A Cambridge University student proved she has both brains and beauty after reaching the quarter-finals of the Miss ENGLAND modelling competition.
Second year engineering student Marisa Kurimbokus, 20, will swap the classroom for the catwalk if she qualifies to compete in the finals of the famous pageant.
Pretty Marisa, from Homerton College, submitted five photographs and answered short essays on her life’s ambitions and what she would do if she won last June.
She was stunned when the Miss England organisers contacted her earlier this month to say she had beaten thousands of girls to be selected for the quarter finals heats.
Professional pictures of the stunning student and 20 other entrants have been posted online and fans urged to vote for their favourite contestant.
The three highest-rated girls and three ”wild cards” selected by the organisers will go before judges who then get to pick their semi-final contestant.
Marisa’s heat is one of 10 taking place around the UK featuring 200 girls in total and she is set to find out the results early next week.
The 5ft 3in brunette, who wears size eight clothes and has a 28in waist, 34C bust and 30in inside leg, said she was ”surprised and delighted” to be in the quarter-finals.
Marisa, originally from North London, said: ”I entered last summer because I thought it looked like fun. It was a little dream of mine to get involved.
”There was an entry form on the Miss England website so I filled in personal details a couple of short essays. Then I forgot all about it.
”It’s great to show there is more to Cambridge students than the bookish image. It’s not just about being brainy, we have a life as well.
”Engineering is a very masculine subject and when I told the photography company what I did and where I studied they were really shocked.”
Although there is no longer a swimsuit round Marisa will still have to model a range of outfits and discuss topics ranging from current affairs to world peace if she reaches the final.
She said her parents Carol, 52, and Mo, 53, a relationship counsellor and older sister Alyshea, 21, a very proud of her beauty pageant entry.
And Marisa refuted suggestions than pageants were unfeminist by pointing out how much good work was done by beautiful women in the public eye.
She said: ”If I did charity work or campaigning now no one would take any notice. But if Miss England was doing it people would be interested.
”In order to be noticed you have to be extraordinary in some way. It’s a shame but that’s society.
”For me this competition isn’t about prize money, it’s more about the good that you can do as a good role model.”
Angie Beasley, director of Miss England, said entrants like Marisa proved the competition was about much more than just being a pretty face.
She said: ”We are not just a modelling competition and we have proved that by our current winner being a British soldier.
”Obviously the girls need a good look but we are looking for an all-rounder who is talented, clever, sporty as well as being photogenic.
”It’s great to see girls like this young lady getting involved and we are delighted to be attracting people from all walks of life.”
The current Miss England winner is Katrina Hodge, 22, a corporal in the Royal Anglian regiment nicknamed ‘Combat barbie’ who has served in Iraq.
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