A student who struggles with body confidence has been crowned the winner of a national modelling competition championing curvy women.

Simone Charles, 19, who is from Branksome Avenue, Enfield, entered Ms Curvaceous UK after gathering support from friends and family but did not expect to win.

Statuesque Simone, who is a size 14 to 16 and 5ft 10ins tall, found it difficult to be known as the larger girl when many of her friends at school were smaller.

The beauty, who is in her second year studying psychology at Aston University, in Birmingham, said: “It was a shock when I won, I still can’t articulate it. I was overwhelmed, I was happy, I was shocked.

“The competition was really fun but it was nerve-racking. I think when everyone started they thought it was nerve-racking but everyone was so nice it made it easier.”

Miss Charles, who had never modelled before the competition, even had to learn how to catwalk during the audition process.

She had to strut her stuff wearing evening wear and day wear before making a small speech about how she believes the fashion industry needs to change in order to embrace larger women.

She said: “I was just different, all the girls around were stick thin and I always felt I was the big one.”

Miss Charles, who studied at Winchmore Secondary School, is coming to terms with body issues but still has a way to go.

She added: “I think it was a gradual process and I am still on my way to being happy with myself. It is not going to happen overnight.

“I guess it happens when you look in the mirror and are happy with the way you look.”

Miss Charles is planning on pursuing a career in psychology as it remains her true “passion,” although she would like to continue modelling on a part-time basis.