I'm Dilani Selvanathan and I will be the first Sri Lankan Tamil to get to the final round of Miss England. This has so far been one of the hardest challenges in my life, as not many people from my culture and background take part and so I am very different to the other contestants. 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.
Seeking 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. I took part in many events and recently I have been doing presentations at school. I will also be on the radio and on a Tamil TV programme at the end of this month.
Taking part in Miss England will give me the chance to overcome my fears and be confident about myself. By doing this I feel that other people like me can also overcome their insecurities 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. This will be a huge challenge for me and I am looking forward to the adventure.
I have been on the IBC Tamil radio engaging the public and 2 IBC Tamil programmes talking about the Miss England competition and my story worldwide! And have been featured in many English and Asian news articles. I also spoke about my experiences with the BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio.
I would love to get your support to get me to the next level! Here's how you can vote for me.
To vote for Dilani text MISS ENGLAND13 to 63333. Texts cost 50p and you can vote up to 30 times a day. Voting ends lunchtime 1st of August, UK only.