Jan 15 2013 by Rachel Watson, Formby Times
A FORMBY grandmother has secured a spot in the final of a nationwide modelling competition, after beating more than 4,000 applicants.
Laura Hughes, 49, gave up her dream of modelling when she fell pregnant at 17.
However, now the grandmother-of-three is hoping that a career in front of the camera is finally back within reach.
Laura said: “I have always wanted to become a model; however, having children came before a career.
“Now my children are all grown up, I want to show you can still do things as you go through your life.”
Making it to the final of the over- 25s age group, Laura, right, will travel to London to compete against 21 other aspiring models in the Top Model UK competition, which could see her win a career- boosting contract with a top modelling agency.
Having put her dream on hold 31 years ago, Laura is the oldest in the competition, and has admitted to feeling nervous.
But this is not something that she is willing to let stand in the way.
She said: “The first time I was on the catwalk, I was shaking like a leaf, but I knew it was I wanted to do.
“Trying to control my nerves, I managed to model on the catwalk without any major calamities.”
Although Laura’s age might have caused a little anxiety, she said that the support has definitely helped.
She said: “The anticipation is amazing when you’re waiting to walk out. Because you’re a lot older, you’re not sure what type of reaction you will receive.
“But, so far I have had lots of support and admiring comments, which is great for your confidence.
“Once you have been on the catwalk, or on a photoshoot, it becomes addictive.”
After raising her two children, the ambitious blonde kept close to the fashion industry, setting up her own mobile boutique – Pacha Liverpool – where she sells affordable clothing and accessories for women.
Now Laura believes she could finally fulfil her ambition. She said: “I know there is a niche where I can fit into. I think being in such a high- profile competition is such a fabulous opportunity and I would love to be on London Fashion Week.
“I am determined to make this work as a career, and show other women they can do the same.”
While Laura is definitely in the competition to win it, she said she would also like to think she could inspire others like her to pursue their own ambitions.
She said: “People think that you can’t do anything, that you’re over the hill, but that’s not true.
“Through healthy eating, exercise and a positive attitude you can achieve what you want.”