A SOUTH Tyneside woman is proving beauty comes in all sizes – after scooping a national modelling award thanks to a lucky ‘break’.
Christie-Leigh Galloway was crowned the winner of a national competition aimed at more shapely women than the size zero models often seen on the catwalk.
The 28-year-old – who varies between a size 14 and 16 – is hoping her win can help her be a role model for a more healthier female image.
Christie-Leigh, from South Shields, won £1,000 and a 12-month contract with prominent modelling agency, Milk Management.
But if it wasn’t for the help of a close friend – and her car breaking down – she wouldn’t be in the limelight.
She said: “I only entered the competition on the last day. I didn’t know anything about it until my best friend emailed the details to me.
“I only ended up entering because my car broke down before I went to work. As I waiting for a lift, I went on the computer and decided to enter the competition. I sent the pictures off and then just forgot about it.
“I just couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won. It’s been non-stop ever since. I did a photo shoot on party dresses and also had a documentary team from Channel 4 interviewing me about plus-size modelling.
“I won £1,000 and a modelling contract with Milk Management.”
Christie-Leigh, who works as a fashion and beauty course leader at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle, is determined to use her win in The Sun’s Lurves Curves competition to drive home the message that it takes more than one size to suit all.
She added: “The good thing about Milk Management is they don’t call the girls plus-size models, but curve models.
“I think there should be more diversity. The fashion industry works on the basis that anyone over a size 12 is a plus-size model. It is madness as the average woman in Britain is a size 16. I am a size 14 to 16.
“I think there shouldn’t be such an emphasis on labelling people. All size women can sell clothes. The important thing is you are happy with how you look and are healthy.
“I have nothing against skinny girls who are modelling. Some people are naturally thin. It is about having diversity.
“I have had a lot of positive comments on Facebook and Twitter. I have had people who have suffered from anorexia and bulimia tell me that my competition win is good news and this is the kind of image that should be projected.
“I am a course leader in fashion and beauty and I work with 16 and 17-year-old girls
“I feel very passionate about this subject. I tell them they should feel confident, no matter what size they are.
“They shouldn’t be made to feel like they have to be a certain size, just because certain sections of the media say so.”
Christie-Leigh is moving to a new home with her boyfriend in King George Road, South Shields, in the New Year – and isn’t ready to uproot to London just yet.
She added: “I do part-time work at the college, so thankfully I’ve been able to manage modelling with work. I’ve just got a mortgage so I don’t want to move to London just yet.”