A beauty queen with alopecia takes home the crown at her first pageant
A beautiful woman battling alopecia has won her first beauty pageant title despite being completely bald.
Mum of four, Michelle Moffatt, 34, from Dumbarton, Scotland, was diagnosed with alopecia in July 2015 – after losing a clump of hair while in the shower.
Michelle was horrified when she eventually lost all her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows and her confidence hit rock bottom.
But when a friend entered her into Miss Bombshell Beauty Pageant, she plucked up the courage to take centre stage and raise awareness for Alopecia UK.
Two weeks ago, Michelle was crowned Mrs Bombshell and Miss Congeniality, despite being completely bald and being up against 50 other girls from across the UK.
She will now be taking part in the world finals in Gibraltar this September.
Michelle, a cardiothoracic critical care nurse, said: “Winning at the beauty pageant meant the absolute world to me, it was a total shock as all the others girls were stunning.
“I’m on cloud nine.
“When I first lost my hair I was distraught, I saw a clump fall out in the shower but it wasn’t until I took a photo of the back of my head that I realised how much had fallen out.
“I couldn’t cover it with other hair so I wore a bandana to work that day in a complete daze.
“I then started to lose even more, another huge patch had no appeared at the front of my head after I brushed my hair.
“When my friend mentioned a ‘brave the shave’ charity fundraiser for Macmillian Cancer, I thought it would be a great chance to get rid of it and start again.
“But it didn’t grow back, and then my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out, that was the hardest part.
“I didn’t recognise myself at all, it was awful but my amazing husband, Ross, 36, and kids, Yasmin, 12, Joshua, 10, Darrah, six, and Zachariah, five, kept me going.
“The pageant gave me so much more confidence in myself, I would never have entered if my friend hadn’t of given me the push I needed.
“Feeling overweight and bald, I told the organisers straight away that I wasn’t going to be their usual candidate but they were more than happy for me to be part of the pageant.
“I couldn’t believe that after everything I had been through in the past year that something so positive had come out of it all, I felt proud to have alopecia and to educate everyone about the condition.”
Michelle now owns an array of wigs thanks to a charity called WOW – they specalise in preowned wigs with all profits going towards helping others with their diagnosis.
She added: “Putting a wig on made me feel like the old Michelle again, my husband, Ross, had taken down all the mirrors from our wardrobe doors as I hated my appearance so much.
“I took my youngest son, Zachariah, to an appointment with an NHS specialist in dermatology and they were amazing, telling him ‘only cool mummies have alopecia.’
“He smiled and for the first time he touched my bald head when we left, I cried with happiness and I was prescribed for four synthetic wigs.
“It was September 2015 and I had spent so much money on wigs by this point and desperately tried to feel like me again.
“I was learning how to apply make up by watching YouTube videos and I had my eyebrows tattooed.
“For the first time in months I could leave the house without spending hours pencilling on my brows.
“I also decided to have a tattoo on my scalp to symbolise what I had been through and that gave me more confidence to bare all.”
It wasn’t until May 2016, that Michelle’s pageant success began.
Michelle added: “I had never thought of entering a pageant.
“My friend sent a photo to the Miss Bombshell Pageant, at first I said I couldn’t but I would feel out of place but then I realised, life is for living and I shouldn’t hold back, I was only entering for a bit of fun.
“In September I will be competing in the world finals in Gibraltar, I can’t wait and I am so grateful to Alopecia UK for helping me out with my sponsorship.
“September is a very special time for me as it’s also Alopecia awareness month.”
Now almost one year since her diagnosis Michelle can look back at the start of her journey and smile with pride.
She said: “Nowadays when look in the mirror I see me. I am Michelle, bald or hair on or headscarf, I am me.
“I have accepted that i probably won’t have hair again, I am OK with that.
“I just pray that anyone out there struggling can find peace in themselves, you are beautiful, look in a mirror, tell yourself that. Because it is true.”
Donna Reynolds, director of International Bombshell, said: “International Bombshell was created to celebrate beauty in all its forms.
“There are no height, dress size, body art, gender at birth or upper age restrictions on our candidates – the only criteria being that you must reach the age of 18 before the beginning of the international final.
“Michelle’s overall performance, both on stage and through out the weekends’ preliminary judging, placed her not only as the ‘Best in Platform’ winner – she was also the highest scoring married lady, which gave her the title of ‘Mrs Bombshell GB 2016’.”
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