A PRISON officer will be swapping her uniform for swimwear and a ballgown when she represents the town in a beauty contest next month.
Nadine Hutchings is one of several women from around the UK who has been selected to take part in the Miss British Beauty Curves competition, which celebrates larger women.
It is the second event of this kind the 36-year-old has been involved in, and she said she thought it was a good way to celebrate beauty in all its forms.
Miss Hutchings, who works at Dovegate Prison, in Marchington, said: “There are so many things for young and pretty, blonde girls, but not for anybody else. Why can’t we be beautiful whatever size we are?
“You could spend all of your life trying to fit in with other people, and you don’t need to. If you are happy and healthy, that’s the important thing.
“People get bullied because of what they look like, and I think that’s awful. It really hurts people’s confidence.”
Miss Hutchings got involved in the world of plus-size competitions after seeing a post on Facebook.
She said she ‘thought it would be fun’ to get involved so applied to take part. When she received a letter saying she had been selected, she said she thought it was a joke.
She did not make it to the final on that occasion, so this will be the first time she makes it to the catwalk.
During the competition she will have to wear red, white and blue, swimwear and an evening gown.
Though Miss Hutchings confessed to being ‘a bit of a tomboy’, she said she loved having the chance to dress up and enjoy herself.
“It’s a great chance to go on the catwalk and do my thing. Years ago, I didn’t see what other people saw. My confidence has increased a lot since then, and I love the chance to get glammed up,” she added.
The competition will take place on July 27. More information is available at www.misscocoacouture.com