Kellie (16), our first ever Miss Teen, will represent Ireland at the finals in Texas
THE country's first ever Miss Teen Ireland representative claims it was her Ballyfermot roots which sealed the deal for her when it came to winning the coveted crown.
Kellie Breen (16) who is in fifth year at Caritas College, beat off stiff competition from fellow beauties at a joint Irish and English final, held in Bristol in Britain last month, in order to take the title.
The blonde teen says she had never been involved in a pageant before and is hoping her down-to-earth manner will stand to her when she goes head to head with aspiring pageant queens from around the world next summer at the Miss Teen World contest in Texas.
"I never in a million years thought I had what it takes to actually win the contest," she told the Herald. "Before this I hadn't any confidence in myself at all to be honest.
"I had never participated in a beauty pageant before, I had never done any modelling and I didn't have the D4 grooming or accent.
"So it just goes to show you don't have to have the perfect speech or be 'Miss popular' from the right address to win these things.
"I'm delighted to show people that a Ballyfermot girl can do it, everyone in my community has been so good to me and so supportive," she added.
Kellie, who suffered with skin disorder psoriasis for years, says that she can wear very little fake tan or make-up and believes that it was her au-natural look which put her ahead of other competitors.
According to the aspiring model: "I used to have pretty bad psoriasis so I try and avoid wearing fake tan as much as possible.
"I wouldn't wear make-up too often and when I do I would go for a really natural look and don't cake it on.
"On the day of the Miss Teen Ireland/England pageant, the make-up artist mysteriously called in sick and we all had to do our own make-up before going on stage.
"I did mine really naturally and they actually told me they loved it and that I should do it like that when I go to Texas."
Kellie, will compete in a number of different categories including swimwear, evening and day-wear when she takes off for her all-expenses paid trip to the States next August.