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From Bullied Teen to Cheer Coach and Beauty Queen: Sophie’s Inspiring Journey



Quick Smiles:

  • Formerly overweight teenager, Sophie McGarva, has transformed her life by becoming a cheerleading coach and a Miss England semi-finalist.
  • After enduring bullying due to her weight, Sophie decided to prove her detractors wrong, losing 49 pounds and gaining a newfound confidence.
  • She now uses her experience to inspire others, coaching cheerleading at York St John University and participating in beauty pageants.

Sophie McGarva, who was once ridiculed for her weight, has silenced her critics in an inspiring way. This Englishwoman, who was bullied during her middle school years for weighing almost 200 pounds, has transformed herself into a cheerleading coach and a Miss England semi-finalist.

Sophie’s journey began when she was just 13. She was often teased by her peers due to her size, which was a result of an unhealthy diet filled with junk food and snacks. The bullying led to low self-esteem, but it also sparked a determination in Sophie to “prove everyone wrong.”

“I was never too concerned, but then a few girls started picking on me because of my size and saying mean and horrible things,” Sophie recalls. “I even reported it to teachers at one point, but it was sort of brushed under the carpet, which didn’t help matters.”

But Sophie didn’t let the negativity define her. Instead, she took it as a challenge and decided to make a change. She started watching her diet and exercising more, eventually losing 49 pounds.

Sophie’s transformation didn’t stop there. She discovered a love for dance, swimming, and ice-skating, which helped her maintain her weight loss. Now, at 21, Sophie is an English Literature student at York St John University, where she coaches cheerleading for the ‘YSJ Kats’ and hits the gym three times a week.

“Once I got to university I wanted to join a society as they say that’s the best way to meet people. I chose cheerleading and it just went from there. I now choreograph routines and teach up to a level two standard,” Sophie shares. “We’re not competitive. We’re a varsity squad so do events and cheer on the football teams and things like that. I absolutely love it.”

Cheerleading also opened doors for Sophie in the world of fashion and beauty. She modeled at York Fashion Week four times and even decided to compete in a beauty pageant.


“I entered Miss England after seeing it advertised on social media, thinking I wouldn’t stand a chance,” Sophie admits. “I like the charity aspect and what they stand for—about beauty not being solely about what’s on the outside.”

Sophie’s journey to self-love and acceptance has been a long one. She says, “At school I was a young and impressionable girl who was taught by those around me that beauty was merely the reflection in the mirror—which, after the weight loss, I came to the realization that this is not entirely true.”

Sophie’s story is a testament to the power of self-belief and determination. She has not only transformed herself but is also inspiring others with her story. She made it to the Miss England national finals last weekend, proving to herself and others that she can succeed in things outside her comfort zone.

“I wanted to gain a deeper connection with myself and those around me, proving to myself that I can succeed in things outside my comfort zone,” Sophie concludes. Her story is a beacon of hope for anyone who has ever been bullied or felt insecure about their appearance. Sophie’s journey proves that beauty is not just about what’s on the outside, but also about the strength and determination within.