An NHS paramedic has swapped her ambulance uniform for the catwalk in a bid to become the next winner of Miss England.
Alice Jones, 26, never had a relationship at school because she was taller than all of the other boys which left her feeling "like a freak".
The 6ft beauty even had to take five months off work with West Midlands Ambulance Service to get therapy to help deal with her crippling anxiety, self-doubt, and body image issues.
Alice said her problems stemmed from childhood and continued into adulthood before being exacerbated by the stresses of working during the pandemic.
But after tirelessly helping to save lives throughout the Covid outbreak, Alice bravely overcame her issues to grow in self-confidence and enter Miss England.
Last Saturday (April 23) she swapped her paramedic scrubs and steel toe-tapped boots for a dress and high-heels to model on the catwalk at the National Prom Show in Birmingham.
And she was left stunned to be announced the winner, automatically landing herself a place in the semi finals of the Miss England 2022 beauty competition.
What has Alice said about her Birmingham beauty contest win?
Alice, of Walsall, said: "Miss England has always been something I have been interested in, but I never thought I had the confidence to do it.
"Mentally, I had a lot of self-doubt and problems with body image issues, but over the last couple years I have been on a journey of self-discovery.
"After overcoming that, I thought why not enter. It is the last year I can enter Miss England because of my age.
“I entered as a challenge for myself as it’s completely different to my day to day job as a paramedic.
"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.
"The day was amazing, I met some lovely people and I actually really enjoyed pushing myself out my comfort zone, walking down the catwalk
"It is more of a confidence boost for me. I have never done anything like it before."
How has Alice managed her anxiety?
Alice told how she needed time off to deal with her anxieties and the stress of work after having a "bit of a breakdown".
She added: "I had five months of therapy and it made me realise a lot of things and what is important. There is more to life than being anxious and self-conscious.
"Working through the pandemic probably played a small part but it also probably stemmed a lot from childhood.
"Growing up, I believed I was not worth anything and that I was thick. Because I am 6ft, I felt like a bit of a freak because I was so tall.
"I never really had relationships because I was taller than all over the boys - that did nothing for my confidence.
"I had to make a conscious effort to slouch. I got comments like ‘gosh, you’re tall’ I found that uncomfortable.
"Obviously, I carried that through to adulthood. Even as a paramedic I used to feel like I didn’t deserve to be a paramedic.
"The pandemic was tough. The people you were going to were really poorly. I knew I was taking them away and that they were not coming back.
"I didn’t see any family during the pandemic. It was quite isolating.
"But now, I have the confidence to enter this competition. I am looking forward to what the future holds and I welcome every challenge that comes my way."
What does Alice say to other girls who may be suffering from anxiety?
Alice is now encouraging younger girls who face anxiety and self-doubt to "put themselves out there".
She added: "It’s proof with enough determination you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
"My message to younger girls is to put yourself and get yourself out of the comfort zone.
"Getting through to the semi-finals was something I never expected, honestly I am so honoured and I am really enjoying the process so far."
What’s next for the beauty queen as the next heat of Miss England approaches?
In the lead up to the semi-final Alice will be invited to promote Walsall in her own diary video and raise funds for Beauty with a Purpose - the Miss World charity.
The Miss England semi finals take place on August 22 at the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences in London.
To enter Miss England visit www.missengland.info
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.