Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Freya Jane Taylor and I’m your Miss Dunbartonshire Galaxy. This is the title that I’ve become known for over the past three years but my pageant journey began over 1000 miles away from Dunbartonshire. I’ve been competing in pageants for just almost 4 years now; but if you’d have asked me back in 2012 “Would you ever compete in a beauty pageant?” the answer would have been a flat out “No”. Gracie Hart’s answer in Miss Congeniality describes my relationship with pageantry perfectly. I never used to understand pageants or why girls did them. I imagined pageant girls to be superficial and out for themselves and never dreamed I would ever be part of that world.

As many people know, I used to be a performer at Disneyland in Paris, and that’s where the roots of my pageant career lie. I found my platform there by creating magic and granting wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but here is also where I found about pageantry. I remember being on a night out one night with some friends at country and western themed bar, Billy Bob’s; and there on the dancefloor, line dancing to the live band, were around 30 girls all dressed in sashes and crowns. They were delegates of the 2012 Face of Europe competition and they all seemed to be having a brilliant time together.

The next day, I started to search the internet to find out more about the competition and what it was all about. This was when I found out about pageantry within the UK. Up until that point, I thought that (with the exception of Miss Scotland/England etc) pageants only really existed in the USA. I read about the Face of Europe and the travel opportunities it could afford their contestants. I discovered powerhouse Queens like Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2013, and our very own Deone Robertson who, at the time, was Miss European. Just like that I had a brand new set of role models. I kept the information I had learned, tucked away in the back of my head until I returned home from Paris. In May 2013 I entered my first competition and the following July, I became the Face of Glasgow 2013.

That first competition and reign was a huge learning curve for me. I learned a lot about responsibility and trust and, despite some rumbly patches within the system, I fell in love with the pageant world. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I chose to end my Face of Glasgow reign early and began to look for a bigger and better dream. That’s when Galaxy appeared in my life, and the rest is history! I’ve now been involved with the PageantGirl UK organisation’s competitions ever since and can’t imagine being part of a more warm and supportive group of girls.

To this day, I’m unsure of exactly WHY I entered the competition; I think I liked the idea of having a sash and crown at first, and having the same kind of fun as those girls had that night at Disney. After working with my Face of Glasgow title, however, and having the chance to get out into my community; I am so glad that I did enter as I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have even half of the confidence I have today without my experience with pageants.