A cheerleader who was teased by bullies at school for having an unsightly growth on her face has had the last laugh – after being crowned a beauty queen champion.
Natalie Nason, 21, suffered cruel taunts during her teenage years about her looks because of a “wart-like” growth on her cheek.
But now she is celebrating after being crowned Miss Rugby – 30 years after her mother Andrea, 48, won the title of Leamington Carnival Queen.
The gymnastics and cheerleading coach scooped the prestigious award at Dunchurch Park Hotel in Dunchurch, Warks., on January 10 to reach the finals of Miss England.
Natalie, from Leamington Spa, Warks., said: “I chose to do the competition to help with my confidence.
“I used to get bullied all the way through primary school and a few years through secondary.
“I managed to push through it all and make myself feel better.
“It all went back downhill when I had an operation on my face and the scar didn’t heal properly which made me feel horrible as people would walk past and stare.
“By doing this competition my confidence will grow and hopefully be a role model to other girls or boys out there to make themselves feel good enough.”
The Miss England contest has been taking place since 1928 and sees girls aged between 17 and 24 across the UK compete for the crown.
It describes itself as “not just a beauty contest – you have to be far more than just a pretty face to win the crown”.
Last year the competition got rid of the swimwear round and replaced it with the new eco round, where contestants were asked to design and make an outfit made purely of recycled materials.
The winner of Miss England – which is held every year – is also entered into Miss World and the final will be held on September 27 in Melbourne, Australia.