A SHEFFIELD schoolgirl plagued by bullies who targeted her because of her looks has beaten her demons to become a teen beauty queen.
Heidi Johnson, who was “trolled” by jealous bullies, has reached the final of a national teen beauty pageant.
Since becoming a finalist for Miss Junior Teen Great Britain, her confidence has soared and she now feels able to move on with her life.
Heidi’s mum Leanne Reynolds said her daughter has been transformed since entering the competition, and has finally found happiness in a group of new friends.
Leanne, 37, said: Heidi had such low confidence and she got bullied at a previous school.
She said: “Girls can be very nasty. It was more jealousy than anything.
“It was pretty bad and it got to the point where we had to take her out of school and move her to a different one.
“Heidi had low self-esteem and she isn’t nasty like some girls can be. The other girls just turned on her and made her miserable.
“She got smacked a few times and we got called into the school.
“It got to the point where she couldn’t get away from the bullies. She would stay in at break times and purposely go to school late to avoid them.
“She got a few nasty messages on Facebook and eventually she had to block people. Luckily it’s all behind her now.
“She has a new group of friends who are much more supportive.”
Leanne, a property valuer from Sheffield, said: I have seen a big difference in her since she started in the competition. There are so many girls from it contacting her and giving her pointers.
“She has made a lot of friends through it and she seems to have grown up a lot as well. It has really boosted her confidence.
She is very excited to be a finalist.
Heidi, 15, who lives with mum Leanne and siblings Eliza, seven, Oscar, three, and eight-months-old Delilah at Halfway, Sheffield, now has to prepare for the grand final of the UK contest, which will be held in Blackpool, in October.
Young pageant contestants will take part in evening wear, fashion and interview rounds.
But unless Heidi secures a £300 sponsorship in the next two weeks, she will not be able to take part.
Leanne, who has set up a Go Fund Me page to make her daughter’s dreams come true, said: “Heidi has worked tirelessly contacting companies to try to get the sponsorship, but hasn’t managed it.
“We have already been offered £50 towards from The Hair and Nail Boutique, but need to raise £300 in the next two weeks.
I’ve set up a Go Fund Me page to ask family and friends for sponsorship.
If we don’t raise it then she wont be able to take part.
There will be advertising and marketing opportunities for any business that sponsor Heidi.
Heidi’s Go Fund Me page can be found at www.gofundme.com!2tf7jp2tjg.