Plus-size beauty pageant is real confidence booster for Melissa

Melissa Norton, of Rushton, is a finalist in the Miss Plus Size International 2015 beauty pageant

Melissa Norton, of Rushton, is a finalist in the Miss Plus Size International 2015 beauty pageant

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A hospital worker will compete against dozens of other hopefuls from around the world when she takes to the catwalk at a plus size beauty pageant.

Melissa Norton, from Rushton, near Kettering, is one of the finalists from across the world in the Miss Plus Size International competition.

Organisers say the competition is designed to show off the beauty of size – adding that competitors show they are comfortable in their own skin.

Melissa is due to line up alongside 40 other women from as far afield as Lebanon and Mississippi in the competition, which will crown its winner next September.

The 23-year-old, who works in the medical records department at Kettering General Hospital, says she has already had her confidence boosted by getting this far.

She explained: “It’s a beauty pageant for bigger women.

“I applied for it in October last year and had an interview in September.

“It doesn’t promote being overweight but it does promote confidence in those who are.”

The finalists, who are aged between 18 and 40, will take part in a photo shoot and a boot camp next June.

They will be given coaching in walking the catwalk as well as going through media training.

Melissa added: “We are going to be doing lots of different bits. It’s going to be busy.

“I am so excited for the whole competition, meeting all of the other finalists, boot camp and, of course, the finals.

This experience had already boosted my confidence and I want to inspire other plus-size ladies to have the confidence to apply for the pageant and to have the same experience.”

For updates on Melissa’s progress, visit her Facebook page.