Miss Diamond Curve Lancashire - Heather Holderness - Finalist Interview

This week we hear from Heather Holderness, the current Miss Diamond Curve Lancashire. Heather is 36 years old and we jumped into how she is finding pageantry and dug deep into what makes her tick!

What is your favourite thing about pageantry so far?

The friends we’ve made. The first pageant I ever put my daughter in was teenies nationals which is madness because I’d no clue what we were doing, all I knew was that I wanted to give pageants a go and that my daughter was stage ready, her ooc was great & we had a great time but beauty was a hot mess. Hollie really enjoyed the glitz, but the cost for costuming and the travel was insane & though the crowns and directors we were under were amazing, when we found a natural closer to home, it was a better fit for us & we got to know people.

At the same time my health was starting to decline & my energy just wasn’t what it was, looking back now I realise that that was the start of my fibromyalgia. I don’t know what the future holds. I'd love to be able to travel regularly again but with the FND & my husbands health everything is just a step at a time.

It could be we go back to glitz one day but for the time being I’m happy just being in the north west, there’s a thriving pageant scene & we’ve met so many wonderful people, and while in lockdown trying to keep a positive mind frame I’ve made friends online from a number of different systems.

Describe your personality in its full glory.

I'm a Libra Vegetarian, so I’m in the same company as Elle Woods and Adore Delano, and that tells you a lot about me. I’m into camp comedy, drag, satire, and sass.

I care about equality passionately and if I feel something is unfair I get quite annoyed.

I'm creative and thrifty so I make & sew & recycle & up-cycle. I’m empathic & that has an impact on everything I do.

You won’t find me in Next or Nando’s. If I’m shopping it’s Etsy, Ebay, or somewhere local & independent. If I’m having a meal I want to be in a family owned restaurant. I care where things come from, the artistry that goes into them. And then there’s this odd side to me that I wrestle with, as an able bodied person i was quite outgoing, now I’m disabled I find talking & meeting new people uncomfortable, even talking to people I’ve known for sometime because they see me effected & that’s hard, I get depressed I get anxious, but I was anxious before covid hit, so the anxiety of the pandemic didn’t hit me as hard because I’m always expecting the poop to hit the fan.

Tinned goods, Lindt seed bread, zombie bug out kit,,,, not quite, but I’ve learned how to adapt my insecurities into positivity, making a family meal from nothing & stretching money isn’t something everyone can do, & I’m proud to be able to adapt to whatever’s thrown at me.

What important skills you can learn from pageantry?

There are thousands of skills you can pick up from pageantry so it’s hard to choose, for me I’d say this year technical media development has been a huge one and I’m still trying to learn more.

I feel I learn new skills everyday just by being in the pageant world, weather it’s learning something from a health campaign or knowing how to engage with people better, by engaging with so many different women different skills rub off.

The most important though is one I’ve learned myself but one I want for my daughter which is why I entered her into pageants. And that’s learning self belief and self respect, we’re in a multi media saturated age, & the things I did as a kid aren’t online forever, but they are for my daughter. So not sending boys pictures when she gets to her teens, not being pressured into doing shots or compromising herself. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that if she’s going to do those things that those actions have consequences and that she’s worth more to herself, her family, & her community at her level headed best, that broken over a boy.

What qualities do you think a competitor needs to win a crown?

I think a crowned queen needs to be conscientious, because you're a symbol of that system, so taking a measured approach to things and showing dedication to your work and to your pageant sisters is so important because if you're not open to new things and new people your growth is limited & so is your impact. It’s why I keep pushing myself to do something daily that reaches out because it's easy to slide down into the duvet and just hide from the world. But by forcing myself to talk to take a picture , even though everything hurts, it’s an assurance of yes you hurt but your still here.

How would you explain Beauty Pageants to someone who has never experienced one?

This is daft, but I equate it to football.

My husband hasn’t a clue, or at least he hadn’t when we first got started.

So I started drawing things out and how they related into a pyramid,

Non league - small pageant

League - large pageant

Champion League - contracted pageant that leads to internationals

Does it say all it needs to, nope, but it’s a way of engaging him that he understood & now he gets excited for stuff.

What is the most important thing you would do with your dream title?

My dream title is Miss Diamond UK Curve, Regency International Curve.

I’ve always been plus, it’s who I am & that needs representation in pageants,

but more so body positivity needs representation in pageants, for me & billions of others body positivity isn’t just the size or shape of your body, it’s how your mindset and how your mental health is affected by that. For me it’s a daily battle with my limitations in a disabled body, appreciating what it can do & not cursing what it can’t, for others it could be body dysmorphia surrounding gender, it could be disordered eating, it could be any number of reasons a person isn’t happy in their body, but when that shifts to anxiety, depression, & any number of disorders that need mental health support.

