• Derek Tokarzewski

Laura Gentles Ms International Curve 2019/2020


Laura Gentles Ms International Curve 2019/2020, World Class Queens of England Magazine,

World Class Queens of England Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Laura Gentles Ms International Curve 2019/2020.


Full name: Laura Gentles Title/Year: Ms International Curve 2019/2020 Pageant System: Miss International Curve Age: 32 Zodiac sign: Pisces Hobbies: Singing, Writing, Body Positive Activist, Cooking. Platform: Cancer Research UK and Invisible Disability Awareness Years competed: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 Countries visited: Spain, France, Canary Islands, Greece, Italy, UAE, Belgium, USA, Jamaica, Dominican Republic. Likes: Cats, Dogs, Chocolate, Music, Online Shopping, Kindness, Laughter, Learning, Big smiles. Dislikes: The colour pink, traffic jams, bad manners and selfishness. Status: Single. World Class Queens of England: Please tell us about yourself. I'm originally from the North East of England but I've lived in South London for seven years. I am a self employed Beauty Therapist with over ten years experience, which is one of my passions. I have two cats called Marbles and Olivia who keep me busy! I love a night in just as much as a night out, and my favourite colour is purple.

World Class Queens of England: What does women Empowerment means to you?

I think we should all aim to empower each other as women. Whether that means complimenting a stranger, or supporting a movement that you're passionate about.

We should also be responsible for empowering ourselves.

It's important to be able to give yourself a pep talk, and be the example that you would like to see, thus empowering yourself and others in the process.

World Class Queens of England: Tell us about your pageant history.

My first time competing was in 2013, in a plus size international system. In hindsight this was such a huge system for my first time. I went on to compete in a few plus size and straight size national systems over the years, usually placing first or second runner up. I also won Ms Diamond SE 2017, which is a regional title that means the world to me as I won as a plus size woman in a predominantly straight size system.

World Class Queens of England: What inspired you to do your first pageant?

The first pageant system I competed in was called, Miss Plus Size International, a pageant designed for ladies size 18 and over. There was a TV show dedicated to this that I watched in awe, and the lady who won inspired me. Her story was so similar to mine, and her confidence was incredible. At the end of the show, there were contact details to enter, so I applied with much encouragement from my mam. Over 1,000 girls entered and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of 30 finalists. World Class Queens of England: Why did you choose to compete for your current title? I previously competed in Miss International Curve’s sister pageant, Miss British Beauty Curve in 2014, and I fell in love with the ethos of the system. My plan was to re enter in 2019, however I felt I was ready for the international stage. As the systems are both ran by the same directors, and the ethos is very similar I decided to go for it. It was also a great opportunity to be able to represent my Scottish heritage.

World Class Queens of England: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about?

Miss International Curve is open to all ladies aged 18 and over, and UK size 14 and over. There is no upper age or size limit. Finalists must also have heritage of the chosen country they wish to represent. Miss International Curve gives plus size women a voice and a space within pageantry.  The final is an electric atmosphere, it's such an empowering and vibrant event. World Class Queens of England: What are you being judged on during the competition? We have four rounds that are judged. Interview is completed off stage, with a panel of judges, the morning of pageant day.

On stage we are judged on the following rounds: Traditional Wear, Swim Wear, Evening Wear.

Essentially, Miss International Curve are looking for someone inspiring, positive and confident. Someone comfortable in their own skin and able to portray that to others. World Class Queens of England: Tell us about your experience during the competition. I attended a training day hosted by Miss International Curve directors where we ran through each round, learned the opening number and had a chance to ask any questions. On pageant day everyone was so lovely, the day ran very smoothly, we had adequate space, time to get ready and rehearsal time. The best part about it was meeting all of the other finalists, and how we all came together to help each other in and out of outfits or with hair and make up. World Class Queens of England: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for. Cancer Research UK is close to my heart, as my mother and stepfather were diagnosed in 2019. I fundraise and attend fundraisers for Cancer Research UK regularly. I also attend a Cancer support group to chat to patients, support them with donations and raffle prizes. I also raise awareness for Invisible Disabilities, having an invisible disability myself I think this is very important. I am aiming to end the stigma surrounding young people, and people that “look well” using disabled toilets. World Class Queens England: What appearances have you done with your title?

I have attended the following pageants:

YEMI 2019

Miss Caribbean UK 2019

Miss World 2019

Pure UK 2020

Miss Great Britain 2020

  • Photo Shoot in a bikini on Tower Bridge as part of the perfectly imperfect campaign. (A Body Positive movement)

  • Appeared on Ridge Radio.

  • Various online campaigns surrounding invisible disabilities.

  • Newspaper Article for Cancer Research.

  • Appeared at Curve Fashion Festival at Miss International Curve stand, discussing our system.

  • Crowns4causes photo shoot for World Aids Day.

  • Dryathlon to fundraise for Cancer Research UK. Total £150.

  • Sparkles and Rhinestones Interview.

  • Pageant Magazine Interview.

  • Attended Alpha Queens Talk - A female Empowerment group.

  • Attended Beautiful You Fashion Event that travels the world to include diversity.

  • Judged at Miss Diamond UK Charity Pageant in aid of Breast Cancer charity, CoppaFeel.

