MISS Ireland Emma Waldron has turned down a potentially lucrative modelling contract in New York as she was fearful of the pressure to lose her curves.
Emma turned down top US agency Ford Models as she wasn't prepared to to deal with the constant pressure to be thin enough to fit into the notoriously small sample sizes.
"I wasn't strong skinned before Miss Ireland, I'm too soft and I still am. You have to be tough in this industry," Emma explained.
"That's why I didn't go to New York, I was offered a modelling contract with Ford. Everyone thought I was mad not to take it, but I had to decide what I wanted in my life. I have my feet on the ground, and it's not something that I really wanted," she told the Herald.
Emma (22) added that when she hands over her crown in August, the new Miss Ireland must be prepared to handle criticism and be really comfortable in her own skin.
"There are very few girls who aren't self-conscious out there. They will need to be thick-skinned," she explained.
But student Emma, who will be returning to college to finish her last year of primary school teaching in September, revealed that women needed to realise that having curves is fine. "I really think that's really important for girls to see, look at Scarlett Johansson, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. They are all beautiful and curvy, but girls read magazines bombarded with images of skinny models all the time."
Meanwhile, before Emma hands over her Miss Ireland title to a new young beauty, the model said that she would be extremely busy in the coming weeks.
As well as a photoshoot with top Irish photographer Lili Forberg this week, Emma will be shooting for various Irish magazines and is designing her own jewellery line.
"I am designing my own jewellery line with Crystals & Co," she explained.
"I will be fully involved from picking the design to the size of the stone being used. Plus the collection ties in with the Miss World competition with some designs called 'Miss Peach' and 'Miss Plumb'."
The stunner also admitted that she would find it "tough" being back in college this September but said she would still continue to model as a part of Andrea Roche's agency AR and attend events through the year.