20 Questions with Rebekah Shirley

Miss Northern Ireland - and NRC student - Rebekah Shirley.
Miss Northern Ireland - and NRC student - Rebekah Shirley.

Tell us something about your background and family?

I was born in Ballymoney and I have lived here all my life. My family are really lovely, down to earth country people who have been incredibly supportive of me.

When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?

I think that it’s every little girl’s dream to be a model/actress/singer/dancer and I won’t lie, I did want to be all those things when I was growing up!

Where did you go to school and how did you do in your exams?

I studied at Ballymoney High School, I completed my GCSE’s there and I am very pleased with the grades that I achieved. I worked very hard at school and I feel that my grades were reflective of that.

Why did you choose the course at NRC?

I have always had an interest in the media world. I feel that it is such a huge and interesting industry and when I found out that my local college ran the course I couldn’t wait to sign up! I have thoroughly enjoyed the two years that I have spent at college, I will be very sad to leave but I am excited to find out what my future has in store for me career wise.

How long have you had ambitions to be a model...or did it just happen?

A few people had mentioned to me about modelling when I was growing up but I never really thought anything of it. Of course it was something that I wanted to get into but I think it was always a confidence issue that was holding me back. Getting involved in modelling was one of the best decisions I have ever made and winning the title of Open and Direct Miss Northern Ireland 2014 has been my greatest achievement to date!

Describe your feelings at the moment your name was read out as the new Miss Northern Ireland.

I was in total shock! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be Miss Northern Ireland. It was such a surreal feeling and I wish that I could relive the moment again!

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am really looking forward to working with ACA this year, I have a great time behind me who have been very supportive throughout the competition and will continue to help me during my year as Miss Northern Ireland. I will be competing in the Miss World contest In London which will take place on 20th November to 14th December. I am going to gain so much experience from the competition and I can’t wait to meet all the girls! I have the whole year to look forward to. I’m excited for all the jobs that I will be working on, being an ambassador for the NI Children’s Hospice and just getting to meet lots of new people.

What are your longer term ambitions in terms of a career?

I would love to work in the television industry, however there are so many paths that I could take in the media world and I think this year will help me come to decision of what career choice to take.

Tell us your role models and why?

I think Jennifer Lawrence is a great role model to all girls. She doesn’t pretend to be anything that she’s not, she keeps her feet firmly on the ground and doesn’t let the fame go to her head. She doesn’t take herself to seriously and she is not afraid to be herself, which is a valuable lesson that we can all learn from her. She is a fantastic actress as well.

How do you keep in shape?

I attend fitness classes 4-5 times a week or whenever I can. I will be a very busy girl this year but I think it’s important to manage your time well, I love the gym and I always enjoy attending my classes.

If you could invite five people - famous or otherwise - to dinner who would they be and why?

I would LOVE to invite Simon Cowell and David Walliams to dinner. I think they both are hilarious when they are together and I think they would be very interesting people to get to know! However it is very hard to beat a good family dinner!

Where do you shop for clothes and how would you describe your style?

I work in Topshop so the majority of the clothes that I buy are from the store that I work in. I wouldn’t say that I had one specific style, I love my days where I wear my slouchy clothes but I always love to get dressed up for whenever I am going out somewhere. I will receive a full wardrobe of designer dresses from Blush on the Lisburn Road for the Miss World competition. Blush have the most amazing dresses and I can’t wait to see what I will be wearing for the Miss World final.

What’s your favourite music and film?

I love all kinds of music! My favourite film would have to be Monster in Law. I just love Jennifer Lopez I think she is amazing!

If you had to choose a model to aspire to who would it be?

I would have to say Miranda Kerr, she is absolutely stunning with and without make up. She has a very unique look to other models in today’s industry which makes her stand out. She is a very successful businesswoman and very family orientated as well.

In your spare time what do you like to do?

As I study media, TV and film, I love to go out and film my own documentaries, adverts, music videos etc. I find the industry very exciting and I love doing things that advance my technical and creative skills. I have a keen interest in makeup and I always find myself spending hours on YouTube watching various make up bloggers create different looks and learn different tips and tricks! I enjoy the simple things in life like walks on the beach. I live very close to the North Coast so I try to make the most of what I have on my doorstep.

Describe yourself in five words?

Caring, loyal, bubbly, trustworthy and dedicated.

What’s been your most embarrassing moment?

Oh that’s a tough one! I try not to get embarrassed in certain situations, just laugh it off and carry on!

Which city or place would you most like to visit?

I have always wanted to travel! My dream would be to visit America and travel all around the country as well as Australia.

What’s your favourite food and drink?

Chilli beef penne pasta from the Wine Bar is hard to beat! My downfall would have to be fizzy drinks, however I try to drink lots of water as often as I can!

Where do you think you will be in ten years time?

It’s very hard to say at this moment in time, as I mentioned before I would like to be working in the television industry but after this year I will be able to make a decision on what career I wish to take. In ten years time I hope to be successful and I would definitely see myself travelling around the world.