Chloe's specs appeal has won her a national award
Chloe Mills has a clear view on life - after winning a national competition.
The 22–year–old from Sunderland was nominated by Specsavers staff in King Street, South Shields, for a place in the Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards.
After impressing judges in the regional rounds Chloe headed to London, where she was crowned winner of the 16 to 24 age group.
She was presented her award by The Xtra Factor’s Rylan Clark and TV presenter Amy Willerton, and had the chance to mingle with a whole host of celebrities.
Chloe, who also won some Spescavers vouchers, said: “The whole experience was a wonderful whirlwind, and to be one of seven national finalists from over 12,000 entries was an amazing achievement in itself.
“I’m especially proud to have won the youngest age group category. I feel young people should never shy away from wearing specs. I’ve always said that my specs make me who I am today. They’re part of my life.
“I feel now is the best time for youngsters to get their specs on and show them off as part of their style and as a fashion accessory, not just because they need them.”
Although she now wears her glasses with confidence and pride, this has not always been the case.
Chloe says she was teased when she attended Sandhill View School in Sunderland.
She said: “Class work was a real problem. I had to squint at the board and sometimes cover over my left eye to help me focus.
“When the headaches started I asked my mum if I could go for an eye test and we were all shocked when my results showed I needed a strong prescription for both my eyes and that my left eye was particularly weak.”
Although Chloe started to wear her glasses at school, she chose not to wear them all the time to avoid even more unwanted attention.
Chloe said: “Some used my specs as another opportunity to get at me so, although I needed to wear them, I chopped and changed and every time I started to wear them again I’d feel really weird – just like I was floating in space.
“This went on for over a year until one day I decided I was sick of feeling that way and I was just going to wear my specs and get on with it.
“I’ve not stopped wearing them since, I feel undressed without them, they are part of me and make me who I am.”
Chloe is hoping be doing PR work with a contact lense company in the future.