Ursula Carlton, a full time design assistant, won the prestigious title of Miss Great Britain on September 23, 2016. I had the opportunity to interview her, I hope you will enjoy this interview!
Pageants News : What was the first thing that went through your mind when you won the title of Miss Great Britain ?
Ursula Carlton : "I did it!" was my first thought! I couldn't believe that I actually did it! When I was shortlisted as a finalist for Miss Great Britain 2 months prior to the final, I made a pact with myself, that I would go all out, I knew in myself that I had just as equal a chance as all the other incredible girls, but I wanted to know, that If I was to be lucky enough to win, I wanted to know that I deserved it, that all my hard work had paid off, the sleepless nights, the hours at the gym, the hours spent fundraising, the commitment made to attend and promote every community event - i felt as though I was training for a marathon. But when they announced my name, it was sincerely the most amazing moment of my entire life, to know that all that hard work had paid off. I had dreamt it so many times, standing up there, holding hands with another girl, being the final two, so when I was actually in that moment, before they had even announced me as the winner, I felt like my dream had really and truly come true.
How has your life changed since your crowning ?
I must admit, not a lot has changed. I am still your every day girl, I still have to get up each morning and go to work for a living! There is this perception that you go on to fame and fortune if you win Miss GB, when this really is not the case haha! But what as been amazing is the amount of young girls who get in touch with me to say how I have inspired them, that is really special to know, that being you and doing the best you can with your title is meaningful to someone else's dreams.
Many misses have said that their dream since a child was to participate in a pageant as prestigious as Miss World (or Miss Universe). Would you like to represent Great Britain at an international pageant ? And if so, why?
It would be an incredible honour and privilege to represent my country on an international level, to be able to spread my message and develop my platform on an international scale would be a dream come true. If I can continue being a role model and inspiration to young girls both nationally and internationally, then I know I have achieved what I set out to do.
Social media seems to play a major role in pageantry nowadays. Do you think this is advantageous to you? Why or why not? // What is your message to young girls and young women ?
My platform has always been to raise the awareness of the negative effects social media can have on young girls mental health. Girls follow celebrities, and are influenced by every single thing they portray on Social Media. Unfortunately, a lot of what they see on social media has been edited, which has a seriously damaging effect on young girls self-confidence and self-belief and body image. Take Kylie Jenner for example, compare images of Kylie before spending millions of pounds on surgery to look how she does today. Kylie's age, fame, marry this with social media playing huge part in their social lives, where amongst their peers, it seems to be a continuous battle to see who can get the most followers and the most likes. This has a detrimental effect on some young teens confidence.
It has been my purpose to use my title and use social media in a positive way, to provide a platform in which I can be an example of a relatable role model. I hope that through my social media platforms, girls see a relatable and 'real' young woman, who has achieved her goals and followed her dreams, regardless of how many social media followers or likes I have, and achieved them without having spent money on transforming my face or body through surgical and non-surgical procedures.
What's the best one word to describe Great Britain? What is your favorite thing to do in your country ?One word: History! There are so many historical sights and wonders to explore in GB! So much of our country has formed over years and years of heritage, from the vikings to the Romans.