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United Kingdom 17 years old 177cm

Star sign: Cancer

Follow me: @alicegrundyx

At Elite Model Look we say: “your differences make our world”. What makes you different?

 I’m a bit more bookish than most girls of my age - it's my beliefs that set me apart and define my character. When I was three, I decided to be vegetarian, and I've recently made the change to a vegan diet. I passionately believe in animal rights and am proud of the tiny part I play in alleviating their suffering. Similarly I've been politically engaged from a young age and find myself always enthralled, and often enraged, by national and global politics. I am saddened by the inequality in the world and conscious that I am very lucky to have been born in a country where I have access to a good education and plenty of food. 

What is your passion?

My real passion is history - I'm a voracious reader and hope to pursue my love of History and study it at university. History has been my favourite subject for as long as I can remember. I believe that one can only truly understand the present by fully exploring its foundations in the past. I also believe that there is value in studying the past simply to preserve the historical record for future generations. 

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that inspires you to succeed?

Whenever I need a boost I read 'The Masque of Anarchy' by Percy Bysshe Shelley. This poem expresses in beautiful verse a call to moral courage in the face of adversity that echoes my own beliefs. I challenge anyone to read it and not be moved.

"Rise, like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number! 

Shake your chains to earth like dew 

Which in sleep had fallen on you:

Ye are many-they are few!”

What is the best advice you ever got?

 ‘The harder you work, the luckier you’ll be’ 

My mother always tells me that there's no such thing as just being lucky - the harder you work, the luckier you'll get. Any small measure of success that I've had in school or outside of it, is largely down to her support and encouragement - urging me to be the very best version of myself that I can be. 

Tell us your favourite…

Sport: I absolutely love yoga. It’s both a relaxing and challenging form of personal fitness. I do it with my friends, but also as part of a volunteering projects with special needs children. Seeing howyogat benefits them by developing their motor skills, as well as forming close friendships with their classmates has reinforced for me the therapeutic benefits of exercise. 

Vacation: My favourite holidays have always been the summers that I spend in Ireland with my family. We go back to the village where my grandmother was born and spend time with family and friends. The highlight of my many trips there was when I met President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, when he traced his ancestral roots back to our little corner of the world!

What was the last film you went to see in the cinema?

I went to see Mamma Mia 2 (2018) with my best friend Alice - not exactly highbrow cinema but I'm a sucker for ABBA and can't help singing along whenever I hear one of their '70's classics on the radio. The two ABBA musicals are such feel good films, and seeing the stage show is one of my favourite family memories.  

What does friendship mean to you?

All of the clichés I suppose - trust, loyalty, a bond formed with mutual respect. It’s through companionship that we develop as individuals and learn how to empathise with others. I've been so lucky to become close friends with such lovely people at my school, in particular my best friend Alice with whom I share a name, school subjects and life goals. She truly is an extraordinary person, and so is the person that first taught me how to be a friend - my beautiful little sister Charlotte. We all spend too much time wrapped up in our own lives, and our friends force us to look outward rather than inwards and appreciate the value of others, so that we care about those closest to us more than we care about ourselves. 

Beach or pool?

Definitely pool. I'm not a Christmas turkey! There's no need to roast me under a hot sun until my skin burns. While I'm probably too old for it now, on a sunny holiday you'll find my sister and me diving around splashing each other in the swimming pool - usually surrounded by toddlers while the other teenagers are off getting a tan! 

How does it feel to represent the United Kingdom at the 35th Elite Model Look World Final?

I'm thrilled. I honestly couldn't believe it - clichéd as that sounds! I just feel terribly lucky to have such a wonderful opportunity. My contact with Elite has been with the New Faces staff in London and Oliver, Bella, Joanna and the rest of the team have all been lovely and very supportive - they’re my favourites! I've never travelled much, so it will be wonderful to see a little more of the world. I’ll enjoy meeting lots of people who, although around my age, will have vastly different lives and experiences to my own. I think that it will make me a more rounded individual. I appreciate that Elite Model Look continue to support its models long after they’ve finished the competition into their future projects. 

Tell us about the United Kingdom!

People think that the UK is all quaint villages or stately homes with posh aristocrats but we are so much more than that! While we haven't ditched the monarchy quite yet, we have a diverse range of cultures and ethnicities blending to form a vibrant modern UK, shown so clearly in the global melting pot that is London. So many great and prestigious talents come from the UK: the writer Jane Austen, the biologist Charles Darwin, writer Charles Dickens and the great and immutable playwright William Shakespeare. We also have extraordinary actors Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emma Watson, Stephen Fry and Idris Elba. Yet I hope Britishness stretches beyond popular culture, as we ought also to remember those that have made the most significant contributions to the wider world - like Emmeline Pankhurst who led the fight for female suffrage, and William Wilberforce who was instrumental in the abolition of slavery.  There is a genuine sense of tolerance that underpins society in the UK. We are free to hold or express any political view and the laws protect their citizens from discrimination or unfair treatment. As the global news seems increasingly filled with stories of violence and oppression I feel incredibly lucky I've been born into such a tolerant nation where I'm neither oppressed by my government nor abandoned by it. 

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