A Norwich PR professional is delighted a standout feature of hers that had previously resulted in years of bullying has now seen her scoop a regional style award.
Yasmin Gray, 22, was chosen out of thousands of entrants in Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition for her sharp style after submitting a selfie online. To mark her achievement she was invited to the Specsavers Norwich store on St Stephens Street, where she is a regular customer, to collect her certificate, a Specsavers voucher worth £150 and a bottle of champagne.
The competition’s fundraising entry element for Kidscape really appealed to Yasmin. She says: ‘I’ve been wearing glasses since I was a little kid. I was really struggling at school which caused my parents concern so they brought me in to this very store 12 years ago for my first eye test.
‘My school work instantly improved, but my confidence plummeted. Back at school no one else wore glasses and I hadn’t helped myself as I’d picked the biggest and brightest pair of Simpsons glasses, which made me stick out like a sore thumb.
‘People refused to sit with me and called me names, which made me feel really insecure. I wish I’d known then how lucky I was that I had something that helped me out so much in school and embraced my unique look. Nowadays I love having glasses and being able to show off my personality through so many different styles of frames.
'Becoming a regional finalist in Spectacle Wearer of the Year is just the icing on the cake – if only my bullies could see me now!’
The accolade of a regional finalist comes with the opportunity for Yasmin to potentially be crowned the overall Spectacle Wearer of the Year, winning a £10,000 cash prize and £1,000 worth of specs in the process.
Store director Ian Sinha and store manager David Cowan presented Yasmin with her prizes and joined in sharing a smile outside the store. Ian says: ‘It’s wonderful to see the evolution of Yasmin’s confidence and style since the first time she came in store 12 years ago.
‘We pride ourselves on our customer service with attention to eye health and care but the fashion side of glasses can be just as important. Yasmin’s gone from shy and reserved to a woman who is rightly proud to show off her love of glasses and fashion.
'David, the team and I will be keeping our fingers crossed that Yasmin makes it to the finals in London and is crowned Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2017.’