Starting at the age of 3, Emily Diapre pursued dancing, eventually winning scholarships for dance school. At the same time, she struggled with her weight.
“I was encouraged to be skinny,” Diapre told U.K. news outlet South West News Service. Eventually, she began to feel like losing weight was the major key to her success, while gaining weight would be the gateway to failure.
The stress and anxiety of that precarious relationship with her weight ended up driving Diapre from the world of dance. After being so miserable and obsessed with her weight, she could not complete her school work in dance.
When she was 17 years old, though, Diapre decided to pursue acting and not let the pressure of being a ballerina affect her new path. “I told my teachers that I was going to be myself and that I had no interest in being a skinny ballerina,” said Diapre.
After seeking counseling and focusing on being happier with her body, no matter her weight, Diapre took things a step further and entered the world of beauty pageants — a road that led her to winning Miss British Beauty Curve title early this month. When she was a ballerina she was a U.K. size 6 (U.S. size 2) and she’s now a size 18 (U.S. size 14). As she recounts in her interviews, she’s “ecstatic” about her achievements.
Pursuing her beauty crown has helped her embrace her size, and she wants to use her exposure to help others do the same. As she goes on to represent the U.K. in the International Curve Pageant this fall, she wants to remind people that “healthy doesn’t mean skinny.”
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