A reluctant beauty queen from Market Deeping is hoping to conquer her nerves ahead of a big night on the catwalk tonight (Friday).
Jessica Blake (22) is up against nine other girls in the race to be named Miss Peterborough 2014, with a chance to represent the city at the Miss Great Britain contest in November awaiting the winner.
Model and holder of a first class degree in business and management, Jessica is following in the footsteps of her sister Katherine-Elyse Blake (24) who reached the Miss Universe GB Finals in June.
Jessica said: “I’ve never really been into beauty pageants and it was my sister who always said to me ‘try one’.
“So I did Face of the Globe Midlands in May and won it, even though I was really nervous and had to tell myself to just go and be myself.
“It was amazing to have a chance to represent the Midlands and there were about 30 of us in Leicester for the pageant.
“I didn’t really expect to go there and win and when I was named Miss Charity for raising £400 for the Rainbow Children’s Foundation, a charity for underprivileged children, I thought that was it.
“Then I won Miss People’s Choice, decided by a public vote, so I was shocked when they read out my name as Face of the Globe Midlands winner.”
Jessica, a former student at The Deepings School, has battled against anxiety, panic attacks and a fear of vomiting to work towards her dream of becoming a marketing director for a multinational company.
But first there’s the matter of Miss Peterborough 2014 tonight, followed by the Face of the Globe final at Disneyland Paris in October.
“I’ve lived in Market Deeping all my life, grown up here, went to school here and worked here,” Jessica said.
“That’s why I’m so excited about Miss Peterborough, as well as the charity side as I’ve worked for lots of charities in the past.
“I feel that I’m lucky with what I’ve done and I want to give something back.”
Jessica is also looking forward to starting a master’s degree in marketing later this month, but she knows her issues with mental health will continue to haunt her.
“I don’t have that much confidence in myself, unlike my sister Katherine-Elyse who’s very outgoing,” Jessica said.
“I’m not perfect at all and I do beauty pageants more for other people to realise that if you want to achive in life, you don’t have to be perfect.”