Student Lotte is Miss Supermodel: ‘People can have scars on the inside too’

18 Dec 2020

Every morning, Lotte Dirchs (21) puts on her crown for a moment. The student of International Business Communication is the proud holder of the Miss Supermodel Netherlands 2020 title. This story tells how she won. ‘I’m no longer afraid of what other people think of me.’

May

‘I’ve always been a fan of beauty contests. I love the pomp and splendour, and the women: strong personalities who really stand for something. I wanted to be like them, but for a long time I didn’t dare to apply. I didn’t have a very positive self-image, partly because I was bullied a lot as a child because of a scar on my face. And I was worried about people responding negatively: some people think beauty contestants aren’t particularly intelligent. The doubt was driving me crazy. In the end I managed to flip a switch in my mind. I told myself: just see how far you get. On the last day of the registration period, I signed up.’

Photo: Instagram

June

‘In a preliminary round I was selected for the semi-finals. The jury members thought I was pretty, but could hardly remember anything about me afterwards. They said: ‘You have to dare to be different. A Miss Supermodel has to be herself to stand out.’ This was a wake-up call for me. From that moment onwards I tried in a creative way to show who I really was. For example, for the catwalk challenge I posed wearing a shirt on which I had written what my friends thought of me.’

17 July

‘I’m actually really proud of the fact that I dared to post this photo. For the advocacy challenge I had to show what message I stood for. I decided to make this something personal and talk about my scar. As a child I was bitten on the face by a dog, and I’ve got a scar on my cheek. Children used to call me ‘dog’ or say that I had a second mouth. Because I was bullied a lot, I had a very negative self-image. In that sense, it has really affected my life. Which is why I want to draw attention to people who have to live with scars.’

Photo: Instagram

22 July

Lotte posted a photo on Instagram of the scarred side of her face. ‘Unconsciously, I was always showing my ‘good’ side on photos. When I became aware of what I was doing, I thought: this has to stop. I’m going to show my other side too.’

1 August: pride 2020

‘Two years ago I came out as bisexual. I’ve got a boyfriend now, but my bisexuality will always be part of who I am. So I think it’s important to promote the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. People often think the Dutch are very tolerant, but in practice this often isn’t the case.’

Photo: Instagram

3 August

‘This was the day when I met the other candidates in real life for the first time. The idea that beauty contests are dominated by hate and jealousy is completely wrong. Everyone is really supportive of each other. We laughed and cried together, and I’m still good friends with many of the contestants.’

15 September

Instagram message: ‘I realised that the passed years I have been through a lot and that I finally feel that it’s all over. That I can be myself truly an that I can define myself in other ways than the past.’

‘This was the moment when all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. I had moved in with my boyfriend Luuk, and I finally felt at home somewhere. It was a feeling I hadn’t had for a long time, no matter how nice my roommates were. I could finally leave the past behind me.” Lotte is silent for a moment. “I find it difficult to find the right words when talking about myself. I could never do it before. But I now realise it’s important to be open towards the people who mean a lot to me. Otherwise how can they possibly understand me?’

17 October

‘People have scars on the inside too. I find it difficult to talk about this, but I went through a serious depression in early 2019. It was due to a combination of factors: not feeling at home anywhere, being bullied as a child, my doubts about my study choice … During the worst of it I couldn’t’ feel anything anymore, and I spent all my time alone in my room. This was when I met Luuk. He helped me to seek professional help and I slowly got better.’

Photo: Instagram

8 November

‘The finals consisted of a pitch, a short interview and a photoshoot, but the jury took the entire process into account. I could hardly believe it when I heard that I’d won the Miss Supermodel title. If you’d asked me at the start whether I thought I had a chance of winning, I would have said I won’t even make it to the finals. This adventure has made me a lot stronger. The most important change is that I’m no longer afraid of what other people think of me.’

9 November

‘The day after the finals I was back in the lecture hall. I enjoy the contrast between the two worlds. As Miss Supermodel, I’m at the centre of attention, but as a student of International Business Communication, I’m just one student among many.’

13 November

‘Lotte grins widely as she talks about her title. “I put my crown on every morning for a bit. It gives me power, a daily self-confidence boost. To me this title means that I have a platform through which I can help others. For example, I’d like to teach guest lessons and start a blog around my message Your scars are beautiful. In my year as Miss Supermodel I’ll do my best to tell this story everywhere I go.’

Photo: Instagram

This article comes from Vox 1. All pictures are from Lotte’s Instagram

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