I have trouble communicating, so having a title to help open doors, to help people learn some patience & tolerance of other needs & to understand everyone's struggles is something I’m committed to.

What is the most interesting thing the judges would need to know about you?

I’m a real life Poppy from Trolls, am I interesting? I don’t know, but I’m certainly entertaining , passionate, huggable, & I’m at my happiest surrounded by glitter and music trying to coax joy out of my grumpy branch husband. And if you knock me over,,, I will get back up again.

What does your system stand for and why is this important to you?

Diamond is a family system and it has family values of love loyalty and compassion, but most importantly a diamond is born under pressure. Now in the last twelve months I’ve been diagnosed with a brain disorder lost movement in my limbs, lost my speech, had to give up a job,,, while at the same time having a husband shielding in a global pandemic who’s had to have a pacemaker fitted,,, and also raising and educating a six year old.

If that’s not pressure I don’t know what is.

I am a diamond, crowned this year or not, this coal took all it could, fractured, & came out sparkling.

Do you have a platform?

My platform is mental health and body positivity. Mental health is often portrayed as something entirely separate from the body, & in some rare cases it is, but our entire environment shapes our mental health, it’s not just financial issues or relationships that have an impact on our mental health, our physical being has as much an impact.

Would you like to represent the UK at an international pageant and why?

Diamond’s international is with Regency International in Vegas, & it’s a dream to go. I’m a huge history buff & I love my country, I love my country, but I also have a huge affinity and respect for American culture, and the pageantry they have.

Vegas is extra, it’s glitz, & neon nuptials, but it’s a global hub because of its reputation, so you’d be able to meet not only state ambassador from Pageant strongholds like Texas, Georgia, Florida,

I might also get to meet Han & his new Mrs from Indonesia, or Bahli, or Birkenhead, getting to international would be amazing. Getting out of the UK would be amazing after the year we’ve had.

Why do you want to enter a Beauty Pageant?

I think there’s a huge difference between pageants, with some aesthetics being key, height, weight, modelling experience, others are focused on community & charity, & that’s what I like. I didn’t want to enter just any pageant, I wanted to enter a system that would support my ambitions.

Tell us about any community and charity work you have done. Why did you choose the projects or charities you supported?

The Samaritans was the chosen charity by Diamond already and I’d supported Mind previously with UK Rose, but then I lost my friend to suicide & it broke me. It was sudden, there were no signs, her smile stayed the same, she was just gone. The circumstances surrounding her were dark & she felt that was her only way out, but that wasn’t the case. Had she opened up even once things may have been different.

Things have been tough to organise during lockdown but I’m doing what I can to raise awareness and have started a video campaign called the marshmallows challenge. Queens, families, co-workers compete to see who can put the most marshmallows in their mouths and say the word Samaritans & donate £2 to the charity for competing.

I’m hopeful it’ll really take off.

What does it mean to you to be a person of substance?

A person of substance to me is more than skin deep, they’re the full package, they’re knowledgeable about a range of subjects and issues and will make a stand for what they believe in.

What makes a person inspirational to you?

I’m drawn to all sorts of people, some inspire me with words, others it’s deeds, some it’s both.

What qualities/characteristics should a Queen have?

Kindness, Charitable, Loyal, & loving.

Someone who cares for her community & the world at large. I think a queen should be a queen on and off the stage, & there are many people I consider queens who don’t wear a crown, they just exude compassion & understanding and that to me is what makes a queen.

Where is your happy place ?

Manchester, Deansgate bus stop.

Weird choice I know, but I’ve so many good memories there. Manchester is magical but the travel home from a long day threw the rainbow flags past clubs of days past just makes me smile.

When did you last lie?

I’m a mum, so in honesty I lie most days. You need to finish those peas, no I had no idea, that’s interesting, no I’m not mad. I tell a couple of white lies every day. If it helps my child develop an imagination, Confidence, & makes her want to eat her peas, white fairy lies are fine.

What book do you recommend most to people?

I’m dyslexic so I’ve never been a big reader but when I do it’s to indulge my passion for Victorian artisans or 18th century music hall. So pretty niche.

I’d recommend a couple of YouTube channels I watch Dr Mandel regularly as he’s done a series of acupressure exercises that work for all sorts of things.

I’ve gotten into podcasts recently & of course I’d recommend checking out Pageant Land & Sparkles & Rhinestones.

What's the one thing you want to know before you die?

I’m not seeking any eternal truth of the meaning of life. The only thing I want to know before I go is that my family’s safe & cared for.

Instagram - @diamondcurvelancashire

Facebook - Miss Diamond Curve Lancashire

We can't wait to see what comes next from Heather, who is clearly a passionate woman with an amazing heart.