Summer hoping for autumn success in Miss Great Britain final
- Credit: Summer Le Conte
Summer Le Conte, a 21-year-old hair extensionist from Peterborough, will be competing in the Miss Great Britain finals in September.
It comes after scooping up the Miss Cambridge crown earlier this year.
As well as hoping to win, she wants to change what she feels can sometimes be the negative perceptions surrounding pageantry.
She is highlighting the positive impact it has had on her life and on the lives of her fellow competitors.
“I think it comes from people not knowing a lot about it,” she explains.
“Everyone in pageantry will tell you it’s all about the support network you get within it.”
Having spent the last four years as a paralegal, Summer changed career in April when she began her current role at The Glam Shack Co in Peterborough.
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She’s really keen to convey the message that you can do anything you are passionate about, and to not be afraid to make a difficult decision if you know it’s the right one.
“Last year, during lockdown, I was working from home and I thought ‘this isn’t what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.’
“I actually want to be doing something that is more for me.”
She puts her success as Miss Cambridge down to the courage it took to admit that things weren’t working out, and the confidence the success of her career change has given her.
“I feel so much happier in myself that I’ve done something that I actually enjoy and that’s the message I want to get across.”
Summer is also passionate about supporting small businesses.
This includes her sponsor for her entry into the Miss Great Britain competition: the beauty salon Airbrushed Aesthetics in Lincolnshire.
The satisfaction she gets out of helping small independents to grow is borne out of the enjoyment she received from growing her own online profile and sharing that success.
“For me it’s about helping everyone build a platform as well as myself and the brand of Miss Great Britain.”
Looking forward to the final itself, this will be the 76th iteration of the UK’s oldest pageantry competition.
37 representatives from all over the country will be competing for the judges top scores when they take to the stage in Leicester in the fashion, swimwear, evening wear and interview rounds.
As Summer is very keen to point out, they will be scored not only on beauty (which makes up only a small portion of the overall marks awarded) but also on other criteria such as confidence and elegance.
“Confidence is in every single round,” she says. “It’s all about how confident you are as a person and how you come across.”
Confidence problems while growing up saw Summer abandon modelling and pageantry until recently.
Since she got back into it with UK Calendar Girls last year, ultimately winning along with 11 other girls, she has not looked back.
“Winning one of the first national competitions I’d done made me think ‘you know what, maybe I do actually have the confidence to go and do pageants.’”
Pageantry success is therefore symbolic to Summer; a sign of overcoming her struggles with her mental health.
This is something she is very open about, and perhaps is what made her stand out to the judges who selected her as Miss Cambridge.
“I’ve done podcasts where I’ve spoken about mental health and bullying,” she says.
“I think I’m a relatable and down to earth person and I suppose those are the qualities they saw.
“That’s why it’s been so nice to meet everyone [in pageantry]. Everyone is there to support one another.
“The amount of women empowerment in pageants is unreal.”
This year, Miss Great Britain is supporting Cancer Research UK and Alex’s Wish, a charity set up to combat the rare Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that affects 1 in every 3,500 boys born.
The money raised at the finals will be split equally between the two charities.
We wish Summer all the best of luck with the competition in September