There Is A Place For Male Beauty Pageants, Here’s Why!

I am absolutely honoured to be representing Derry City at the Mr Ireland grand final on June 5 in Dublin.

IMG_20151130_211226So why enter a male model contest beauty pageant? Well, to be honest, why not?

The outgoing Mr Ireland Karl Bowe 2014 has firmly made his mark nationally as an anti-bullying campaigner/actor/presenter and model. More importantly, Karl has helped to challenge the public’s perception of competitions such as these.

Pageantry is an integral element of popular culture especially in South America and the Philippines, with the Miss World global final attracting over 100 million television viewers alone, and an equally large following across pageant forums online.

I personally respect the Mr/Miss World Organisation as they have continued to promote an inclusive culture that represents real beauty, for example by removing the bikini round and scrapping height/size restrictions.

IMG_20151112_015621Of course the modelling industry is predominantly based solely on image alone; but it can serve as a gateway into a multitude of careers. Our very own Jamie Dornan, and other models such as Mark Walberg, Vernon Kay and Channing Tatum, have went on to have illustrious careers across the creative industries. For me, as a cancer awareness campaigner, its a harsh reality that maintaining a press presence is essential to the success of any initiative.

It’s an absolute honour to represent a city that has supported me wholeheartedly in everything that i have done. So what are the negatives?

I fell into modelling at the age of 19 and, for the most part, it has been an amazing experience that has enabled me to make lifelong friends and partake in unimaginable opportunities such as presenting for MTV and to work with brands such as Remus Uno, John Roche, Tourism Ireland, Discover Ireland and House of Frazer.

However, I remember standing in front of a casting panel at 20 years of age, standing 6ft tall and weighing 10st 7lbs and being asked would i consider a nose job, that i had no bone structure and would benefit from losing weight. There is a culture of body shaming, people assume that when you are naturally slim that this is due to an element of body dysmorphia and extreme dieting.

IMG_20150621_205309 (1)There is also a culture for men to attain the Calvin Klein underwear model physique. Thankfully, the modelling industry is undergoing somewhat of an epiphany where all body types are being celebrated.

At 28 years of age I can honestly say that i am comfortable with who I am. I may not be the best looking boy in the world, I may have returned to the nose line in heaven for a second time as opposed to attending the common sense line.

But i am fit, healthy and have enough ambition and drive to make my City proud on a national stage. Here’s hoping I can go one further and replicate the success of Irish model Kamal Orlando Ibrahim, who brought the global title home in 2010.