winds me up, it is not true!
“I’ll continue to represent the North East and change peoples’ expectations.”
Reports recently showed that Middlesbrough was the worst place for a girl to grow up in England.
Based on GCSE Levels, employment rates, crime rates, childhood poverty and life expectancy; according to authorities Middlesbrough is the worst place for a female to live.
Rebecca said: “I was once a little girl living in Teesside and I’m proud of that. I have succeeded, I’m a university student in this town, I work in a local bar and at Middlesbrough football ground, whilst competing in pageants and modelling.”
“We all aren’t bad people and we certainly don’t all fit into one stereotype.”
It hasn’t all been perfect for the local model but determination gave her the fight she needed.
Rebecca grew up with a very severe case of Asthma, describing her lungs as ‘30% dead and 70% nana like’ she has been in and out of hospital her whole life.
She said: “Hospitals are like my second home, I used to call the nurses my Aunties.”
“I am on injections on a weekly basis, I have frequent hospital visits and stays and my blood levels have to be monitored all because of my illness.
“My bones are now being tested in case they have been affected by the prescribed steroids.
” I have been in Resus five times, just since the start of this year.
“But it made me fight, it is the main reason behind my very first entry into Galaxy- a national pageant and I am going to carry on.”
Ellie Tyers, 17, from Stockton is the new Miss Tees Valley.
Rebecca described the handover as an emotional experience, but one she hopes will be just as rewarding for the new winner as it was for her.
She said: “Everyone tried their hardest, it is brilliant to see so many young girls doing their best and to see how much it meant to everyone.”
“I remember being in the same situation just a year ago.
“My journey as Miss Tees Valley has finished but so many more journeys have just begun for me.”
Rebecca will find out the results for Supermodel England in November 2016, she currently leads the public vote with a huge 740 likes on Facebook.