The new Miss Ireland Laura Patterson has revealed that she’s received a lot of flack from snobs who look down on her job at a major grocery store in Northern Ireland.
The 19-year-old Derry native told Ireland’s Evening Herald that even though she took home the crown at the beauty competition, she’s kept her job at Tesco to stay grounded.
Some, however, find it laughable that the beauty queen would continue to be a checkout girl after her win.
"I told one girl about my job in Tesco's during an interview and she just kind of laughed at me," Patterson said.
"I was pretty shocked at that but I decided to keep that job as I think it's important to keep my feet on the ground. I could easily leave and do modeling full-time but it does you no harm at all to work in a shop.”
The down-to-earth stunner is determined to ignore the critics and do what she thinks is right for herself.
"I took the job because I took a year out from university. It doesn't bother me what people think,” she said.
The blonde beauty, a law and accounting student at Magee University in Derry, has been in a whirlwind of appearances and photocalls since her win at the 2009 Miss Ireland competition on September 26. Patterson took home the crown despite unfavorable odds from Irish bookies, beating out the 32 other beauty queens at the event in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.
"It was weird all right,” Patterson said. “It doesn't feel real as I was not expecting to win it at all. I started off at 14/1 and by the weekend, I was at about 22/1 but I put it down to there being no bookies near where I lived – that was the story I told myself.
"None of my family put a bet on but my boyfriend Greg had £20 on me and he made himself a fortune.”
Patterson will travel to the Miss World final in South Africa next December 12, where she will compete for the international title.
But Patterson is not the type to get caught up in the hype, and says she has no intentions of leaving her Derry home to move down to Dublin.
"I don't really know anybody down here and I don't want to get sucked into a world where all the people you know are other models and photographers. It's just not me," she said.