Joey Staerkle

What are your memories of the first pageant you took part in?

I first entered Miss Teen Galaxy Wales when I was 16. I didn’t know anything about pageants or the positive impact it would have on my life and how it would shape me to become the best version of me. I had always assumed that the pageant winners were perfect and on the verge of anorexia. However, this pageant system and those belonging to “Pageant Girl” changed my mind as they are inclusive of every type of body shape and disabilities.

Looking back at my first pageant journey I made so many new friends, became part of a community and pageant family. I believe being involved with pageants really supports young girls growing up in this modern society to follow their dreams and never give up. Moreover, the society we live in puts so much pressure on young girls and being part of such a positive circle makes you look to the future and focus on self development.

What did it take (in terms of sacrifice, hard work, etc) to earn the right to be Miss Intercontinental Wales?

Well I won Miss Supranational Wales 2016, where I learnt the key fundamental aspects to do well in pageants. These included learning how to perfect my pageant walk, understanding how to showcase myself in interview and dress for my body type.

I entered Miss Intercontinental Wales ten days before the final so I needed to work extra hard to show I was worthy of the title. During the run up I did at least two appearances a day and raised money for the Christie Charity. Additionally, I put a lot of effort in to eating healthy and exercising to make sure I was ready and confident for the bikini round.

Who is your favourite Welsh icon?

I would have to say Sir Martin Evans as he generated some incredible breakthroughs in stem cell research which has allowed stem cells to replace cells that may have been damaged through chemotherapy or blood related-diseases.

You got to travel to the Philippines for the Miss Intercontinental Pageant. How do you reflect upon that experience?

The Philippines was amazing and I met some truly lovely women from Miss Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and of course the beauties from the UK England and Scotland. I think it was really great for confidence boosting because we did so many shows during the weeks that it became  a routine and the nerves slowly disappeared.

The wrap party was so much fun, after three weeks being surrounded by a  high level of emotions it was great to see everyone relax and let their hair loose. Let’s just say things got pretty wild.

Where does the Philippines rank on the different countries you’ve visited?

The Philippines is lovely, we spent a lot of time in Manila and indoors but when we did get the chance to travel and see things it was beautiful. My favourite part that we visited has to be Las Casas Filipinas as it was tranquil and reminded me of Venice. Although, there is so much work still to be done to help people in Poverty in the Philippines and raise human and animal standards it is great to see that the tourist attractions are having a positive impact on these people’s lives by offering them a place to work.

The most memorable and heartwarming visit was to Northern Zambales College, I have never met more kind hearted and welcoming  children. It really emphasises how much of a big deal pageants are in the Philippines.

How do you balance the pageantry lifestyle with the demands of university?

I honestly cannot tell you I just do it. I never like to stop and I always try to do more and more. I don’t like to do the same as everyone else, similar to my parents they have always aspired to great things and achieved them. The same goes for me and during this period I was also working on filming a series in the UK. I have been told many times that I wouldn’t achieve the things I wanted to, even by close family and I believe that has furthered by motivation to achieve all my goals as I don’t take “No” for an answer. That is not in my dictionary.

I did take around two months off my academic timetable as I had other commitments such as competing or filming. However,  I would spend a night or two writing my papers and get a high 1st, these things just came naturally to me and the less time I had the better my performance as I work best under pressure, otherwise I get bored and lose interest. People always assume that pageant girls are dumb but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

We’ve seen your gorgeous dogs on Instagram. What do they bring to your life?

I have Eddie the Poodle and I did have Bruce a French Bulldog but unfortunately, he died at 8 months old when I was away competing as he was very sick from birth. I would never recommend a French Bulldog to anyone and if people are adamant on getting them they should have the money to spend £8,000+ on surgeries. Unfortunately, we did all of these but the size of his brain outgrew his skull and he had a seizure and died (very common in Frenchies).

However on a brighter note after Bruce died I made a promise to him that I would change a dog’s life for the better and if Bruce hadn’t of died Peanut my poodle (arriving from a charity called Little China Dog Rescue) would have been slaughtered. So there is light within the darkness.

My animals bring me the most joy in my life, I prefer them over humans. I have also rescued a little cat from the street now named Olive that has also brought me so much joy.

Where do you get your beauty and fashion inspiration from?

I don’t tend to follow any trends as such. I just like to do my own thing and focus on me. Fashion and beauty trends come and go and I believe people focus too much on becoming something that in a few years will be branded as ugly and very false. So I just do me and hope for the best. I used to spend a lot of time when I was younger wanting to be like others but then I found myself and can follow my own path to success.

Follow Joey on Instagram

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