Features

Meet Dilani - the Sri Lankan contestant competing in the Miss England finals

26 July 2019 - 473   - 0

Dilani Selvanathan will be the first Sri Lankan Tamil to compete in the Miss England finals.

Dilani, 19 is a software engineering apprentice and admitted this had been one of the hardest challenges in her life, the Asian Image reported

She said, "By joining this competition I wanted to overcome my self-esteem and confidence which has come from being bullied and to also let other Tamil people know about these competitions and that it's fine to take part in them. 

"For example, some people don't like girls walking around with short dresses and they are even restricted to only being at home and I hope for that to change.
Dilani is a 2nd Dan Black belt in Taekwando, a former Air Cadet,  a grade 5 in keyboard (piano) and a grade 2 dancer in Bharatanatyam (Indian dance). 

She is the eldest child in her family and from a young age says her father stopped working due to health problems and her mother had to work extra hard to earn more money and make up for it. 

She said, "Being the oldest I was therefore given the responsibility to look after my siblings and bring a good name to the family. 

"I am a really creative and curious person and I have taken part in many activities and continuously try new things out. Whenever I do something I think about making my mother proud and I keep in mind how hard she has worked for me to be where I am now. Everything I do is for her. 

"Seeking for help at the age of 13, I became a young ambassador for a charity called BulliesOut, who helped me with communicating and to believe in myself."

She said taking part in Miss England will give her the chance to overcome her fear and be confident about herself. 

"By doing this I feel that other people like me can overcome their insecurity and feel better about their body and understand that nobody is perfect. It is not just about looks but also personality, intelligence and hard work."

She will be supporting Beauty With a Purpose and PAPYRUS, the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.

The Miss England finals take place on July 31. 

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