All about Miss England 2022 Jessica Gagen: The first ever redhead to win Miss England crown

01 Feb 2023 | Priya Bhardwaj

The finale of Miss England 2022 was held on Monday, 17th October 2022 at the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport where Miss Lancashire 2022 Jessica Ashley Gagen became the first ever redhead to win the prestigious Miss England crown.

Jessica Ashley Gagen hails from Skelmersdale and bested 30 other finalists to be crowned the new queen. Jessica is 26 years of age and a model and an aerospace engineering student at the University of Liverpool.



However, her journey towards becoming a beauty queen has not been an easy one. Jessica has talked about getting her self-confidence back following her difficult teenage years at secondary school where she was severely bullied. At school, the bullies would punch, spit and even burn her because of her hair colour. Jessica would eat her lunch in the toilets while trying to escape the abuse.

She said, “I was name-called on the daily, and although I don’t think the kids were being malicious in doing so, there were definitely times they were. I was hit, spat at and had things thrown at my head quite a few times, but worst was when a girl burned me for having ginger hair.”

“In Year 7 I used to eat my lunch in the school toilets, because on the occasions I’d try to sit with some of the girls they’d stand up and leave me by myself. I used to get really upset about it all, but I’m determined to show kids who are facing the same thing that it won’t happen forever”, she added.



Her confidence slowly grew after the student was signed up by a modelling agency following her A-Levels. Jessica did to catwalks on ramps across the globe as she overcame her past issues. She went on to enter Miss England 2021 and placed as the first runner-up. She has now silenced her bullies forever.

Jessica has also revealed that while her campaign both this year and last was to get girls into STEM subjects, this experience has made her realize the importance of empowering girls who look like her. I looked back and I was thinking there are not many that redheads on TV. I think it would be so good if there could be somebody in that kind of position who is a redhead. Even last year there wasn't one redhead in Miss World”, she quoted.

Jessica has also talked about education and women's empowerment as she wants to inspire young girls, especially those who are being bullied for being red-haired to pave their own way in the industry. Jessica herself is a future aerospace engineer and pilot in a heavily male-dominated industry which makes her an even stronger woman.