In what is her very first entry to a beauty competition, Lesmahagow’s Jade Nelson has found herself shortlisted to be the next Miss Scotland.
And it’s not just good looks but a kind heart that has led to the 22-year-old barber being named among 14 of Scotland’s bonniest lassies to appear at the competition’s final at Glasgow’s DoubleTree Hilton on Thursday, August 24.
She told the Gazette: “I work in my mum’s business, JJG’s, in Abbeygreen, Lesmahagow, and I heard one of the customers talking one day about the work of Maggie’s Centres.
“They were full of praise about the work they do supporting people suffering from cancer and it sort of struck a chord with me, possibly because part of my job is making people feel better about themselves, and I understand making worried people feel as calm and happy as possible is big part of what Maggie’s do.”
She has already run two fundraising events for this fine cause in the village, a party and a fun night.
This Friday night, she is running a race night at Hollandbush Golf Club for the same very worthy cause.
The total amount the three events raise will be announced shortly.
As for her bid to be a national beauty queen, she says that her entry to the Miss Scotland contest was a case of ‘I might as well have a go’, and an invitation to an interview with the organisers followed.
“I was absolutely amazed when they said that I was in the shortlist for the title, and I’m really looking forward to the event,” she said.
She says that the Miss Scotland title is far from the old-fashioned contests of the past when a girls’ looks alone decided the winner.
She will be expected to project her character in an on-stage interview and test her skills in a dance routine.
“If I win, I hope it’ll be an inspiration to other girls to be ambitious. When I entered this competition, I never dreamed I’d be in the finals,” she said.
The Miss Scotland organisers say that Jade is just the kind of contestant they had hoped would come forward to claim the crown on August 24.
Said a spokeswoman: “Miss Scotland is very different from most beauty pageants. You have to be far more than just a pretty face to win the crown.
“ It is beauty with a purpose, and Miss Scotland is not just a title. It’s about empowering young women to achieve their dreams, being a great ambassador for Scotland and committing to helping others.”