The Alternative Modelling Contest and Expo of 2018 was recently held at Northumbria University, Newcastle, bringing together many different types of people in one room to celebrate their individuality.
Alternative Modelling is a contest put together by 27 year old Kieran Martin. Kieran came up with the idea for Alternative Modelling in 2011 after being long-term-unemployed due to his appearance. Kieran said:
“I faced a lot of discrimination within the jobs market because I had a lot of piercings. Even when I wore a suit I would still stand out.
“Instead of doing nothing with my time I decided to run a modelling contest which is for people who are like me.
“The aim initially is to encourage people to express themselves in an environment they feel safe and are celebrated. It’s sort of a way to celebrate individuality and diversity within the community and in the modelling industry which I think is really important.”
Although being based in Newcastle the company hold contests throughout the country including Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Contestants Mr and Mrs Gemma Leigh and Kevin Loveless, said:
“You’ll never see a wide variety of people in one place. It’s amazing. We have travelled from Manchester just so we could compete.”
Gemma went on to win the ‘Miss Alternative 2018’ while Kevin would go on win ‘Newcomer of the Year’.
Gemma said: “I’ve not done this one but I’ve done other ones in the past.
“I like this one more because I can be myself, whereas the other ones I’ve had to conform more and fit into a box – and I’m not really one for fitting in a box.”