Queer beauty queen says winning pageants is a ‘massive f**k you’ to haters
Author: Maggie Baska
Laura Davis, who won Ms England at the 2022 Miss Voluptuous Pageants final, uses her platform to break down stigma about LGBTQ+ people being parents. (Provided)
A queer beauty pageant winner says her success is a “massive f**k you” to everyone who said the plus-size, LGBTQ+ stunner would never succeed.
Much of Laura Davis’ early life revolved around beauty pageants, with her mum having competed in several throughout the ’70s. In fact, her parents met when Laura’s dad, working as a dressmaker, made her mum a pageant gown.
Now Laura is a pageant winner herself after being crowned the first openly queer Ms England at the 2022 Miss Voluptuous Pageants’ final. She will be heading to the US in April to represent England in a pageant with women from across the globe
For Laura deciding to enter the high-pressure world of beauty pageants was partly out of love for the competition, but also as a “massive f**k you” to her doubters.
‘The ugly sister’
“I was always kind of branded the ugly sister out of me and my sibling,” she told PinkNews. “Someone once said to me: ‘Oh, it’s a shame that your sister didn’t go into pageants like your mum.’”
Laura felt that encounter wasn’t “meant to be completely as rude as it sounds”, but admits her style is “quite an alternative”.
She’s a tall, plus-size woman, covered in tattoos with what she describes as a “very vibrant look”.
It’s not the “traditional pageant girl look”, but Laura never wanted to “conform to a stereotype”. She competes as her authentic self with what she calls her “ridiculousness” on full display.
“It’s just to show people that you can do exactly what you want to do,” she says.
“You don’t have to conform to do it. Don’t be afraid to break some stereotypes on the way.”
And so far, she’s excelled.
Laura explained the pageant system she chose is “platform-based”. It works entirely on an individual’s contributions to charity, community work or how hard they “work towards making the world a nicer place”.
She champions two causes: sight loss awareness, as she’s partially sighted, and supporting LGBTQ+ people who are parents. Laura is a parent herself, and her father is also gay.
“I’ve watched my dad – over the last 30-40 years – battle for his right to be a parent,” she says.
“Then obviously, I followed in his footsteps – queer woman, and I have an almost six-year-old who is incredible. She’s a vibrant little thing.
“It’s about breaking the stigma of having a family while being in a same-sex relationship.”
Laura says her partner is also involved in her beauty pageant mission, helping to craft her “utterly ridiculous” drag-inspired wardrobe pieces.
It’s important to Laura that the pageant scene is becoming more inclusive as the world is “evolving to be such a melting pot of people”. Her competition system welcomes trans women and women of any sexuality with “open arms” and an “open heart”.
“It’s got to be inclusive these days – you’ve got to show the world as it is,” she says.
“It’s a beautiful melting pot of people, and I think it’s showing people that, not just pageantry, but life is evolving and people are evolving.”
She continues: “More people are being comfortable with who they are. My dad always knew he was gay, but my grandfather was very traditional and would not have been accepting of his sexuality.
“When he [my grandfather] passed away, my dad felt he could be himself.
“Knowing how many years of turmoil he went through, [it’s] great to see the world as it is, representative of everyone without having to hold back.”
Laura says this point was important for her as she’s “heading into middle age” and wanted to show life “does not end when you hit 40” or become a parent.
She’s seen many women in their 40s and 50s enter pageantry and “just change and evolve and gain confidence” from the experience.
Laura says her confidence has grown in the five years she’s been on the beauty pageant scene, and wants to help more women feel empowered to live and thrive as their authentic selves.
Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Maggie Baska