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Sunday 23 June, 2024
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Who is Jessica Gagen? Miss England 2022, Biography, Age, Boyfriend and Instagram

BY Sharmeen Hussain Oct 18, 2022. 11:59 pm UPDATED: Oct 18, 2022. 11:59 pm

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The first redhead to be named Miss England in the competition’s 94-year history is an aerospace engineer who was teased in school for having ginger hair.

Jessica Gagen, 26, defeated 30 other beauty queens to win the title in Birmingham’s illustrious pageant final.

Jessica Gagen

Her triumph comes after she overcame bullying in high school, which included being burned, punched, and spat upon because of her naturally ginger hair.

In an effort to avoid the harassment, Jessica, who will now represent England at Miss World, was also called names, had objects thrown at her head, and was made to eat her school lunch in the restrooms.

The student’s confidence, which had been crushed by her unkind classmates, eventually grew until she was signed up by a modelling agency after her A-Levels.

As Jessica conquered her past troubles, she started walking the catwalks all over the world.

She later competed in Miss England, finishing second behind Rehema Muthamia in the championship round the previous year.

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At the glamorous final hosted at the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport, she has now outperformed herself and silenced the bullies to win the title of Miss England 2022.

Jessica, an aeronautical engineering integrated master’s student at the University of Liverpool, said she was more determined than ever to win.

Jessica, originally from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, said: ‘Throughout secondary school I was teased for being a redhead.

‘I didn’t mention it much during last year’s competition as I’m a big believer in leaving negativity in the past, but with there never having been a red-haired Miss England.’

The winner stressed she believes it’s ‘important to educate people about what redheads face in school’ to empower children who may be experiencing what she did.

‘I was name-called on the daily, and although I don’t think the kids were being malicious in doing so, there were definitely times they were,’ she added. ‘I used to get really upset about it all, but I’m determined to show kids who are facing the same thing that it won’t happen forever.’

At the age of 18, Jessica began modelling abroad and signed with several agencies. She will now represent England in competitions around the world.

She said that although her campaign last year and the year before was to encourage females to pursue STEM fields, the experience made her realise the value of empowering young women who look like her.

‘I looked back and I was thinking there are not many that redheads on TV,’ she said. ‘I think it would be so good if there could be somebody in that kind of position who is a redhead. Even last year there wasn’t one redhead in Miss World.

‘I thought if I could win this, I could empower kids who being bullied for the way that they look and the colour of their hair.’

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Miss England finalist to contest without wearing any make-up
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She admitted that, being the only redhead in her family, she was ‘always looking for somebody who kind of understood the bullying through school’.

‘It is nice to be able to represent the younger kids and say “I have been through it and you can use that pain to raise your game”,’ she said. ‘Make it your superpower.’

Alongside modelling, Jessica has helped raise over the £6,000 for local charities and, in 2021, she raised funds for Beauty with a Purpose.

She ran 5k in fancy dress every day consecutively for 96 days in Liverpool, and is known locally as Fancy-Dress Jess.

Chess champion Emily Cossey, 24, from Chelsea, London and HGV driver Milly Everatt, 22, from Eastoft, Lincolnshire, were announced as second and third place runners up.

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