A TEENAGER from Newbridge has won the coveted Junior Teen Inspiration UK.

Abby Bowyer, 13 from Treowen in Newbridge, won the title, along with three side awards at the Miss Inspiration UK beauty pageant in Cwmbran on April 27.

South Wales Argus:

(Abby with younger sister Jennifer after her pageant win)

During the pageant, Abby also won the most dedicated, best in evening wear and best in fashion wear awards.

She first began getting into pageants about four years ago, aged nine, when her mum, Ceri Bowyer, was scrolling through Facebook to find things for her to do in the Summer holidays. She saw a charity pageant and asked her mum if she could do it.

South Wales Argus:

(Abby with her crown and sash)

“I was a bit nervous and apprehensive as I didn’t know what things went on,” Mrs Bowyer said.

Abby began the fundraising element of her pageants for Teenage Cancer Trust, who she chose herself, as they helped her older brother when he had non-hodgkins lymphoma aged 15, around the same time she began entering pageants.

South Wales Argus:

(Abby with fellow pageant winners Isabelle-Little Miss Inspiration, Rebecca -Teen Inspiration, Laura- Miss Inspiration, Cassie- Miss Woman Inspiration and pageant director Lydia completing the handover for £6,900 raised by the pageant entrants for Clic Sargent)

She now raises money for Clic Sargeant, a charity for young people with cancer, who are the charity partner for Miss Inspiration UK.

Speaking about first starting pageants, Abby said: “I was quite nervous when I started but I met loads of really nice people which put my mind at ease.

South Wales Argus:

(Abby on Junior Teen Inspiration duty with her cousins Jackson and Cameron after winning the Islwyn league cup with the Trinant Tornados)

“It’s nerve-wracking but you get used to it,” said Abby on getting up on stage at the pageants.

She has lost count on how many pageants she has done, and her mum is proud of how far she has come.

South Wales Argus:

(Abby during the fashion wear round. Photo: TimFox Photography)

“She was so shy, and her confidence has improved so much”, she said.

Abby agrees with her mum, she added: “I’m proud of myself for building up my confidence.”


Abby and her mum both want to thank Miss Inspiration UK’s director Lydia for getting Abby inspired to return to the pageant she first attended in 2017.

South Wales Argus:

(All pageant winners with director Lydia. L-R, Rebecca, Laura, Cassie, Celena, Isabelle and Abby. Photo: TimFox Photography)

She came second in her first attempt and because of how lovely Lydia was and how much she enjoyed it, Abby returned this year and won the title.

Abby didn’t believe she had won and started to congratulate one of her fellow competitors.

She said: “I was saying ‘Well done Ruby’ thinking she’d won. When they put the crown on me, I was shocked.

“On my first walk after being crowned I just stared at my parents shocked,” she added.

“She’s worked so hard the last four or five years and for her to win a major title feels surreal. We’re ecstatic and burst into tears, even her dad cried,” added Mrs Bowyer.

Beauty pageants get a bad press about over-sexualising children with over the top makeup, fake tan, elaborate and miniscule outfits and high heels. But with the Miss Inspiration UK, there are strict rules to avoid this.

South Wales Argus:

(Abby during the evening wear round. Photo: TimFox Photography)

“In natural beauty pageants, there are restrictions on what the participants can and cannot wear, what they can and can’t do. So, the children look like children and the older ones look older,” Mrs Bowyer said.

“It doesn’t matter what size, height or ethnicity you are; it celebrates everyone and improves confidence.”

The Miss Inspiration UK website also confirms this, stating in the guidelines what each age group are and are not permitted to wear.

• Junior Teen 9-12yrs (Make-up, fake tan, false eyelashes are NOT permitted)

• Opening number (Pink OR Purple Dress and Trainers)

• Inspirational Fashion (Outfit of own choice – strictly no bikinis, unappropriated wear)

• Evening Gown (¾ or full length)

There is also a worry about the cost of pageants, Mrs Bowyer said that she tries to keep the costs down as much as possible and uses Amazon deals for new dresses. She added that Abby doesn’t get a new dress for each pageant she enters, only if there is a big one coming up.

Pageants have a very high focus on charity and fundraising and this is part of what drew Abby to them. She had made either 16 or 17 appearances before the pageant and fundraised at these, adding to the £6,900 raised by Miss Inspiration UK for Clic Sargent.

During her year-long reign as Junior Teen Inspiration UK, Abby will be continuing her fundraising and planning on attending fetes throughout the Summer as well as holding her own pageant for small children in Newbridge.

Abby wants to continue with pageants but is going to limit it to a couple a year as she is now heading into year nine and will have to begin preparing for her exams.

One day, she would love to enter Miss Galaxy UK but is going to wait until she is a bit older as the winner of the UK heats goes on to Florida for the world finals and she doesn’t feel she is ready for that yet.

Abby’s long-term ambition in the pageant world is to compete at Miss World and Miss Universe.