A Girl Who Was Bullied for Her Ginger Locks Has Now Become the First Redhead to Be Miss England
At the final competition for Miss England, 26-year-old Jessica Gagen triumphed over 30 other beauty queens, securing the prestigious title. However, her victory is more than just a conventional achievement; it is a tale of resilience. Jessica faced profound challenges due to a defining aspect of her appearance—her natural red hair. Undeterred by societal biases, she took it upon herself to rise above these prejudices and demonstrate resilience, affirming the adage that “Everything is good when it ends well.”
Her experience in school was marked by difficulties arising from her hair color.
Studying aerospace engineering and pursuing a career in modeling, Jessica has overcome the traumatic experiences of her teenage years in secondary school. In a candid account, she reflects on the arduous journey to rebuild her self-confidence.
During last year’s competition, Jessica didn’t dwell much on her experiences, as she firmly believes in leaving negativity in the past. However, being the first red-haired Miss England, she now feels it is crucial to speak up and educate people about the challenges redheads face in school.
Soon after, she began to model on international catwalks.
In 7th grade, Jessica shared that she would eat her lunch in the school bathroom because, whenever she attempted to join some girls at a table, they would stand up and abandon her. Reflecting on those moments, she admitted, “I used to get really upset about it all, but I’m determined to show kids who are facing the same thing that it won’t happen forever.” Turning a new leaf after being signed by a modeling agency at 18, Jessica’s confidence blossomed as she graced catwalks around the world.
Becoming Miss England
In 2022, she made her debut in the Miss England competition and secured the position of runner-up, narrowly missing the top spot to Rehema Muthamia in the final. Undeterred, she remained resolute in her determination to achieve victory, and indeed, she succeeded last year.
Making history in the 94-year legacy of the pageant, she became the first titleholder with red hair. Taking it a step further, she now holds the prestigious title of Miss England 2022.
“There has never been a redhead win the title before.”
Talking about her participation in Miss England, Jessica stated: “For me, by competing in Miss England, my campaign last year and this year is to help get girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. But after realizing there has never been a redhead winner, I looked back, and I thought, there are not that many redheads on TV.”
Following her victory in the Miss England competition, Jessica expressed, “It’s gratifying to represent the younger generation and convey the message that ’I have been through it, and you can use that pain to raise your game.’ Turn it into your superpower.”
Jessica is not the first individual to challenge beauty pageants and defy stereotypes. In our other article, we discussed two transgender competitors who vied for the Miss Universe crown alongside their counterparts, advocating for inclusivity and breaking traditional norms.