29 julho 2009

Clair eyes Miss Universe title

Red rose ... Clair Cooper

Published: Today
STUNNING Clair Cooper jets off to the Caribbean next week to represent Great Britain at the Miss Universe contest.

And not only will the redhead beauty be flying the flag for the nation, she's also teamed up with the nation's favourite red top.

The gorgeous 27-year-old will be writing a behind-the-scenes blog from inside the contest starting next week.

Our girl will be lifting the lid on the bitching, shoe-stealing and nastiness backstage at the world's biggest beauty contest.

Pretty Clair says she'll be doing her best to bring home the award.

But has revealed she didn't even start competing until she was 18!

"I didn't start anything in the shape of modelling until then," giggles the London lass.

"I was ginger ... I mean of course I still am ginger. And I love it!

"But the sad fact is, kids are not usually complimented on their looks when they have red hair. I know I certainly wasn't.

"There was a bit of name-calling, but when isn't there at school? All kids go through it."

It's obvious Clair has always had an air of confidence about her.

Not Hollywood hissy fit style confidence, but a cool edge which goes with the job of serial-pageant-queen.

She's witty, eloquent and downright likeable and while her looks are breathtaking - all flame-red hair, perfect porcelain skin and super long eyelashes - her brains have certainly helped her get to the top.

Clair works by day for a top music company, often trudging through muddy festival fields arranging big brand marketing across shows.

But swapping wellies for stilletos comes naturally to Clair and she loves the change of gear.

"Music is my first love, so obviously my job is really important to me, but beauty pageants started off as a fun hobby and then became so much more.

"While some people might think they are shallow, it's more than just looking pretty in front of a group of judges.

"The big selling point for me is all the charity work you get to do as well.

"When I won Miss London in 2006 I was asked to be ambassador for the Heineken Cup with rugby star Austin Healey.

"And if I win the Miss Universe title I'll be working in New York for Aids and HIV charities - that is what matters to me more."

Clair understands the attraction of her unique 'English Rose' looks to these competitions .

She said: "I know we are a multicultural society, which I think is great.


"But it doesn't get more English Rose than this - I hope they will see that I have something quintessentially British about me.

"All the girls are absolutely stunning. Beautiful black cascading hair, amazing tanned skin - you name it.

"So it's definitely good for me to stand out from the crowd.

"And I've got shape too - boobs and a bum - I think it's important that girls realise this is about celebrating womanhood, not anything like the fashion modelling androgynous look."

Clair prepares for months before the contests in between her hectic work schedule to make sure she is face, word and charity fundraising perfect.

"For Miss GB I had my outfit for the Little Black Dress round custom made in China .

"I also spent hours shopping for the right bikini and evening wear."

Clair says making a different to other people's lives is the best thing about what she does.

"I raised thousands for the Joshua Foundation through my work with them, they help young children with cancer ," she revealed.

"Miss Universe will be even more full-on for the whole three weeks as they are looking for someone they can work with for the year afterwards.

"The event itself is full of press conferences, photoshoots, visiting the different islands and then lots of rehearsal.

"If I scoop the title, I won't be heading home for 12 months!"

Clair has built a reputation of being level-headed at events and stays well away from the cat-fighting and bitching.

With a smile she adds: "While I know it goes on, most of the girls wouldn't dare be like that to me, as they know I can't stand it.

"That kind of thing goes well over my head too - I'm not bothered.

"This is going to be my last pageant. At 27 I'm considered an old maid anyway so I'd never spoil it with being competitive.

"I want to win, sure, but whether I do or not I am going out with a bang and not a nasty story about being a cow to other contestants!"


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