Canning Town student in bid for Miss Swimsuit UK title
PUBLISHED: 15:22 02 October 2018
A University of East London student who used to be bullied for her looks is in the running to become Miss Swimsuit UK.
Marina Ngumba, who was born in France and lives in Canning Town, said she battled bullies as a child to become comfortable in her own skin.
At the end of July, she came third in the London heats of Miss Swimsuit UK, and now she’s in the running to win the competition.
“My goal is to go into this competition and be a leader and a voice for my community,” the 25-year-old said.
“I want to represent all the girls who, like me, grew up in a shell of insecurity. I want to represent all the ugly ducklings who are doubting their beauty. I want to be the voice for the bullied girls.”
Growing up, Marina, who’s 5”11, said she always struggled with her height and weight. The middle child in a family of four, she said she was always the tallest and darkest of her sisters.
“From primary school all the way to college, I was always taller than other kids my age,” she said.
“Before puberty I was also very skinny and I used to wear baggy clothes to cover my insecurity.”
When she turned 15, she developed an interest in modelling. After applying to numerous agencies, and being rejected from them all, she fell into depression.
“I believed that I was ugly and no one would ever want me,” she said.
“I started to change my way of walking. I used to arch my back to the level of people smaller than me, creating a very bad posture.”
Eventually, Marina, who studies human resources management at UEL and works at Eurostar, learnt to accept her body. When puberty hit, her confidence developed.
She said: “Very quickly I started to flourish into a confident young girl, quite happy with what God gave me.
“I now walk tall and proud.”
The finals of the competition will take place on October 5 in Manchester. The winner will go on to represent the UK in an international contest.