Why Miss World is ‘more than just a beauty contest’

Miss Bolton and Bury 2016/17, Bethany Dove, from Whelley, Wigan
Miss Bolton and Bury 2016/17, Bethany Dove, from Whelley, Wigan

A Wigan student has dispelled myths about the Miss World competition as she eyes up a Miss England crown, saying “it’s more than just a beauty contest.

Bethany Dove was crowned Miss Bolton and Bury last July and is now in the midst of a huge fund-raising drive ahead of the Miss England semi-finals which take place in June.

When I put on my crown, I feel confident in myself

Bethany Dove

And the law student today bemoaned people’s ignorance of what the contest is about in the modern era. “It has changed with the times. The swimwear round has been scrapped and it’s more about you as a person, your achievements and your charity work.”

The Whelley 21-year-old added: “I know for a fact a lot of people don’t understand the contests, but if I had knocked it before I tried it, I honestly wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have had today.”

The part-time Marks & Spencer worker added: “I wouldn’t be as confident, I probably wouldn’t have the part time job I have because I wasn’t great at interviews before I entered.

“But when I put my crown on I feel confident in myself. I’d like people to look at it and see my commitment to charitable causes before they make presumptions about anything.”

Bethany was first introduced to the Miss World scene by a friend who had entered previously and she says it transformed her.

She said: “I was very shy and introverted but I was keen to push myself. It got to a point where I couldn’t even speak to new people without having a shaky voice. Having someone to tell me what the experience was about was great and even though I was highly sceptical upon entering, I never looked back.”

Bethany is also organising charity events as part of her bid to progress further. She said: “It’s not easy organising so many charity events and taking part in gruelling sports rounds. Rather than the winner being indulged in A-list treatment, which by all means they can be, Miss World winners must earn it, they must be a real charitable person and the winner travels the world to carry out humanitarian work.”

Bethany has organised a psychic night to raise around £300 for the Miss World charity, called Beauty With A Purpose - an international cause which supports disabled and disadvantaged children.

She also raised more than £6,000 for various causes over the past couple of years, including Wigan Warriors Community Foundation and Alzheimer’s Society.

An evening of clairvoyance, with international psychic David Taylor, will take place at The Banner pub in Hindley on April 6.

Tickets are available in advance or on the door, and all proceeds will go towards the Beauty With A Purpose charity. For more information, contact bethanydove13@hotmail.co.uk.

Miss England is the only route to the Miss World finals where $100,000 first prize is up for grabs.