A teenager from Little Chalfont who used to self-harm and went on extreme diets finished in the top 20 at the Miss England finals last month.
19-year-old Lucy Krogdahl was selected in the top 55 out of 22,000 girls that applied for this years’ event and travelled to Newcastle to compete for one of the top pageant accolades.
Lucy started hurting herself aged 14 thinking she was a failure and started to diet after looking at unrealistic images on Instagram.
At her lowest, she saw a counsellor at school and was referred to the NHS’s mental health service.
She told the Daily Mirror: “I didn’t want to fail or let anyone down. I’ve always been a bit of a control freak but it got worse. I was ¬worrying all the time. I stressed around exams.”
“I was following fitness ¬influencers and celebrities, especially ones who got great bodies by working out. They all looked perfect, like they led the ideal life.
“In contrast I’d always been athletic looking, so I started to eat less. I’d live off salad and fruit and was working out three or four times a day because I felt the need to stay fit and slim.
“I’m a dancer too, so was regularly taking part in competitions as well. The weight just fell off.”
Lucy has now turned things around; completing her GCSEs and A-Levels, she is studying biomedical science at University of Lincoln.
A scout spotted her leaving the gym and signed her up to the Lincoln pageants where she was crowned Miss Lincoln 2019 back in January.
Lucy posted on social media: “As a girl who had no idea about beauty pageants until I was scouted in January it has been a whirlwind experience and one that I wouldn’t change for the world.
“Over the last six months I’ve done things I’ve never imagined, including raising money for charity, rowing the distance of the channel and speaking in public about mental health.
“I am so proud of the woman I have become through this journey and couldn’t have done it without the people around me, so some thank you are in order.”
She now gives talks at schools across Buckinghamshire and continues to fundraise for suicide prevention and a variety of children’s charities.
She added: “This is the first time I’ve ever really spoken publicly about my difficulties and I’m hoping whoever reads this can take some hope from it that you can recover.
“I feel very privileged to place in the top 25 with two top 20 places in sport and barefaced beauty. I can’t congratulate all the girls that took part enough, especially our Miss England 2019 Bhasha. I can’t wait for what the future will hold as Miss Lincoln.”