Shy schoolgirl who was bullied has become an international bikini model

Rheanna Cartier, 21, who was bullied at school but is now an international bikini model Picture: Brian Hayes / SWNSRheanna Cartier, 21, who was bullied at school but is now an international bikini model Picture: Brian Hayes / SWNS
Rheanna Cartier, 21, who was bullied at school but is now an international bikini model Picture: Brian Hayes / SWNS | Brian Hayes / SWNS
A student left 'shy and awkward' after being bullied at school says bikini modelling has given her the confidence to be herself - and now competes all over the world.

Rheanna Cartier, 21, says she was was tormented by classmates during her teenage years but has had the last laugh after becoming a top international swimwear model.

The criminal law student was left with low self-esteem as a result of the bullying - but says treading the catwalk in a bikini has completely transformed her confidence.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The real-life "Legally Blonde" now spends her days juggling a demanding law career alongside travelling the globe modelling in competitions.

She has just returned to the UK from a Korean beauty pageant and now has her sights set on the Swimsuit USA event held in Mexico in October.

Rheanna Cartier, 21 Picture: Brian Hayes / SWNSRheanna Cartier, 21 Picture: Brian Hayes / SWNS
Rheanna Cartier, 21 Picture: Brian Hayes / SWNS | Brian Hayes / SWNS

Rheanna says her personality is now a far cry away from her school days where she was even forced to flee the country to escape the bullying.

She was subjected to name calling, physical violence and cyber bullying before her parents decided to move to Denmark when she was 14 to avoid the abuse.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rheanna, of Guildford, Surrey, said: "I was always quite shy and awkward but bikini modelling has made me a lot more confident - even in day-to-day life. It really took me out of my shell. I always find I feel more confident in a swimsuit, I'm not sure why.

"I've competed in pageants before but I feel like I prefer swimsuit modelling now. Even the last one in Korea, it was a beauty competition, we had a swimsuit round and that was what I enjoyed most. I feel like it pushes me out of my comfort zone.

"Before, I got nervous but after each competition I grow and look more confident. Each one improves my confidence. I enjoy training, I put a lot of work into going to the gym and focusing on eating healthy. When I have a competition to look forward to, I have to put the work in. I feel like I've achieved something being on stage."

Rheanna's first pageant was for Miss England - which has since banned their bikini round for the first time since 2019.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Rheanna Cartier, 21 Picture: Rheanna Cartier / SWNSRheanna Cartier, 21 Picture: Rheanna Cartier / SWNS
Rheanna Cartier, 21 Picture: Rheanna Cartier / SWNS | Rheanna Cartier / SWNS

She was previously crowned Miss Cotswolds and won Miss England's 'Bare Face Top Model' competition after entering when she was just 17.

She added: “When I did Miss England originally they didn’t have the swimwear round that year and I was looking forward to it as it was something I wanted to do. I had to wait until I was 20 to take to the catwalk in a bikini and I think it's been such a positive thing for me. I think it’s nice when they have the bikini round, I think it’s different and important [for Miss England] to have it.”

Rheanna previously went to Skals Efterskole, an international boarding school near Viborg, and spent a year there studying for her GCSE's before returning home.

She said: “The bullying all started when I was about 13, when I moved to a new school. Everyone had formed their groups by then. I was speaking to an older boy who was popular in the summer holidays. Then girls in the year above were shouting names at me in the corridors. It got worse and worse. It was a really horrible time. People would comment things on my Instagram. I got comments from girls saying I was so ugly, a slag...things like that.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She has since taken on beauty pageants and competitions worldwide and says she has no plans to stop there.

Rheanna added: "After Miss England I did a few other ones like Miss London Great Britain and then I did my first swimsuit in Mexico last year. Then I did the Swimsuit USA and I represented the Cotswolds. This year I’m representing London. In Korea I represented England in May. It was the Miss Supertalent competition. It was really different, it was really interesting. Since Korea I've had a few pageants contact me about doing some in 2025. I’m going to do more. Definitely.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.