Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh became the 66th woman to take the coveted national crown in July 2013. Upon competing at the Miss World competition in Bali, she was the only redhead of the 101 countries represented. “One of the special things about me is that I’m the first Miss Ireland to be a redhead, and I’m also the only redhead in this year’s Miss World final,” Aoife said in her official Miss World profile interview.
A month after Miss World concluded, Aoife Walsh candidly spoke with How to be a Redhead about her life since winning the Miss Ireland crown, her top beauty products and her life as a natural redhead.
H2BAR: You’re a secondary school teacher! How did you start in the pageant beauty industry?
AW: Miss Ireland is something I always wanted to do. I decided to enter because I had finished my education and thought it was the right time to enter since I had time to focus on it.
H2BAR: How did it feel to win Miss Ireland?
AW: It feels amazing to be Miss Ireland! I really never imagined I could win the competition and I’m so proud and honored to hold the title.
H2BAR: How did you feel to be the only redhead at this year’s Miss World final? How would you describe representing Ireland and redheads everywhere?
AW: I’m red and proud. I don’t remember there being a redhaired Miss Ireland before, certainly not in recent times. I’m also the only redhead at the Miss World finals this year! It’s something I’m so proud of and I feel it gives me the extra edge because I am not the typical blonde or brunette. Having red hair makes me stand out in the crowd and I’m so grateful to be a redhead.
H2BAR: How was it growing up as a redhead?
AW: Growing up, I got teased and now it’s great to be the symbol of such unique beauty. I know many redheads in Ireland and around the world also get teased and are considered “not beautiful.” I want every redhead to know that it’s because of their red hair that they are beautiful. I feel so grateful that it was because of my hair that I won the biggest pageant in Ireland. I want to encourage redheads to be proud of their unique hair and their roots… literally!
H2BAR: Do you come from a family of redheads? Does your town have a lot of redheads?
AW: My parents and sister do not have red hair, but many of my cousins do. My particular color comes from my grandmother. Unfortunately, she’s no longer with us, but I have the fondest memories of her with her red hair at the age of 92. Thanks to her, it looks like I won’t ever go white or gray.
H2BAR: What is one beauty product you cannot live without?
AW: Thalgo skin care products are the best.
H2BAR: Who is your favorite redhead celebrity?
AW: Nicole Kidman. She and I have similar coloring and I think she is such an inspiring actress.
H2BAR: How does your personality reflect your style?
AW: I would describe my style as girly, but definetly evolving as I love to try new looks. I love fashion and style, and always keep up with the latest trends.
H2BAR: What nail polish are you currently rockin’?
AW: My go-to nail polish is a pale pink, but I have a French manicure at the moment.
H2BAR: Share with us something our audience does not know about you!
AW: I have three degrees! A B.A. in Geography and Economics, M.A. in Business Management and postgraduate degree in Education.
H2BAR: What advice would you give to girls who are struggling to embrace their red hair?
AW: I know many girls struggle with this and I was definitely one of them. I went through the phase of being teased and was called so many mean names. It got so bad that I wanted to dye my red hair blonde. But, I learned to really appreciate my hair and love that it sets me apart from the crowd. I even love nicknames like “RED!”
H2BAR: What do you have planned for the rest of 2013 and into 2014?
AW: I have so much planned for my year as Miss Ireland and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m concentrating on modeling at the moment. I’m very excited to see where 2014 takes me.