Bullied beauty called ‘Ugly Betty’ at school enters Miss England finals
Maria Petrou has made it through to the finals of the contest tonight.
Maria, 20, said: “I used to get bullied in primary school as well as secondary school.
“I did have a few nicknames as well like ‘Goofy’ and ‘Ugly Betty’.
“What I wanted to show is you don’t let people stop you doing things you want to do ”
“It was one of those things that I was always going to prove everybody wrong.
“What I wanted to show is you don’t let people stop you doing things you want to do.
“It doesn’t matter what other people say, do what your heart tells you, do something good for other people and
“That’s the reason I’m in a beauty pageant, to prove other people wrong and say to other people everyone’s beautiful.”
She added: “It doesn’t matter about looks, most of the time beauty comes from who you are as a person.”
She said: “I’m choosing not to accept them. I’m choosing to let them live their lives and I’m living my own.”
Maria is studying fine art at Coventry University.
Proud mum Yiola, 40, who helps run the family’s chippy in Birmingham, said: “She’s a down to earth girl and there to help anybody.”