Meet the Leeds teenage girl who is going for Miss World beauty title

A Leeds teenager has told how after competing in Miss Teen British Isle she now has her sights set on competing in the Miss World beauty pageant.

Trainee hairdresser Ella Millie Walker, of Armley in Leeds, had dabbled in modelling since she was just 12 years old.

But when her mum became worried it was “too harsh of an industry” she gave it up and took up gymnastics and horse riding instead.

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In her late teens, 18-year-old Ella wanted to give modelling another shot, so decided to apply for Miss Teen British Isle – alongside thousands of other young women across the country – where she was selected to represent Leeds in the competition.

In the final of the event, Ella came in fifth place – which she describes as an “amazing” achievement, and something that boosted her confidence, so much so, one day she hopes to compete for the Miss England title, and then Miss World.

Speaking to Leeds Live , Ellie said: “I was around 12 when I started modelling, I was one of those kids that had to do everything – I had to try all the hobbies.

“I started modelling and it went really well for a few months, and I got call backs. But my mum worried that it was a bit too harsh because you’d get feedback like ‘we’re picking someone else’ or ‘you’re not good’.

“So she took me out of it and I started doing gymnastics and horse riding instead.”

But modelling was something Ella never lost a passion for, and in her late teens she started looking into competing in beauty pageants.

“Beauty pageants have changed massively in recent years,” Ella said. “You don’t need to be this size or that size.

Ella says that one day she would love to compete in Miss England, and even Miss World

“A family friend had recently took part in a pageant for older ladies and talked me into giving it ago.”

So, Ella submitted some photographs to Miss Teen British Isle, in the hope of representing Leeds in the competition.

“Every weekend before I go out I always stress about what I’m going to wear so I had a few pictures of me in pretty dresses,” she said. “I just thought, ‘It’s not going to hurt trying’ so I sent those pictures in.”

And just a few weeks after she submitted her pictures, Ella received the news that she had been selected to represent Leeds.

“I was jumping up and down like a little kid, I honestly didn’t think I’d have a shot,” she said.

As part of the competition she had to submit official photos, which she had taken in Liverpool, before she took part in the final day of the pageant which was held at Chester Race Course.

But the day before the competition, she had an issue with her dress – which luckily, she was able to take to The Yorkshire Bridal Shop, in East Ardsley, who fixed her dress with just hours to spare.

Ella is hosting a Halloween charity event later this year for mental health charity Mind

“They honestly saved the day – if it hadn’t of been for them I’d have just sat on the stairs crying,” Ella said.

The day of the pageant final Ella describes as a “whirlwind” of catwalks and photoshoots – before the judges made their final decision, and Ella was chosen in fifth place.

“There were around 50 girls in the final so coming in fifth is a huge achievement,” she said. “It was an amazing experience, and I want to compete again next year.”

And the competition has given Ella a huge boost in confidence.

“I one million per cent would love to compete in Miss England one day,” she said.

“I’d love to do the international one where you could become Miss World, I have my eyes on that, that would be unreal”

“If you’d have asked me that last week I’d have said ‘Not a single chance’, but my confidence has gone sky high, the pageant has given me a boost.

“As a young girl with Instagram, you don’t see the reality of things, and you’re like ‘Why don’t I look like this or that?’

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“And now, having taken part in the pageant, you can see the amount of work these girls put in.

“But it’s all about confidence, there were girls there who were 100 per cent more pretty and beautiful than me. But it’s not all about looks, it’s about confidence and how you hold yourself on the stage.”

And unlike what many people may think, Ella says the pageant world is actually a very support place.

“People think it could be really mean, but all the girls a so supportive,” she said.

“The way I would describe it is when you meet a girl in the loos on a night out and you’re telling each other you love each other and how gorgeous you are – it’s like that.”

As well as competing in future pageants, Ella now wants to give back to her local community.

She is currently planning on hosting a children’s Halloween party in her local rugby club to raise money for mental health charity Mind.

“The charity is close to my heart for many reasons,” she said. “And in the industry I’m stepping into it can be tough, and looking after everyone’s mental health is important, so I’m going to try and raise as much money as possible.”

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