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Emma loving switch from catwalk to class

"IT'S a tough world," the 23-year-old said. "When you're a model you can become quite self-absorbed because you're thinking about how you look the whole time. It's all about your image."

THESE days you're more likely to find Emma teaching long division than posing.

The Celbridge native is teaching primary school pupils and says she's loving the change of scene. "I spent two years modelling and I don't regret that but I'm happiest when I'm in the classroom."

The trainee teacher said that teaching had made her more relaxed in her appearance.

"I was going through a bit of a bad time last year," she admitted. "But now I'm feeling completely relaxed with my body image. I think teaching has just made me a happier person."

Emma was the subject of online bullying when she competed in Miss Universe 2010.

The young model received abusive emails and online insults telling her she was too fat to compete and is still shocked at how harsh online bullies can be.

"I have no time for internet trolls. I think they hide behind their computer screen because they know no one will ever call them up on the horrible things they're saying."

Emma also thinks that the criticism levelled at singer Lady Gaga over her recent weight gain was ridiculous.

"It's outrageous that she's being criticised about her weight, she's tiny. People would want to be careful what they say about Gaga or they'll have millions of her Little Monsters to deal with."

The model said that while she wouldn't swap her modelling past she doesn't miss the constant criticism and pressure that goes with the job.

"All models can have their confidence shaken, no matter how long you've been doing it.

"All it takes is a bad shot or a nasty comment.

"I think it's hard taking the criticism when you're a model because people aren't just criticising what you do, they're criticising who you are.

"There's none of that in teaching."

Asked if being surrounded by kids was making her broody, Emma laughed. "I'm always broody," she said, before quickly adding "That's a joke."

The ex-model went on to say that she's a little young to think about a family right now but would love children when she's older. "I'm really young, only 23 so not at the minute.

"But I definitely want kids when I get older."

With no immediate plans to move in with long term boyfriend Manners Oshafi, Emma is still enjoying living at home.

"We've no plans to move in together yet," she said. "I'm happy where I am.

"It's nice being at home. Plus, I'm loving all my mum's home cooked dinners."