Jemima promises to be a role model as she’s crowned Miss Tameside
Monday 23rd July 2018 @ 16:53 by Tom Greggan
Ashton News Tameside

An Ashton teenager has promised to be the best role model she can be after being crowned ‘Miss Tameside’.

The Miss Manchester competition, held on May 4th, was the first ever pageant that 17-year-old Jemima Wright had entered. She was named ‘Miss Social Media’, which earned her a place in the wildcard heats for Miss England.

Jemima then faced an anxious wait, but last Sunday she finally received the phone call and was told she’d won a place at the Miss England semi-finals and with it, the ‘Miss Tameside’ crown.

The former St Damian’s pupil said: “I used to mock of all the girls that do pageants it but it’s not what you think it is. Everyone was so nice and I really enjoyed it. It was crazy; I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. It was the best thing I’ve ever done and I’ll definitely be doing it again next year.”

Ahead of her year as ‘Miss Tameside’, Jemima says she’ll take inspiration from her role models and try to be a positive influence in the community.

Miss Manchester, Fatime Gashi and Miss Tameside, Jemima Wright

“I genuinely want to make an impact,” she said. “I come from a place where I’ve always been surrounded by community, helping others and seeing how much an older person can influence and inspire children. I want to be that person because I’ve looked up to so many people who have done that for me; my mum, for example.

“I’m not one to just turn up and smile for a picture. I care about children and the community and making sure everyone finds the right path. I want to be the best that I can and do the best that I can.”

Speaking about breaking the stereotypes that she herself held before entering a pageant, Jemima added: “I don’t think in the slightest that I’m a stereotypical pageant girl. I’m not a size 8. I’m a size 12, sometimes I go to a size 14 and I’m comfortable with that.

“I’m comfortable enough to say: “This is my double chin, it’s going to waddle down this catwalk and show you what a true, happy person is like!” I don’t see the point in making yourself unhappy and uncomfortable trying to fit a mould. I want to be the person to break that.”

‘Miss Tameside’ and its 2018 revival is down to Miss Manchester organiser, Cheryl Broadfoot, who has been asking the competiton’s organisers for more regionalisation for years.

Cheryl explained: “I live in Tameside and there are so many great girls here who are beautiful, sporty and intelligent- I think it’s time we showed that!

“Being a pageant queen isn’t just about being pretty. You have to show humanity, humility and intelligence, and you have to really work for it. We don’t have a swimsuit round anymore so the image of the pageant has completely changed. We’re hoping to do Tameside every year now. I think Jemima is a fantastic role model.

“We had a few girls from Tameside enter Miss Manchester but this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while so when Jemima won the wildcard heat I told the Miss England office straight away, “She’s going to be Miss Tameside!” Hopefully we’ll do a big event every year and find someone to represent the borough. Throughout their reign they’ll be doing charity work and visiting local events. We want to raise awareness of the good parts of Tameside.”

Jemima officially received her ‘Miss Tameside’ crown live on Tameside Radio last month by the Miss Manchester winner, Fatime Gashi. It was also Fatime’s first ever pageant and marked another step on her remarkable journey.

At the Tameside Radio studios, Jemima Wright is crowned as Miss Tameside by Miss Manchester, Fatime Gashi

Now living in Salford, Fatime moved to England as a refugee at the age of two, when her family fled war-torn Kosovo in 1999. As well as being crowned Miss Manchester, she recently completed a Biomedical Science degree at Salford University with first class honours.

After applying last year but pulling out due to academic commitments, Fatime was invited to take part in this year’s competition just four days beforehand.

“I didn’t really have time to prepare; I was panicking about finding a dress and things like that,” she said. “I’d never done anything like it before so I had no idea. I was really nervous because I had an exam on the Monday and it was a whole day of not revising but honestly, it was an amazing experience. It was so fun and everyone was so nice. I thought it had been an amazing day but to win was unbelievable!”

Fatima will now compete in the Miss England finals, hopefully Jemima will be there to join her. The first part takes place this week, on July 26th and 27th, at Resorts World in Birmingham, with the final is on September 3rd and 4th at Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire.