A woman from Watford has entered a beauty pageant to "show other girls that they don’t need to be afraid of anyone or anything".

Justine Georgiou, of Sussex Road, will be battling for the Miss Hertfordshire 2014 crown at the beauty pageant finale on Sunday, April 13.

The 22-year-old has until then to raise as much money for the pageant’s nominated charity, Beauty With a Purpose.

Miss Georgiou, who is a performing arts teacher for stagecoach Northwood, also entered the competition last year.

She said: "I've always felt very different to other people as I was bullied at school for the way I looked and my dark hair.

"Even after school if I went into a new job I was always different to other people and never really fitted in.

"It made me such an anxious person, always worrying about what people thought of me. I never really had the confidence to try anything new.

"So with lots of thought and bravery I decided to enter for Miss Herts last year.

"Sadly I didn't win but the experience was amazing, and had given me such a lovely feeling inside."

There are three rounds in the competition, the red dress round, the eco dress round and an evening gown round.

Miss Georgiou said: "This is my second time going for the Miss Hertfordshire crown. It's such an amazing fun experience and more people should try it.

"Beauty With a Purpose helps sick, disabled and disadvantage children. As I work with children, I feel very strongly about this charity. And I want to help as many children as I can.

"Miss Hertfordshire has given me confidence and hope.

"I want to show other girls that they don’t need to be afraid of anyone or anything. That it is okay to try something new. I want to show people that beauty pageants are not just a pretty face.

"To win the Miss Herts crown would just be breath taking. I would use my title to travel around schools and share with them about the charity and bulling. I want to be a role model for girls out there.

"I raised £1,200 last year and want to raise even more this year. I want the chance to represent the country and help people that are in similar situations."

This is the competition’s ten-year anniversary.

A total of 24 girls are set to take part in this year’s Miss Hertfordshire 2014, with the winner going through to compete in Miss England, the queen of which will then go on to Miss World.