‘Combat Barbie’ who was sent to Iraq as a teen wants beauty queen glory again

Ex-soldier Katrina Hodge is shooting for glory in a beauty pageant again – more than a decade after being crowned Miss England.

The mum of two, now 33, earned the nickname Combat Barbie when she won the title in 2009 while still serving in the Army.

But she now wants to return in the Ms Great Britain contest to boost her own confidence and encourage body positivity in over-30s.

Katrina admitted she got so low she wouldn’t even post a photo of herself on Facebook and said the prospect of going back into the spotlight was “scary”.

She said: “In the Army I never felt scared or brave as I was just doing my job. But getting on stage in heels
– that is brave.

“Putting yourself out there for people to judge you is scary.

“I’ll never be a size six again but I want to compete to find myself again and show other women that it’s OK to not look like you did when you were younger.”

Katrina was sent to Iraq two days after her 18th birthday in 2005.

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She was commended for bravery after saving the lives of five comrades when she disarmed an Iraqi
insurgent by punching him in the face when he tried to attack their vehicle.

Katrina, who left the Army in 2015 and now lives in Brighton, said: “I think it’s incredible that a competition has opened up to celebrate women of all ages, backgrounds, dress sizes and everything inbetween.

“I’m doing this so I can find ‘Kat’ again, as I think I’ve lost myself a bit. I hardly wear make-up or even do my hair and I live in leggings and hoodies.

“I’ve had two kids, I’m covered in stretch marks, but I am me.”

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