Hartlepool beauty queen sets up charity pageant focusing on mental health
A law student who has won multiple pageants has set up her own competition to raise money and promote inclusivity.
Less than a year after competing in her first big pageant, Miss International UK 2021 Jessica Ingham has stepped up and organised her own contest.
Jessica, who currently holds the titles Miss Teesside Atlantic 2022 and Miss County Durham International 2022, decided she wanted break the stigma around pageants by running a charity pageant with a focus on mental health.
Miss Mindful Beauty will take place online in April and all proceeds will be donated to mental health charity Mind.
People from all over the country can take part with a panel of five judges selecting a winner across six age categories.
Jessica, 23, from Hartlepool, said: "Pageants have such a bad stigma on them. Everyone thinks that pageant girls should have lots of money.
"It’s about breaking the stigma around pageants and showing that actually it’s about sisterhood and building other women up.
"This year it’s online, but hopefully next year we’ll be able to do it in person in the Borough Hall.”
The different rounds will see participants sending a picture without make up, an evening wear picture and a picture wearing blue, with optional rounds for the special awards Miss Mindful, Miss Charity and the Community Champion Award.
Over 40 people have already signed up and the winner will be revealed in a live Facebook event on April 10.
The youngest three categories, 0-3, 4-7 and 8-12, will see boys taking part as well and judges will choose a Miss and a Mister for each.
Jessica, who is taking part in seven pageants herself this year, said: "This charity pageant is very, very focused on mental health, so it does stand out compared to other pageants in that sense. It means that it’s a bit more accessible and anyone can join.
"It’s a really different pageant. It’s not focused on what you are wearing, really.“
The Northumbria University student is also running a fancy dress charity ball at the Staincliffe on May 13 and raised funds for Women’s Aid at a recent coffee morning at the Corporation Club.
To sign up for Miss Mindful Beauty, email [email protected] or visit the Miss Mindful Beauty Online Charity Pageant group on Facebook.