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Daughter follows in beauty queen mother's footsteps; but both stunners were teased at school for being ugly!

Byline: RACHAEL MISSTEAR West Wales Editor rachael.misstear@walesonline.co.uk

Ironically both have been teased at school for being ugly. But this mum and daughter have had the last laugh - with both recognised as among Wales' most beautiful people. laura White was once arguably Wales' greatest beauty queen - aside from being a Wales on Sunday model she held no less than 10 titles across the country. now almost 30 years later former model laura, who was then laura May, is watching her daughter Erin follow in her footsteps after she was chosen to represent cardiff in the final of Miss Teen Galaxy Wales. For laura, who turns 48 today, and who was once Miss Penarth, the selection has brought back so many memories of her time in the spotlight. "it's just so fantastic that Erin has been selected to represent cardiff, which is where we are originally from," said the mum of two. "The winner of Miss Teen Galaxy Wales will go to Florida next year to represent Wales at The Miss Galaxy Pageant with girls from all over the w o r l d , which is such a great opportunity. "it's a really special thing for me because i represented Wales in The Miss Great Britain Final in 1989. "i was also Miss Brains - as in the brewery - and Miss llanelli, Miss Dyfed Fire Brigade, Miss Jacksons, Miss Penarth, Welsh Model of the year, and a few others." laura was also Miss Pontypridd, Mrs England at the Mrs Europe event in 1992, Miss Wales at The Miss international Tourism held in Greece, and a Wales on Sunday model. "i am so excited that Erin is going to represent cardiff, her birth town, in the Miss Teen Galaxy Wales Final 2016 in February," she said. "The thing about her is, and i know it sounds corny, she is beautiful inside and out." Erin is just 14 and also studying hard for her GcSEs and, as a keen drama student, recently landed an audition for a TV commercial. "like me i hope that lots of opportunities will present themselves to Erin. She is taking business studies and hoping to start her own business in the future." For laura, who has a degree in education, teaching and mentoring and is about to begin a postg r a d u a t e qualification in children's social work, many doors were opened by her success in pageants. "i got a job working for Elizabeth arden as a sales director for 10 years on the back of beauty pageants," she said. "The opportunities are there - it just depends what you do with that." But far from revelling in their status as beauties both mum and daughter have been teased and called ugly at school. "Erin gets teased a bit at school for being ugly. it was the same for me. "i was naturally really, really skinny and had goofy teeth. i was teased and had no self-confi- dence. "By about 18 i blossomed and put all that behind me. That's what i tell Erin and would say to any other teenagers: 'never listen to what others say - be confi- dent in who you are.' "Beauty is about personality and charisma and that shines through." and now the pageants are even more focused on things Rachael MissteaR West Wales Editor rachael.misstear@walesonline.co.uk Laura as a reigning beauty queen Daughter follows in beauty queen mother's footsteps but both stunners were teased at school for being ugly! outside of purely looks, said Laura, who now lives in Herefordshire. "Pageants are somewhat different to my day," she said. "Now there is so much more expected of the girls in terms of fundraising for charity and being positive role models. "They are about so much more than the way you look. The girl that wins is not necessarily the prettiest. They are the girls that really shine." Erin is also in the semi-final for Miss Junior Teen Great Britain 2016 and is currently raising money for The Christie charitable fund and has set herself a PS1,000 target. Last year she was sponsored by Radnor Hills Mineral Water Company in Powys but is looking for a sponsor for next year for the two finals she is due to appear in. Laura said: "It's amazing how much she has done and how confi- dent she is - so much more than I was. "At 14 she can quite happily chat with the chairman of the round table, she's even stood and talked on a pontoon in the middle of a rainstorm chatting with the mayor for a charity event. "I'm so very proud of her." Erin said she was thrilled to be following in her mum's footsteps. She added: "I also feel so fortunate to represent Cardiff in The Miss Teen Galaxy Wales. I am proud to call Cardiff my home town and I am looking forward to the final. "It is a wonderful opportunity to support local charities. Beauty pageants are a wonderful way to build confidence and self-esteem and have fun at the same time and meet new friends from all over the country."

CAPTION(S):

Beauty queens Erin White and mum Laura

Erin on stage; left, the confident teen in action

Laura as a reigning beauty queen

Laura in her beauty queen days and, left, Wales on Sunday reporting on Laura in 1991
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 6, 2015
Words:899
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