Plus-size Croydon model Emma King is set to advance to the finals of an international beauty pageant after reaching the top five finalists.
The 25-year-old model of Friars Woods, was the only plus-sized competitor in the final of the UK heats for the international Face of the Globe pageant. She will now progress to the international finals at Disneyland Paris in April.
“I am proud of myself and hopefully girls will see that it is possible to do anything when you work hard,” she said. After finding out she had made it to the final five contestants on Sunday, she gave a speech on her experience being the only plus-sized contestant in the pageant.
King decided to enter the competition to promote body positivity. Before the pageant, held at the Holiday Inn in Gatwick, King admitted that she wasn’t sure how the other models would respond to her.
“If I am the only curvy one, what happens sometimes is the other girls expect you to hide away and be quite shy,” she said. “I’m not like that. I bowl into a room and you know I’m there.”
“I think that’s what might shock a lot of the girls who maybe haven’t had someone like me in their pageant before,” she said.
After her success, King said that “everyone was lovely” and the experience was “definitely positive”.
King began modelling after an over-curved spine left her bedridden in her last years of drama school. Remembering that first experience, King said: “It wasn’t until I started modelling that I thought, ‘I really love the way I am and I need to accept all the flaws and not beat myself up.’ And that has been the most freeing experience, just saying ‘I love my body.'”
She entered her first pageant, Miss British Beauty Curve, in August of this year, winning the swimsuit competition and finishing in the overall final three.
Now King makes time for modelling jobs around her work as a full-time resident liaison officer for Mulalley and Company, a construction firm in New Addington.
In the future, she hopes to do more to promote anti-bullying and body positivity, both within the industry and within local schools.
Follow Alli Shultes on Twitter: @alli_shultes92