Lucy and Emily Thomas, a pair of identical twin sisters from the UK, were the subjects of cruel taunting and teasing at the hands of their classmates.
The girls say they were bullied over their weight and the fact they typically wore matching outfits, like many twins do.
As a result of years of bullying, Lucy and Emily suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem. They felt they could only rely on each other for support during their “ugly duckling” phase of puberty.
Then, at age 15, Lucy and Emily started hearing about pageants and how they promoted body positivity.
Hoping it could help boost their self-esteem, the twins encouraged each other to enter a local pageant.
That’s when something incredible began to take shape…
[h/t: Caters News Agency]
Lucy and Emily Thomas are identical twin sisters from Abertysswg, a village in Wales.
Growing up, the twins were often singled out by their peers and were the subject of cruel teasing and taunting over their weight and matching outfits.
“We were overweight and when we went through puberty it was hard. It was like our ugly duckling phase.”
After years of bullying, Lucy and Emily suffered from low self-esteem and body image issues.
However, the sisters found comfort in knowing they had each other to turn to for support and acceptance.
Lucy and Emily first heard about pageants when they were 15 years old.
Little did they know this would be the start of an entirely new chapter.
They were quickly drawn to the idea of pageants, not for superficial reasons, but more as a way to boost their self-esteem.
The twins learned that pageants could help them feel more comfortable in their own skin while also helping to raise money for charities.
It was Lucy who first encouraged Emily to participate in Miss Divine UK, which aims to “empower and inspire females from a variety of different backgrounds.”
Emily agreed. And not only did she get a confidence boost, but she also found a genuine sense of community.
It wasn’t long before the sisters were practicing their pageant walks together.
They started doing each other’s hair, makeup, and nails.
Lucy and Emily both won their very first pageants, which only brought them closer as twin sisters.
“Without her I never would have dreamed of doing a pageant,” Lucy told Caters. “I was so shy and I had no confidence after so many years of hearing people say awful things in school.
“But since doing the pageant I have so much more confidence and I feel like people see me in a different light.”
The sisters, now 18, both study performance arts at Redhouse College Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.
Lucy’s and Emily’s acceptance into college came after they both earned the exact same test results.
They also share the same group of friends and the same sense of fashion and style.
And they credit each other for their string of pageant successes.
Emily was crowned Miss Teen Divine in 2017, and Lucy was crowned Miss Enchanting World in 2018.
“There have been so many times we’ve got ready separately for nights out…”
“and we end up wearing the same outfit or the same outfit in different colors.”
Lucy and Emily plan to continue participating in pageants, but they’ve vowed never to compete for the same crown.
They hope their “ugly duckling” transformation will help show other people who struggle with low self-esteem that loving and accepting one’s self is absolutely possible.