IT’S all smiles for performing arts student Hollie Robinson.
The 19-year-old, from Lytham, hopes she will be able to show those who bullied her in her teens they did not get the better of her, after scooping the Miss Blackpool title on Friday.
The pretty blonde beat off stiff competition from other local beauties – including Jessica Bradder, 20, from Cleveleys – who was runner-up and Joanne Walker, from Blackburn, who was third, in the glittering evening at Blackpool’s Norbreck Castle Hotel.
Hollie wowed the judges in the swimwear round, the fashion round and evening-wear round – in which she wore a gorgeous, striking full-length red gown.
Stunning student Hollie is no stranger to beauty pageants – she has already been crowned Miss West Lancashire, and she was a finalist in last month’s Miss England’s pageant.
Hollie, who is studying performing arts at Blackpool and the Fylde College, said: “I was so shocked when they announced my name as the winner. I was just shaking.
“I am absolutely thrilled. I think it was the most amazing night of my life so far.
“It was quite different from Miss England, because, in Miss England, there are so many girls, you don’t really get any time with the stage to yourself. But in Miss Blackpool, it’s more personal.
“Winning Miss Blackpool means so much to me.
“I had a tough time when I was younger, because in my early teens I got bullied.
“I was different from everybody else, I didn’t just follow what everyone else did.
“I was a bit more reserved and perhaps older than my years.
“People used to pick on my looks.
“But doing competitions like this has boosted my confidence and self-esteem, and I hope it will help other girls who are teased or bullied.
“I hope I can show them you can go on to achieve things, to do what you want, to become a confident woman, comfortable in your own skin.
“I hope I can in some way be a role model to other girls.”
Entering competitions over the last few years gave Hollie enough confidence to sign up to study performing arts.
She said: “I always felt like it was something I couldn’t do because I was too shy, but after being up there onstage in Miss Blackpool last year, I just decided it was time for me to do what I wanted to do.
“I have a real passion for performing arts – I love Shakespeare. I love just sitting there and reading Shakespeare.
“And I love performing. I really enjoy being in front of the camera and getting up onstage.”
Former Rossall School pupil Hollie has been with her current boyfriend for a couple of months.
She said: “It’s early days, but going well so far.”
Hollie, who enjoys going to the gym and keeping fit, as well as socialising with friends and family, is looking forward to her new role.
“I am excited to be representing Blackpool and promoting the area, as well as all the charity events.
“I enjoy helping to raise money for charity, as it is such a good feeling to know you are helping others.
“It’s rewarding to know it could make a difference for someone.”