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CURVE IS ALL AROUND; Big is beautiful as size-14 Alice wins Cosmo modelling competition.

Byline: By Samantha Booth

CURVY and sexy, it is no wonder Alice Wardle has just won a top modelling competition.

The 21-year-old admin assistant saw off though competition from some of the country's most voluptuous girls to be crowned as Cosmopolitan's Simply Be Curvy model.

And the striking 5ft 10in lass from Aberdeen certainly isn't scared to use her sexysize 14 shape.

She strutted her stuff for all she was worth in front of a panel of judges to win the title, a two-season contract with clothing label Simply Be, a one-year modelling contract with Excel and pounds 3000 offabulous clothes.

Alice said: "I'm in total shock about being chosen winner. It's brilliant and completely unexpected.

"One of my school friends told me years ago that I should be a model.

"But I'd never believed that I really could because, after all, I'm larger than your average model.

"But then I saw the Cosmo competition and decided to just go for it.

"I was at work when I received the news that I'd won.

"Everyone stopped what they were doing and started clapping.

"Since then, my boyfriend Malcolm has been running round telling pretty much everyone in Aberdeen the great news."

Cosmopolitan's panel of judges, from the magazine, Simply Be and Excel Models, whittled down the vast number of entries to just four finalists.

They included student Amy Steed, 17, from Derbyshire, carer Olivia McKenzie, 24, from East Sussex and shipping clerk Danielle Brooks, 28, from Liverpool.

The four girls were invited to London for a glam photo-shoot and the chance to impress the judges with their natural charm, character and, of course, their curves.

In the end though, Alice was the clear winner.

Cosmo's fashion editor Shelly Vella said: "It's been a real pleasure to run a competition celebrating curvaceous girls, and we were delighted to be inundated with terrific entries.

"But there could only be one winner and the moment Alice walked through the door, we all fell in love with her energised personality.

"She's fresh, naturally pretty and has the kind of attitude that will ensure she succeeds."

Boss of Excel Models and another of the competition's judges, Alison Bramwell, agreed.

She said: "We're really excited about having Alice on board.

"She's got the height and a gorgeous, curvaceous body.

"She's striking and has a beautiful face, great skin and lovely hair.

"Alice basically has everything we look for when signing a model to our agency.

"She has a fantastic future ahead doing catwalk, beauty and editorial. "The sky's the limit."

AND Simply Be's marketing manager Jo Cartwright also fell in love with Alice's look and natural radiance and charisma.

She said: "Alice embodies what Simply Be is all about - feeling confident and being happy with oneself.

"Women feel closer to a brand that uses female models they can genuinely relate to and identify with.

"I think Alice could go really far as a model. She's got the looks and the personality.

"Not only is she very pretty, but she's also really body confident and outgoing."

Alice is also a breath of fresh air in a modelling industry where, in the past, the rule seemed to be the skinnier the better.

In the last year, three size-zero models from South America have died, starving themselves in the belief that would be the only way they could keep working in the fashion industry.

However, the tide started to turn when the organisers of Madrid Fashion Week ruled that models with a body mass index of less than 18.5 would be barred from working at any shows.

This meant that many of the famous clothes-horses currently striding down catwalks across the world would not be allowed to work there.

Erin O'Connor, who fronts the Marks & Spencer campaign, and supermodel Gisele Bundchen would be among those unemployable, as is Kate Moss who's body mass index is only 15.7.

Excel Models, to whom Alice will be signed for a year, was founded in 1995 by Alison Bramwell after she noticed a demand for more curvaceous models.

It has established itself as a leading agency for plus-size girls and has clients including underwear shop Agent Provocateur, Marks & Spencer and Levi.

Alice, who works for a chartered surveyor, had dreamed of being a model when she was younger, but had thought it was impossible because of her curvy figure.

"I never thought I would be able to be a model because of my larger size as most models you see in magazines look really ill," she said.

"I just thought the industry would always tend to go for skinny women.

"I didn't think that was good so when I saw the Cosmo contest, I thought I would go for it.

"Now that I have won, I would like to think that I might inspire other girls who are not a size zero to try modelling as well because as I have found out they can do it."

Despite it being her first time in front of the camera, Alice was surprised at how calm she felt during the judging and the eventual photo-shoot.

"I didn't feel nervous at all and I really enjoyed the whole experience," she said.

"I am really looking forward to doing more modelling.

"Now my pictures are out there, I am hoping the offers will come flooding in."

'I never thought I would be able to be a model because of my larger size as most models you see look really ill'


DANIELLE BROOKS The 28-year-old shipping clerk made it to the last four; AMY STEED The teenage student from Derbyshire was a finalist; OLIVIA McKENZIE Also on the photo-shoot was the 24-year-old carer from East Sussex
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 13, 2007
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