Advice from Rachel Christie, the first black woman to win the pageant: Work hard and you’ll make it!
1st September 2009: Rachel Christie has made it into history books by becoming the first black woman ever to win the title of Miss England. To win such a prestigious crown, one must be without doubt beautiful, yet Rachel doesn’t consider herself the most beautiful girl in England. “Miss England isn’t just about your looks,” she says in this exclusive interview with The AfroNews.
Rachel, 20, who is also Miss London City is a determined heptathlete hoping to make her mark in the London Olympics in 2012. Her graceful looks, her charming personality and her aspirations to become a top athlete are some of the many reasons why she was chosen.
She reveals that winning the title of Miss England hasn’t changed her in any way. “I haven’t changed as a person, I’m still Rachel and that’s how it will always be,” she says. Rachel’s special message for the young people who are convinced they can’t achieve anything in life is: hard work leads to success.
Rachel, you’ve made history as the first black Miss England. How do you plan to use this prestigious title?
It is a big achievement to be the first black Miss England. I have come across quite a lot of young people who are negative and feel they cannot do anything with themselves in life. My aim is to show them: whoever you are, where ever you come from, you CAN do something with yourself, just put your head down and work hard, that’s how you make it. You can’t sit down and expect success to come and find you.
What motivated you to participate in the pageant?
I was scouted by modelling agencies when I was younger but never really took much notice of it. My friends would tell me to model but I guess I just did it in my own time. I didn’t really look at it as a pageant. I think it’s more of a modelling competition where you help yourself and others. I suppose I got to a point in my life where I knew I had to make a change.
Did you ever think of emerging the winner?
I didn’t think I would win, you always think it will be someone else (I do).
How did you feel when you were announced the winner?
When they called my name out when I won the Face of Helen E Cosmetic award, well that was a shock as this fast tracked me through to the top 15, but I was in such shock when they then called me out as the winner of Miss England that I didn’t think it was me. I then screamed but I never scream. I think my knees went weak and I had to be pushed onto the stage.
You are both the Miss England and a determined heptathlete hoping to win gold in the 2012 Olympics. How will you manage to combine the two?
Well it has been pretty easy combining the two. They don’t get in the way of each other. I’m still training like normal and being Miss England at the same time.
What are your career and personal ambitions?
My present career plans are to be a successful Miss England and model, and in the future I would like to be a successful athlete.
What’s your message to the black community members, especially to the young people who quite often don’t think they can make it to such a high level?
I feel there is a lot of young people who are negative about their future, so my advise is to them is to be positive make a change and “If at first you don’t succeed pick yourself up and try again”.
How do you spend a typical day?
My typical day at the moment is waking up early doing loads of interviews training and eating, I love food!
What are your hobbies?
I like swimming and going out with my friends eating, and that’s about it, I do the occasional reading.
What advice would you offer young girls aspiring to become Miss England?
I would advise girls to go for Miss England, it gives you so much confidence. When I first did it I didn’t have any confidence and then it made me realise that for me to go out in front of hundreds of people and model on a stage I can do anything.
Full name: Rachel Christie
Competition Age: 20
Dress Size: 8
Shoe Size: 6
Hair: Dark Brown
MAKE UP BY www.helen-e.com
HAIR BY Great Lengths
PHOTOS BY www.freshacademy.com