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Aerospace Engineer, 26, Who Was Bullied For Her Ginger Locks In School Wins Miss England

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Aerospace Engineer, 26, Who Was Bullied For Her Ginger Locks In School Wins Miss England

Gagen will now represent England at Miss World.

The final of the prestigious pageant held in Birmingham saw Jessica Gagen beat out 30 other beauty queens to take the title of Miss England. The 26-Year-Old had competed in 2021 but earned the position of runner-up in the grand finale, losing out to Rehama Muthamia. This year, the aerospace engineering student was determined more than ever to WIN.

Gagen’s victory of the title Miss England 2022 hasn’t only given her more confidence but has helped silence bullies. 

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In secondary school, the beauty queen was bullied for her naturally ginger locks, including being punched, spat on, and even burned. Gagen was also subjected to name-calling, having things thrown at her head, and even being forced to eat her dinner in the toilets to escape the abuse. 

“Throughout secondary school, I was teased for being a redhead,” Gagen from Skelmersdale Lancashire shared. 

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She told DailyMail“I didn’t mention it much during last year’s competition as I’m a big believer in leaving negativity in the past, but with there having never been a red-haired Miss England. I was name-called on the daily, and although I don’t think the kids were being malicious in doing so, there were times they were.” 

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Gagen stressed it’s important to educate people about what redheads face in school to empower children who might be experiencing what she did. 

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The winner continued: “I used to get upset about it all, but I’m determined to show kids who are facing the same thing that it won’t happen forever.” She revealed, being the only redhead in her family, she sought somebody who understood the bullying through school, adding: “It is nice to be able to represent the younger kids and say ‘I have been through it, and you can use that pain to raise your game. Make it your superpower.” 

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Gagen’s confidence, shattered by cruel classmates, slowly grew after a modeling agency signed her up following her A-Levels. 

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At age 18, the student currently studying at the University of Liverpool signed with numerous agencies and started modeling internationally. Gagen revealed that while her campaign, both this year and last, was to get girls into STEM subjects, the experience made her realize the importance of empowering girls who look like her. “I look back, and I was thinking there are not many redheads on TV.”

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She added: “I think it would be so good if there could be somebody in that kind of position who is a redhead.”

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“Even last year, there wasn’t one redhead in Miss World. I thought if I could win this, I could empower kids who are being bullied for the way that they look and the color of their hair.” In 2021, Gagen raised funds for Beauty with a Purpose, running 5k in a fancy dress every day consecutively for 96 days in Liverpool and is named locally as Fancy-Dress Jess. 

Alongside modeling, the beauty queen who will now compete on the world stage representing England has also helped raise £6K for local charities. 

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However, HGV driver Milly Everatt, 22, from Eastoft, Lincolnshire, and Chess champion Emily Cossey, 24, from Chelsea, London, won third and second place runners-up. 

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