Beauty queen family legacy inspires Miss Blackpool's dream of winning Miss Great Britain 2021
Three generations of Blackpool women have been gracing stages around the world with their beauty for decades - and now the youngest pageantry queen is hoping to be crowned Miss Great Britain before she finally hangs up her heels.
Beauty pageantry is deeply ingrained within the DNA of one Fylde coast family, with women passing down crowns from generation to generation after dazzling audiences for decades - not only with their beauty, but with their kindness and compassion.
Current Miss Blackpool 2021 Eden Kippax, 27, a customer services adviser from Poulton, is set to grace the main stage as a finalist in prestigious national pageant Miss Great Britain 2021 in Leicester next month.
She stepped into the heels of her grandmother, Margaret Duckworth, who won Mrs Blackpool in 1971, and her mum Dawn Kippax, who won Miss Beautiful Blackpool in 1987.
Eden's aunties also wowed audiences in their heyday, with Julie Chadwick winning Miss England 1980 before competing in Miss Universe 1980 in Seoul, Korea - and another auntie, Jane Prior, won Miss Blackpool Queen of the Lights in 1980.
Eden's cousins Kendall Rae Knight, Kassidy Knight, Jordan Knight, Lauren Chadwick and Brooke Chadwick have also all competed in beauty pageants over the years.
But despite having decades' worth of experience running through her veins, returning to the stage to try to win national acclaim also marks a more poignant and personal achievement for Eden.
She has competed in pageants since the age of three, but took an extended break for personal reasons - and during that time her dreams of being crowned Miss Great Britain 2021 had never looked further away.
"I knew that going back into pageantry would be the thing that gave me back my confidence," Eden explained.
"I've always loved it and beauty pageants have been such a huge part of our lives. I'm so proud of the legacy my family has built in beauty pageantry, but it's time for me to retire after this, so I'd absolutely love to win the big one before I hang up my heels.
"Who knows what the future holds for me, but I'd never say never to getting back on the stage."
Eden endured a turbulent 18 months during lockdown, after being made redundant twice and missing out on performing in her dream role as Princess Fiona in Shrek at Blackpool's Grand Theatre, after the pandemic forced the show's cancellation.
But she turned her despair into determination, and decided to spend her evenings reading bedtime stories to children on Facebook, engaging in charity work by donating food and clothing to locals in need, and raising money for Trinity Hospice and Brian House through various organised events.
Eden is also working with charity Alice Ruggles Trust, in a bid to help women suffering domestic abuse across the country.
Her road to Miss GB may have been a rocky one, but Eden said she was excited to be donning her sash one final time to bring the title back to Blackpool.
She wanted to quash any misconceptions or stereotypes associated with pageantry, and invited other resort hopefuls to take the leap and give it a go.
"I definitely think pageantry can be quite misunderstood. If I had a pound for every time someone said 'oh you must love yourself,'" Eden continued.
"But it's absolutely nothing to do with that, and I always say don't knock it until you've tried it, until you've stood on that stage and understood how it feels to have all of your family and friends supporting you and celebrating all the charity work you've done.
"Beauty pageantry is for absolutely everyone - I've always struggled with my weight and I've competed at all different sizes, and everybody has their own story. But together all of us have done so much to help other people in the years running up to competitions, and being on that stage in the final is really just a celebration of the hard work we've done."
To vote for Eden to win Miss Great Britain 2021, Text MISSGB 23 to 64343.
Votes cost £1 plus one standard network message. Charges will appear on the telephone bill. You must be 18 or over to use this service and have the bill payer’s permission.
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