Jessica Kang, 27 years old, is an HR System Worker who was crowned Miss London during the Lockdown. After that, she went onto win the Miss Asiana contest and was 12th in the contest to decide who would be the next Miss England.
Before pageantry, she dreamt about modelling but she weighed 15 pounds more than she currently and she was not happy with herself. With a change of lifestyle connected with a passion for charity work, she was encouraged by friends to run as Miss London and Miss England. Today, she dreams of winning the Miss Universe award.
Could you please tell us how an HR system worker became our current Miss London?
I just got into it because loads of people were telling me that I should do pageants because I like helping people. So, I used to help with this charity called Crisis. Every December during Christmas, I would be helping the homeless shelter, giving them food and helping out. So yeah, a few people said that you’d be really good for pageants. And I didn’t know what it was really like I used to see on telly, like Miss World and everything like that. But then, when I started doing my research, I started looking more into it and I realized that was interesting. So, I thought why not apply?
As Miss London, what are you doing for your community?
During the pandemic, I did work in food banks and I’ve helped as well Crisis. I was with my Beauty with a Purpose project, I was helping a charity called the Action on Addiction. But I did loads because it’s been since 2020. And ongoing. I do like to help out.
Could you tell our readers how was the process to become Miss London?
First, you had to do a bare face round. After that, you need to do a charity round. The reason is to see how much you can raise for Beauty with a Purpose. And we had to write a script of why we wanted to be Miss London. So, I think I competed against like 15 girls for Miss London. Oh, there’s a voting round as well. So, everyone has to vote on that app and see whoever gets the most votes.
And how did you feel when you won?
I started crying. I was literally crying because I couldn’t believe it. Yeah, it was such a great feeling. I’ve never won anything before so to have won that I was really pleased.
Did you feel sad when you didn’t win the contest, Miss England, coming in 12th place and not first?
No, I didn’t. I didn’t feel sad. I was just happy more than anything because that’s a big achievement. So, when they announced the top 20, my name got called out, I was just really happy. And then they gave me this trophy. Then the top 10 get called out. I didn’t get called out, I was just like happy because I got a trophy.
Now you’re like it in a different context, you are in the finals for being the Miss Universe. How do you feel about it?
I feel much more confident. And I know what to expect now since I learned with the other pageants. I’m still working with the charity that I was working with Miss England. So, it’s the same project that I’m going to carry out in Miss Universe as well. So yeah, I’m excited about it. And this going to be different from Miss England.
At some moment, did you think about giving up?
Yeah, I did. I thought about it when I was trying to be Miss England. I was just like, I don’t know if I’m gonna do it. But then I’m 27. And this is the last age that I can do a pageant. So I thought: “you know what, why not? It’s the last year might as well give it a shot”.
How do you like to look after your body for these competitions?
I’m really big into fitness. I go gym six days a week. I used to be 13 stone and I felt that I was not in a good place. I didn’t like the way I looked. Then, I got into the gym and started healthy eating till the point where I got confident with the way I looked at everything. So, today I try to keep it this way.
Do you think the modelling career is difficult here?
It is hard to get work. But you just got to search for it. You got to invest a lot of time into it. I haven’t been doing that. But I will start doing it because I’m in the finals for Miss Universe. I’m kind of focused on that. Also, I’m going to Canada in June for a big fashion show: the Pakistan Fashion Week. I’m looking forward to that!
You told me that you go to the gym six times per week. But what else more do you do to get a chance to be crowned the most beautiful woman in the universe?
I do take care of my skin. For example, I use Asian oil in my hair every couple of days. For skincare, I like to use night creams and day creams. Also, I usually drink four litres of water a day without fail. That’s really helpful! I drink green tea. And I do meal prep as well. That’s part of my fitness routine.
Who is your inspiration?
Who inspires me? I’d say probably, my mom. She’s like the strongest woman that I know. And she’s been for the law. She’s come out so strong. She’s so supportive. And yeah, I look up to her and she gives me the strength to keep going.
Do you have some advice to give to the girls who want to run a beauty contest to be a Miss like you?
I’d say just be yourself really like I know that sounds really cliche but literally, that’s all I’ve been doing just be myself. Be confident, be calm, not overconfident, but just know what you’re doing and have a goal and a passion for what you want to achieve in this. That’s what I’d advise.
And what about you, what is the next goal you would like to achieve?
My biggest goal is to make it big in modelling someday and hopefully get the Miss Universe crown. All I want is to have a good experience. To me, it’s not only about winning, but having a great experience and, you know, meeting new people and making new friends. Especially because it’s going to be my last pageant.
By Even Grazielly Escocio
Photos: Litrato da Lala