World Class Queens of England: What are some of your achievements? I have raised over £1,000 for Cancer Research UK. I am responsible for collecting donations within the pageant world to go into over 20 “chemo bags” for Cancer patients. I stood on Tower Bridge in a bikini in order to normalise everyday bodies and empower women. This is all thanks to the perfectly imperfect campaign. I spoke out about my story of living with two bowel diseases, and what that means for me in my day to day life. I did this as I wanted to show the prevelance of invisible disabilities within pageantry. I created an online campaign called #JoyfulJanuary to help combat mental health issues at a notoriously difficult time.

World Class Queens of England: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls?

It's so difficult as every girl competing is of such a high standard and so beautiful. I've learned a lot about myself in the time that I have competed in pageantry, and have learned my strengths. I would say I have a lot of confidence in my own ability, and I think that comes across on stage. I also really enjoy myself on stage, and I think that's really important. World Class Queens of England: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner. I was shaking! I heard my name, and the cheers but I couldn't see anything as the lights were so bright. Standing up there being crowned, knowing my hard work had paid off and I had won by just being myself was incredible. I still smile at the thought very often. World Class Queens of England: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen?

I'm so proud to be a role model. I have looked up to so many Queens and aspired to be just like them. It's such an honour to now be in that same position, and potentially inspire others. My dreams came true. World Class Queens of England: How did competing in pageants helped your life? Competing in pageants truly changed my life. I've gained confidence, life skills, experience, creativity and most importantly, friends for life. Pageants pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do things I would never have dreamed possible. The experiences I've had are invaluable. World Class Queens of England: How did pageants helped your self esteem and body image? Massively! I was quite shy and negative about my body image before pageantry. I thought I wasn't meant to be seen as I am plus size, but I soon learned there is a place for all body types. Not just in pageantry, but in life! I now have so much self esteem that I wouldn't have without pageantry. World Class Queens of England: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel? Honestly when I started my journey, that was my goal. I wanted to be an example, and inspire other women out there, that they can do whatever they set their mind to. To have actually achieved that is so special to me. It’s my biggest achievement without a doubt. World Class England: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over? When I was on stage, my only strategy was to be myself. I wanted to show my true self, my smile and my energy. I wanted to leave an invisible trail on stage of all the hard work I'd put into my year of competing. I wanted to make them feel how much I wanted this from my performance. World Class Queens of England: How did you prepare for your competition? Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. I had three dress rehearsals! One at home, one in a hired studio and one in my hotel the night before pageant. I wanted to make sure every little detail was correct. I practiced walks and routines for each round religiously. I also rehearsed hair and make up. I researched designers, altered outfit ideas if something wasn't quite right. It's important to be completely happy with what you're putting on stage. I also made sure I completed appearances that were relevant to me and my platform. I looked at typical pageant interview questions online and practiced with those. I also thought about what I wanted to say, what I am about and how I was going to get my personality across. World Class Queens of England: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk? Hire a studio! Watching yourself walk in the mirror is a great way to see your mistakes or bad habits. If you can, record your walk too so you can see what to work on and where you've improved. Work on your posture in general as this will help when walking. Also, make sure you can walk in your heels. If you can't, don't be afraid to go with a lower heel. Better to have a great walk with a lower heel than struggle in a higher heel. World Class Queens of England: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress? It's all about the fit. The dress could be beautiful but if it doesn't fit, it's going to look all wrong. Once you've found your gown, get it altered so that it fits you perfectly. Make sure you leave enough time to have multiple fittings before the big day. I'd also advise to try on gowns with hair and make up done, it's hard to imagine the full look sometimes so this makes it easier. Also take your shoes you're going to wear with you so you can check the length. World Class Queens of England: What are your tips for winning interview?

Take a deep breath. I have won best in interview a few times, yet its the round I get most nervous about. Don't be afraid to take a few seconds to think about your answer. Try to be concise and make your point within 30 seconds. This is good because it means the judges can ask you more questions. Most importantly, be yourself. Judges want to see someone natural. World Class Queens of England: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it? Comparing myself. It's completely pointless as everyone there is different, and no one has the same thing to offer as you do. I wish I could go back and tell myself not to think that someone else had a better gown or a better smile, and to concentrate on myself. World Class Queens of England: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest?

I think it's easy for everyone to overthink and get inside their own head. I also think it's easy to under prepare because you think you have it all covered. My advice would be to practice and rehearse everything down to the finest detail, and you will feel much more confident on pageant day. World Class Queens of England: Any modelling or acting experience?

I have walked for brands such as Simply Be, Yours, Curvety and ASOS at events such as Curvy Convention. I have also appeared on Apples & Pears website. I recently appeared on Gok Wans How to look good naked, as a “Gokette.” World Class Queens of England: What are your plans for 2020 as a Queen?

I am planning an event surrounding invisible disabilities and diversity, that I'm really excited about. I am running the Pretty Muddy Race for life 5k. I'm also judging and speaking at Warrior Charity Pageant - A pageant designed for contestants with invisible disabilities. I'm also planning a body positive event that I'm hoping to host in Central London. Of course, this is all depending on the current crisis and if we are able to have social gatherings again soon. World Class Queens of England: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

I'd like to be known for advocating for the under represented, the diverse and the alternative. I'd also like to be recognised for my awareness and charity work for Cancer Research UK. Most importantly, I'd like to be remembered for being kind. International Director: Samantha Coote & Leah Prescod National Director: Samantha Coote & Leah Prescod Your Local Director: Samantha Coote & Leah Prescod Pageant website: www.missinternationalcurve.com Interview by Emma-Jay Webber Editor in Chief of World Class Queens of England Magazine. World Class Queens of England Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview!

Laura Gentles Ms International Curve 2019/2020, World Class Queens of England Magazine,

Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org

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