A stunning South Yorkshire model is heading for the top after landing a place in the finals of another glittering beauty contest.
Elena Raouna, who earlier this year was named Miss British Beauty Curve in a competition to find the country’s most curvaceous girls, is now bidding to land another modelling crown.
Elena, aged 22, is competing for the Face Of The Globe title and will be taking on girls from all over Britain as she takes another step up the beauty ladder.
It marks the end of a remarkable year for the former Campsmount School pupil, pictured right, who also landed a modelling contract on the back of her curve contest win.
She said: “I received an email that confirmed I’d been picked as a finalist for Miss Face of The Year 2014 by Face Of The Globe. I’m really excited and keeping my fingers crossed.”
The finals will be held in East Sussex in March with the overall winner heading to Disneyland Paris later next year for the global final.
In June size 16 Elena, who works in a chip shop, made national headlines when she secured the Miss British Curve title, with a string of national newspapers and magazines following up her win.
She is also the reigning Miss Doncaster Curve.
She said: “It has been an absolutely amazing year. I’ve had so much support and barely a day goes by without me getting a message telling me how my success has given girls confidence not to worry about their size.
“It really has been a whirlwind year and people have been so supportive. Everyone has been marvellous to me.”
She added: “I feel I have made my family and friends proud but also myself.
“My confidence has grown over the years and hopefully I can inspire other plus-size girls to be confident in their own skin. I wanted to show you don’t have to be a stick-thin model to take part in a beauty contest.”
Elena, who works at family business Harry’s Fish Bar in Dunsville, picked up a crown and sash, a DKNY handbag, jewellery, cash and a photoshoot in Manchester, as well as a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers, after triumphing in the Miss British Beauty Curve final.
She said: “It is looking to be an exciting year ahead.
“I am proud to represent curvy women all over.”
Original beauty shows were hit by protests
The first modern American pageant was staged by Phineas Taylor Barnum in 1854, but his beauty contest was closed down by public protest.
He had previously held dog, baby and bird beauty contests.
Newspapers then held photo beauty contests for many decades and, in 1880, the first Bathing Beauty Pageant took place as part of a summer festival to promote business in Delaware in the USA.
The idea of beauty pageants went global with the creation of the Miss World contest and the title is still seen as the pinnacle by which all other beauty contests are judged.
The programme was a staple on television around the globe but, in recent years, many channels have stopped broadcasting the pageant, deeming it to be outdated and derogatory to women.
However, there are now a string of rival global beauty crowns.
What do you think? Should the fashion industry give more jobs to bigger girls?