A 6ft paramedic, who describes feeling “like a freak” because of her height, has overcome her body image issues to star in a worldwide beauty pageant.
Alice Jones, 27, from Walsall, West Midlands, suffered years of crippling anxiety due to her height, which saw her towering over her classmates at school.
"Mentally, I had a lot of self-doubt and problems with body image issues," she explains.
"Growing up, I believed I was not worth anything," she continues. "Because I am 6ft, I felt like a bit of a freak because I was so tall."
Though she says her issues began in childhood they continued into adulthood and also impacted her personal life.
"I never really had relationships because I was taller than all the boys – that did nothing for my confidence," she explains.
"I had to make a conscious effort not to slouch. I got comments like, 'Gosh, you're tall' and that made me uncomfortable."
As she got older her self-esteem issues remained even after qualifying as a paramedic.
“I used to feel like I didn't deserve to be a paramedic," she explains.
The turning point came when she took five months off work in order to get therapy and overcome her body issues.
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And, after some encouragement from her colleagues, who urged her to "go for it", she found the confidence to enter a pageant.
“I entered Miss England as a challenge for myself as it was completely different to my day-to-day job as a paramedic," she explains.
"I went from spending most of my time in steel toe-capped boots and my hair in a messy bun to wearing a fancy dress with my hair and make-up done."
Another reason she wanted to enter the competition was to use the Beauty with a Purpose platform (the Miss World charity) to educate the public on how to perform CPR and how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
"I’ve worked in the ambulance service since the age of 18 where I’ve provided care, treatment and even cups of tea for those in need," she says.
"Being a paramedic has always been an ultimate goal of mine and I’ve fulfilled it and will continue to do so.
"But taking part in the Miss England contest, has unlocked this potential in myself that I didn’t know I had."
Jones, who works for West Midlands Ambulance Service and is the current Miss Black Country, says she is enjoying the challenge of combining her work as a paramedic with competing in pageants.
"I want to show others that you can in fact do both and that life is about challenges," she explains.
"I'm loving attending photo shoots, taking part in different rounds, wearing dresses and really focusing on my fitness.
"I find modelling more of a challenge than saving a life sometimes," she continues. "It’s definitely not as easy as it looks but I welcome that challenge."
After reaching the semi-final of the competition and winning two awards, Jones has now been invited to represent the UK at the World Top Model final in Egypt.
"I’m really looking forward to representing the United Kingdom and hope to inspire others to push out of your comfort zone, whatever that maybe be."
Jones will be representing the UK in the 29th Top Model of the World pageant at the five-star luxury White Hills Resort, in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, on March 3.
Additional reporting SWNS.