WITH flowing brown hair, deep pools of eyes and a smile that could light up a darkened Old Town close, Nadia Crossan is every inch the kind of woman you would expect could help Edinburgh win this year’s Miss GB contest.
She’s smart too, a legal student, and already has a diary full of bookings for photo shoots at Murrayfield, Edinburgh catsle and Edinburgh Gin Distillery to look forward to.
The 20-year-old said she was both “shocked and honoured” when she got the nod to represent the capital at one of the UK’s leading beauty pageants.
And little wonder.
For she actually hails from a towan just outside Glasgow, Bothwell to be precise, better known for its Old Firm footballer residents than those of the salt n sauce persuasion.
“To be eligible, you have to live in a 50 mile radius,” she said. “Bothwell is 45 miles away so I just made the cut.
“I do have a lot of family in Edinburgh. It has been very close to my heart since I was a child, visiting family and staying for periods over the summer.
“But I couldn’t believe it at first. It just so happens I was chosen.”
Established in 1945, Miss Great Britain is the UK’s oldest beauty pageant and has attracted thousands of entrants over the years.
Applicants are required to send in full head shots, measurements, a personal statement about work and study and additional information about achievements.
Beauty pageants have long been a source of controversy and debate due to the emphasis on rating contestants on their looks.
However, Nadia says entrants are also selected on their “morals and values” and that “to succeed you need to be a good role model”.
She added: “I must be honest in saying that I’ve never been a beauty pageant kind of girl. But Miss Great Britain gives average women a platform to do amazing things, from charity work to helping thousands of families and young children with illness, disability or lack of opportunity.
“I thought it was just about beauty and looks at first, but when I looked into it I realised it’s more about women empowerment.
“Conviction, determination, empathy, self awareness, emotional intelligence and vision are attributes of a good winner.”
In September, Nadia will travel from South Lanarkshire to Leicester to compete with 49 finalists from around the country to compete for the crown of Miss Great Britain.
She is planning to promote Edinburgh ahead of the event by posing for photo shoots around the capital.
Nadia is in her third year at the University of Glasgow studying Law, but she also works in her family owned hair salon Chesne Hair Design in the south of the city.
Her mum Norma, who has owned the salon for 30 years, has sponsored her for the contest and says she has tried to “keep her grounded”.
She said: “I know I’m biased but I’m not entirely surprised – she’s stunning and has a great physique. She always models hair brilliantly for us. I’m absolutely delighted and very proud of her.”