Zara Nortley, 26, from Manchester, was one of 40 women taking part in Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant and one of the first women of colour to contend for the Miss Universe title.
In the run up to the final of the annual contest that took place in Cardiff in June over three days, Zara, a self-employed dental surgeon, was tasked with a series of challenges and was fundraising for Strongbones – a charity which helps children from all over the UK with diseases of the bone.
Although she didn’t come home with a crown, Zara said of her “exhausting week”, “It was honestly a fantastic experience, and though I’ve come home without a crown, I’ve continued to learn so much about myself!
“Turning 27 on Sunday means that I have one last chance to find this platform that I so desperately want – it’s not about a crown and sash, but the things you can do with it.”
The Miss Universe pageant was plagued with negative press after Mexico pulled their contests because Mr Trump made derogatory remarks about Mexicans saying, “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” amongst other things.