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Michelle is flying the flag for Alopecia UK in pageant finals in Spain

21st September 2016

We caught up with Michelle Moffatt who is taking part in the upcoming finals of Miss International Bombshell pageant. 

Tell us a little bit about how you came to take part in Miss International Bombshell

In April my friend Nicola McBride contacted me suggesting that I enter an online round of a beauty pageant - Miss International Bombshell. I did laugh, as I know nothing of pageantry and I have 2 left feet and look nothing like what anyone would imagine when hearing "beauty queen!"

I thanked Nicola for the suggestion, but declined. Nicola has a beautiful little girl with alopecia universalis and she suggested that it would be good to show Sasha that alopecia shouldn't stop us achieving our dreams, or being beautiful.

I reluctantly agreed to submit photographs (one au naturale, and one with hair on).

I was asked by the pageant director to write a short paragraph stating why I should be considered for a place. I began to think, why should I? After giving it some thought, I was suddenly determined to do it! My simple answer was that although the girls we see in magazines and the media are truly stunning, beauty is not one singular image. Beauty is multifaceted and something that every single one of us has. What is often portrayed by the media is the message that it is good to be different, yet we are often presented with the "ideal" size, shape and look. I wanted to challenge this – and I also wanted to raise awareness of alopecia too.

I expected nothing, but was selected for a place at the GB finals. Total amazement, and mega excitement!!!

How did you get on in the regional round of the competition?

My dad and I travelled down from Scotland to Derby and I met so many beautiful girls taking part in the pageant. I arrived with hair on but soon enough removed my hair and bared all - so to speak - to the other contestants. I am very accepting of my alopecia but I felt that I must be very different to the majority of girls who enter pageants  so I was a little nervous.

We had the opportunity to take part in a ‘platform event’. The platform event was an opportunity to talk about something we are passionate about - whether a topic, person, or charity. I chose to speak about alopecia, and the emotional impact that the condition has had on me and my story over the past year. I focused very much on the fact that Alopecia UK have supported me emotionally and that as a result, I have quickly found myself on a positive path surrounded by many others with alopecia travelling by my side. I did say mid speech "So yes, I do have alopecia and this is me" (whilst wearing hair) and then removed my wig and said "This is me too!" I was a little shocked at the response which was incredibly warm. It was overwhelming to feel the love and support and hear the applause in the room.

I was so pleased to have a platform to talk about the charity, and to discuss hair loss and raise awareness of alopecia.

I was shocked and honoured to have won the platform award. I also won "Mrs GB Bombshell" (Married lady with most points!) and "Miss Congeniality" (this one was really special as it’s voted for by the other contestants). Overall,  I placed as second runner up and qualified for a place at the World Finals in Spain at the end of September (Alopecia Awareness Month).

I was offered a title based on where I live or the title of “Alopecia UK Bombshell". I jumped at the chance to be Alopecia UK Bombshell and was thrilled that Alopecia UK were able to help sponsor me so I could attend the finals in Spain. It allows me to raise even greater awareness.

What does it mean to you to be taking part in this event and raising awareness at the same time? 

To qualify for a place at the World Finals of Miss International Bombshell is just phenomenal! Bombshell represents women feeling empowered and confident in their own skin. It encourages each of us to help others and let our inner beauty shine out. Not to conform to how we are expected to look but to embrace the unique individuality we naturally have. Although Miss International Bombshell is a pageant - it is a pageant with a difference and a positive message that I believe we all need to hear and to truly believe about ourselves. There is only one of us in this world - no-one else can be us, and that is incredibly special! 

To raise awareness of alopecia, and to hopefully stand and show that those of us with alopecia have true beauty is such an honour!! My platform piece at the world finals will be a talk on Alopecia UK as a charity and explaining what a difference emotionally it has made to me personally. I feel that raising awareness and helping others understand that hair loss is so common can help to support others with alopecia in their journeys.

How are you feeling ahead of the finals in October? Nervous? Excited? 

OOOOOh my goodness! I am soooooo excited! For anyone who knows me, they will know that means crazy! Think Santa Claus in Disneyland, actually he wouldn't even come close to how happy and excitable I am right now!!! I do feel nervous but it’s a good nervous! I am really looking forward to being with the other bombshells and getting to know them better.  There are lots of tasks set to us and it will be a week of hard work and photoshoots but I cannot wait! I love that it is happening from 27th September until 4th October – a great way to round off Alopecia Awareness Month 2016!

And finally, have you figured out what you’re going to wear?!

Errrm, yes, no, maybe! Haha! I love that we have fairly free reign on our choice of attire. We do have some criteria - but it is very flexible. The areas we know:

Cocktail dress - long or short

White party outfit - white clothing any variety

Traditional Pageant fashion wear - mine is a surprise

Title Costume - for most this will be a regional title - for me, I’m ‘Alopecia UK Bombshell’ so I’ll be going blue!

Beachwear - we have been told anything from skimpy sparkly 2 piece to a full on scuba suit!

Evening Wear - final catwalk gown and only stipulation is it needs to be floor length

Sometimes I will have hair on and sometimes hair off- just generally how I live day to day with my alopecia – I like to mix things up!

I’d like to say a quick thank you to Katie at Zella Rose Wigs, Emma & Stuart at Simply Wigs and Carly at Alikins for providing me with three new wigs for the pageant. 

And thank you to everyone in the Alopecia UK Facebook group for their words of encouragement and love.

And to Alopecia UK for making this possible for me, I can not even express how grateful I am. This charity has just made such a positive impact upon my life, and I hope that anyone out there with any struggles around hair loss can find the charity and experience the love, kindness and support that has helped me to this positive place today. 

GOOD LUCK MICHELLE! We so proud of you flying the flag for those with alopecia and championing our charity. We wish you every success in Spain! 

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