A Bromley girl who suffered serious scarring as a toddler is in the running to become this year’s Miss England.
Gym instructor Ashling Lauren, 21, said an accident with boiling water aged two left her shoulder, neck, and chest badly burned.
But Miss Lauren said she was inspired by the country’s current beauty queen, Kirsty Heslewood, who she said was mute as a child and has gone on to use her title to raise awareness of the disability.
Taking part in the final of Miss Kent on Saturday April 12, which would put her through to the grand final of the competition, Miss Lauren mentioned she has become more confident with herself and wants to emanate the work of her peer.
She explained: “I want to show we’re not all cut from the same mould. There are all sorts of girls in the contest.
“I followed it last year and decided to enter – I was burned quite severely as a young child and I want to raise awareness of my charity and I want to show that anyone can do this.
“I’m lucky because it’s stretched and isn’t as noticeable as before, but growing up it was quite tough. I want to prove to myself that I could do something like this.
“I’ve got a lot more confidence now.”
Miss Lauren has gone through a number of rounds to get to the last 24 in the county, and added she is really excited about the upcoming event.
The pageant girl, who is the only one from Bromley in with a chance, added: “I’m really looking forward to it – but I’m quite nervous.
“It should be a great experience.”