Twenty-six-year-old Jessica Gagen is a model, pageant girl, and a natural redhead. She was bullied at school due to the color of her hair has hit back at bullies by becoming a beauty queen – and now wants to become the first redhead to represent England and win at Miss World.
After being crowned Miss Lancashire, Gagen competed in Miss England 2021 as one of the few women in STEM. Gagen is working on a degree in Aerospace Engineering! Ultimately, she was runner up, but she isn’t giving up. Gagen hopes to compete in Miss England again and if she wins she will become the first redhead to represent England in the Miss World competition.
This beauty queen isn’t running just for the title, she wants to show the world women are more than just pretty faces, and she wants to show young redheads they can do anything. Gagen is proud of her red hair, but life as a young redhead wasn’t so easy. Gagen experienced a lot of teasing and severe and malicious bullying.
She has been very open about her struggles and hopes to empower kids who are facing the same things she did. Gagen said she was punched, spat at, and even burned because of her red hair and had to endure torment from cruel classmates for years.
“I didn’t mention it much during last year’s competition as I’m a big believer in leaving negativity in the past, but with there never having been a red-haired Miss England I feel it’s important to educate people about what redheads face in school and empower kids who are facing the same things I did,” says Gagen.
“I was name-called on the daily, and although I don’t think the kids were being malicious in doing so, there were definitely times they were. I was hit, spat at and had things thrown at my head quite a few times, but worst was when a girl burned me for having ginger hair.”
She even use to eat her lunch in the school toilets to avoid bullies. “I used to get really upset about it all, but I’m determined to show kids who are facing the same thing that it won’t happen forever,” says Gagen.
We wish the best for Jessica Gagen and hope she advances and wins Miss World!
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Rock it like a Redhead!