FlexiMum Friday: Ms Middlesex Galaxy Interview
Being a mum and motherhood is different for everyone- it comes in all shapes and sizes. The ethos of Mumming is to be inclusive, inquisitive and supportive of Mamas following their dreams. I spoke to Jessica who has just started training for a pageant next year. Not something I know anything about, but I’m learning through Jessica that it’s about so much more than pretty dresses and parading on stage (though obviously that’s part of it!)
What I’ve seen so far has really inspired me- it’s about putting your best foot forward, being the best version of yourself and making a difference in the world… along with some sparkle and glitz along the way- what could be better than that! I had a chat with her a few days ago to learn more about what being Ms Middlesex Galaxy involves and what Jessica’s hopes are by taking part in this pageant which takes place in March 2020.
What is your reason for competing in Galaxy UK Pageant?
I like sparkly things... Joking! Though that is part of it! I’ve competed twice before. After having my daughter Felicity in April 2017, I needed to think about whether I still wanted to be involved and this year I’ve realised that yes - after first and foremost being a mum and partner, the next thing on my list is to represent the UK in the Galaxy international finals. It’s something I wanted to know I’d done on my deathbed- it feels like a deeper calling I can’t ignore.
Why enter the Galaxy UK pageant rather than other ones?
All Pageant systems are different- Galaxy is one of the most inclusive for body shapes and sizes, whether you are a mum, age… Galaxy has a category for everyone and therefore has an amazing community between the women that compete and I love the charity they support which is The Christie.
Since they started, Galaxy has raised over a quarter of a million pounds for The Christie. They fund cancer research – they have brought treatments to the UK that were standard in other countries that make a huge difference to quality of life for people diagnosed with cancer.
How do you balance training and preparing for the pageant with family life?
It requires a lot of planning- having set routines in place so we know that childcare is always covered. Making sure I’m being as productive as possible when I’m working or training or doing the podcast. Also learning to be able to switch off from that very quickly so when it’s family time, it’s quality family time.
What would you say to people who only have a stereotypical view of pageants? (aka Miss Congeniality!)
The majority of people only see the on-stage sparkle, they don’t understand all the work that goes into winning a title. There is a lot of charity work – it’s like setting up a not-for-profit. Having a title is like putting a megaphone to your voice- so whatever cause you are trying to promote, it will help get the message out there- and make difference in the world. It massively ranges from contestant to contestant- there’s a lot of body positivity, anti-bullying campaigns, and awareness-type platforms that have been started because of pageant contestants. Having a strong platform is vital to winning and what really makes competing have substance beyond the glitter and sparkle.
What is your weekly preparation for the pageant?
Weekly I’m in the gym 6 days a week for 2 hours (including the warm up and cool down- I’m not quite that mad!) Plus spending 3 mornings a week on the podcast and other social media. Walk rehearsals start in September and that will be an hour a week (the walk is important!) You need to feel comfortable in doing it- it’s about more than just walking- you need to be able to pause and smile and each judge and that comes from confidence in yourself and what you stand for- very hard to do if you don’t stand for anything- so it’s getting clear on this and it makes a huge difference to the way you walk in everyday life. It’s a pretty scary environment wearing a bikini on stage! If you know getting up there and doing it has a bigger purpose, then it’s not so scary!
Interview preparation will start in October- working on it privately and with a coach who does it for pageants. I will also be doing it in a group environment with mock interview panels.
What do you hope to inspire in your daughter Felicity from doing this?
I really want her to follow her dreams so I’m setting an example for her. I’m very conscious that doing this is taking time away from her so wherever possible I try to involve her and do events with her- my charity event is a parent-based event (February 29th 2020 in Twickenham- we will share it via Mumming!)
She has 2 of her own little sashes so she can join in- ‘Mummy’s Little Supporter’ and a ‘Future Galaxy Girl’ sash she is part of the journey too and I’m first and foremost a mummy.
Thank you Jessica- you are one inspirational Mama!
Check out her listing in the Mumming Directory.