What a fantastic barrage of Summer Time Sizzler events in the world of UK pageantry we have been witness to over the last few months. We are taking stock of the goings on and now it is chance to recover from our Pageant Hangovers and reflect with our incredible Title Queens!
Today we shine a light on the effervescent, ever positive Effy Murphy who is representing Ireland in Ms Diamond 2021, and celebrate what it means to be body positive and dedicated to your platform.
What is your current title?
Ms Diamond Ireland 2021.
How many times did you compete for your title?
What does your system stand for and why is this important to you?
Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity in Every Woman was so appealing to me; being a finalist who began as size 24 and competed in a size 10 gown. I believe every woman should be celebrated.
Can you tell me a bit about your chosen platform?
My chosen platform has two elements as it all is very close to my heart. Firstly Mental Health and Suicide Awareness, as a woman who battles depression and is medicated, I believe we need to raise awareness and so I created #MindYourMates A Campaign to remind you that a simple call can make a huge difference to someone's day. My second element is Self Love and Body Positivity. Being a woman who has experienced being 22 stone and now half her body size, self love is extremely important. I created #BeautyAtAnySize Campaign, which reached the shores of New Zealand and Australia, America and more. Celebrate yourself and love yourself first!
What do Beauty Pageants mean to you and how would you define them?
The definition of a Beauty Pageant to me is Sisterhood. The togetherness of women from every background and ethnicity, coming together to empower others, raise awareness and Inspire others.
When did you enter your first beauty pageant and why?
My daughter Aisling was Junior Miss Ireland and in 2015 she said ‘mam you should enter.’ I honestly laughed. Never in a million years did I think of a woman of my size ( at the time I was dress size 26) and a mum of 3 with no intention to wear a gown and have eyes on me. In fact the anxiety I had was horrendous! But having entered and experiencing the world of pageantry, I fell in love.
What is something important you would tell a newcomer to Beauty Pageants?
My advice to a newcomer is to research. There are so many systems available with different rules and expectations. Choose a system that appeals to you. My inbox is always open should you like some advice.
What is the most important thing you have done or will be doing with your current title?
I believe the most important thing I have done, and will continue to do is sharing Effy’s Journey and inspiring others to believe in themselves and their power to achieve anything. My motto in life is Dream. Believe. Achieve. - if you dream it, work hard enough then you can certainly achieve it.
Do you think it is important for a Queen to use her title to support her system and take part in community and charity work?
I certainly do. A Queen has taken the role others dream of having. It is the Queen's duty to promote, lead and Inspire. Your Community will benefit from small steps of giving your time and help where possible. A Queen is given this opportunity to work and certainly do this job to their best of their ability.
What qualities do you think a competitor needs to win a crown?
A competitor should have a reason why they're a finalist. Why are you here? If it's for a crown - go buy one. But if you would like to be a role model and help others, have a kind heart and the ability to empower others then go get it girl!
Do you think a queen is a role model and has responsibilities connected with that?
A Queen is most definitely a Role Model. She is someone others aspire to be. A leader, who sets goals and works hard to achieve them. Her responsibilities are Empowerment - Commitment - Dedication and above all to just be herself.
How would you explain Beauty Pageants to someone who has never experienced one?
Never judge a book by its cover! I attended a pageant to observe first. Then I fell in love with the fun and friendship (and of course the sparkling crowns!)
What's been your greatest learning experience from pageantry?
My greatest learning experience from pageantry is believing in myself and knowing I CAN achieve anything once I commit myself and believe in myself. It all starts with you and a positive mind.
What was running through your head when your name was announced as the winner?
Oh my goddddddd my hard work has truly paid off !!! Oh and now when can I take off these heels!
Who is your Beauty Pageant inspiration?
This is a tough one because so many have inspired me on my pageant journey. But I have always said Sarah Pritchard and Katherine Henry. Without these two incredible inspirational women, I don't think I as a plus size lady would have ever found the confidence in myself without following their journey. This is the reason why I've shared mine - to inspire others like they done for me.
If you have sister queens, tell us how you are as a team and how you support each other etc.
My sister Queens are all incredible and we have only been crowned a few hours ago (at the time of submission 24/08/2021) so I am looking forward to getting to know them even more and travelling to Las Vegas in 2022.