Suffolk beauty queen is more than just a pretty face
PUBLISHED: 10:51 20 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:30 20 February 2013
2010 was a year of triumph and tragedy for Suffolk beauty queen Rebecca Johnson, who has proved it's not just looks that count. Jane Sneesby reports
2010 was a year of triumph and tragedy for Suffolk beauty queen Rebecca Johnson, who has proved its not just looks that count. Jane Sneesby reports
Tall and slim, with long blonde hair and blue eyes, 21-year-old model Rebecca Johnson was crowned Miss Suffolk in July and went on to compete in the prestigious Miss Great Britain beauty contest in December.
Although she did not get through to the final round, Rebecca took pride in representing her county and was pleased to have been picked out by some of the judges as a future contender for the crown.
Her determination to succeed was spurred on by the tragic loss of her partner of five years, Gary Evans, a local tyre mechanic, who died in a motorcycle accident last April.
Rebecca said: I did it for him. I know he would have been really proud of me getting through to the finals. He would have been boasting to all his friends.
You dont know how strong you are until you go through such a painful experience as losing someone.
I have been through a lot, but my achievement getting through to Miss GB shows something good can come of it. I want to be a positive role model, to show you what you can achieve against the odds and to make the most of life.
Theres much more to beauty contests now than just having a pretty face. Its also about having a nice personality and being able to get on with people. What attracts me is the chance to travel and have new experiences, she added.
Becoming a beauty queen was a childhood dream for Rebecca, who grew up in the rural village of Bardwell before moving to Bury St Edmunds where she went to St James Middle School and King Edward VI School.
Mum Tracy Taylor recalls: Rebecca loved dressing up in my clothes and shoes when she was a little girl, and always said she wanted to be a model one day. She is a natural when it comes to walking the catwalk.
I could not do it without my mum she is like my personal assistant and helps me to keep organised and upbeat.
Its something I would have liked to have done when I was younger, so I have encouraged Rebecca to follow her dreams. She really deserves to do well because of how hard she has worked and what she had been through.
Rebeccas love of high heeled shoes, designer handbags and pretty dresses means she has amassed a large collection and is reluctant to throw any of them away as they hold so many memories.
Mother and daughter are very close and now work together providing teeth v
v whitening treatments for customers at local beauty salons, through their company Smile Bright, which gives Rebecca the flexibility to pursue her modelling career.
I could not do it without my mum she is like my personal assistant and helps me to keep organised and upbeat. It was so busy preparing for the Miss Great Britain contest and she is always there for me, said Rebecca.
Getting ready for Miss Great Britain took months of careful preparation and considerable expense to make sure Rebecca looked her best for the countrys longest established beauty contest.
With 60 girls competing from all over the United Kingdom, finding the new Miss GB took up a whole weekend with a hectic round of cocktail parties, interviews and photocalls, culminating in the grand final on the new Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare.
While stepping up her fitness, beauty treatments and healthy eating regime, Rebecca had to put together a series of stunning outfits to meet the competitions strict rules. Nowadays the swimwear has to be a classy one-piece swimsuit rather than a bikini, which is considered too revealingbut its still worn with high heels!
As well as the usual eveningwear, Rebecca and Tracy had the challenge of hunting for a white cocktail dress in November and opted for a shorter version to show off her long legs. They also had to come up with a Union-Jack inspired cocktail dress to wear in a special British-themed pageant as part of the Miss GB contest.
Luckily, someone put them in touch with Bury St Edmunds dress designer, Terry Fox, who is renowned for her bespoke wedding gowns and one-off clothing creations. She came up with a unique design using the darker red and blue seen on vintage Union Jack flags, with glittering white diamante to represent the white cross.
Terry was really excited about creating the dress for me and I was so pleased that I would be able to wear something designed and made in my home town. It was the first time Id had a dress made for me and after a couple of fittings it was perfect, said Rebecca, who had to fund the rest of her trousseau herself.
Rebecca admits she is a perfectionist when it comes to her beauty regime and prefers to do her own hair and make-up to get exactly the right look for each occasion however long it takes! Naturally slim, the only time she has ever put on weight was through comfort eating after her boyfriends death, but her determination to succeed as a model gave her the resolve to lose the pounds and get fit again.
One thing I have found with becoming known as Miss Suffolk is that everyone expects you to look good all the time, which can be hard work when you just want to relax. I always try to make an effort whether its a top modelling job or opening the new village shop. People really appreciate it and that makes all the difference.
To contact Rebecca Johnson, call her mum Tracy Taylor on 07870 437264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
REBECCA'S TOP BEAUTY TIPS
- Drink lots of water
- Cut out coffee, tea and fizzy drinks
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
- Get plenty of beauty sleep
- Exfoliate and moisturise your skin
- Work out at the gym ( I do whenever I can)
- Relax by listening to music cuddling my cat Charlie helps too!