This year’s Miss England winner is the first-ever redhead to win the competition, and she used to be bullied for the same head of hair that the crown was placed upon.
Jessica Galen, aged 26, won the coveted award earlier this week, beating out thirty other contestants to take home the crown and sash combo, the first redhead to do so in the competition’s 94-year history.
Galen revealed that she used to be made fun of mercilessly at school for her orange-coloured locks.
“Throughout secondary school I was teased for being a redhead,” she said, as reported by LadBible.
"I didn’t mention it much during last year’s competition as I’m a big believer in leaving negativity in the past, but with there never having been a red-haired Miss England I feel it’s important to educate people about what redheads face in school and empower kids who are facing the same things I did."
Now an aerospace engineering student, she revealed that the bullying went further than just name-calling. Kids would hit her, spit on her, and throw things at her, but one instance takes the cake.
“[The worst time] was when a girl burned me for having ginger hair.”
She entered the Miss England competition this year with more of a focus on bringing attention to others with redheads, who have been the butt of a lot of societal bullying in modern times.
“After realising there has never been a redhead winner, I looked back and I was thinking there are not many redheads on TV.”
“I think it would be so good if there could be somebody in that kind of position who is a redhead. Even last year there wasn’t one redhead in Miss World,” she added.
“I thought if I could win this, I could empower kids who are being bullied for the way that they look and the colour of their hair.”
“It is nice to be able to represent the younger kids and say ‘I have been through it and you can use that pain to raise your game’. Make it your superpower.”
What an awesome role model!