Knutsford Beauty Queen poses up a storm to raise awareness of mental illness

Knutsford Guardian: Milly Evans poses proudly with her calendars Milly Evans poses proudly with her calendars

A KNUTSFORD beauty queen is stripping off to highlight the importance of a healthy body and MIND.

Milly Evans, from Richmond Hill, came up with the idea of creating an artistic nude calendar just three weeks ago and the 2014 ‘Beauty is a state of MIND’ calendar hits shelves this week.

All proceeds from the £8 calendar will go to a cause close to the 25-year-old’s heart – mental health charity MIND – and Milly hopes that the calendar will help dispel the stigma of mental illness.

The professional model and hairstylist said: “I wanted to show that it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are, anyone can go through a mental illness.

“In my case, I suffered from depression and I was sick of people saying, ‘how can you be depressed with the way you look and your life?’

“I wanted to show that it isn’t something to be ashamed of. People need to talk about it.”

Milly first thought the calendar idea after coming runner-up in Miss St Helens earlier this month.

“I’m not the typical beauty pageant girl as I’m covered in tattoos, have quirky hair and an edgy look. I decided I wasn’t going to change myself to ‘fit in’ with the other beautiful ladies and just be me. I was made up to come second out of everyone who entered as I was the black sheep of the competition,” she added.

Armed with renewed confidence, Milly sent out an appeal on Facebook and was overwhelmed by the number of people keen to take part in the project.

Most importantly, all twelve women featured in the calendar have suffered a mental illness at some stage of their life.

She said: “We decided to do artist nude to show we are happy in our own skin. Each lady also has a flower to show we have grown and blossomed into the women we are today. We got through it.”

The former Knutsford Academy student said she didn’t realise the impact the shoot would have on the women and was overwhelmed by their positive feedback.

However, it is not only the recruits who have been changed by the experience and Milly is already planning her next fundraising venture for MIND.

She added: “Doing this calendar and helping others has helped me so much more than any anti-depressant ever did.”

Calendars can be ordered from Facebook page ‘Beauty is a state of Mind’.

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