Carleton lass Sophie Wilson is on a mission – to show size really doesn’t matter and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
The 24-year-old former Hodgson High School pupil has made it through to the grand final of the Miss Plus Size International contest 2015.
She will be competing against other girls from across the globe – including France, Italy, Germany, Norway, Austria and the USA, in the event which takes place in Manchester next year.
Size 20 Sophie hopes taking part in the beauty pageant will show people size doesn’t matter.
The care worker, who also runs a first-aid training business operating across the Fylde coast, said: “I would like to see more events like this for bigger girls.
“I’ve always been interested in modelling, but because I’m a big girl, felt I wouldn’t get anywhere.
“People have always said to me I have a pretty face, but getting though to the final of the competition has given me a big confidence boost.
“I’ve always had that bubbly personality and just because you are big, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
“I’ve always fought against people thinking I can’t do things because of my size.
“It’s so great to be part of this competition and it’s really nice it’s coming to the north for the final. I’d love to get into plus-size modelling.
“Some of my work colleagues have said they think I am brave for getting up there and walking down the catwalk.
“But if I’m comfortable in my own skin, why should I be afraid? If I’m happy, why should it matter what anybody else thinks?
“I play hockey and people often ask if I play in goal. I think people make an assumption if you’re bigger, you can’t be fit. But I’ve always been sporty.
“I think there is a stigma attached to being bigger, but I’ve never let it stop me from doing what I want to do.”
Sophie, who has a two-year-old daughter and four-year-old stepson, had thought about entering the competition for a few years before she got the chance.
“I kept looking at the website, but the entries were closed and then when I saw it had reopened again, I decided to go for it.
“I was called to an audition and got through from 740 people. It was a bit of a surprise, but I was really pleased.”
Sophie – who recently moved from Carleton, where she was born and grew up, to Leyland, will be busy planning her outfits for next year’s finals and attending a series of events connected to the contest in the meantime.
In November, she and the other finalists have been invited to a glittering black tie event in London, they have a photoshoot in Bournemouth towards the end of the year and a boot camp in June, where they will learn about walking on the catwalk and do confidence building tasks.