A month before she flies out to Las Vegas to take part in one of the world’s biggest beauty parades, Jessica Logan is doing what she does best – reflecting on how it takes guts and determination to live within her own brand of Making The Invisible Visible.
The ME community’s own Pageant Princess, who holds her own annual Warrior Charity Pageant in November, told us: “I always say pageants are about power and making the most of yourself, whatever the difficulties.
“Representation of those with invisible illnesses and disabilities is missing in society and this is what I want to help change.”
Difficulties there certainly have been for 31-year-old Jessica.
Her own ill-health started with an attack of glandular fever eight years ago which never seemed to go away. Then along came severe ulcerative colitis, a string of operations and the removal of her entire colon which left her with an external stoma bag – which, when she did photoshoots, she covered with a pouch.
She was officially diagnosed with ME/CFS in 2019. But the need for a pouch has now disappeared following a successful ‘nip and tuck’.
Now – in line with her own philosophy of never being ashamed to show the invisible – Jessica has released a new set of photos of her wired-up a month ago for an overnight stay at a specialist sleep clinic. The doctors there were checking out her latest diagnosis of idiopathic hypersomnia.
In the photos, her remarkable beauty shines through – despite looking as though she has been patched up after a round in the ring with Mike Tyson.
“I’m still waiting for the results from the sleep clinic, which I hope might help with a claim for PIP”, she told us this week.
On 21st July, Jessica catches a British Airway flight to Las Vegas for a short holiday at the Golden Nugget Hotel, together with mum and dad Ruth and Kevin, husband Dale – a yard manager with a local coal merchant – and best friend Abby. Rest time for Jessica is built into their schedule.
She’ll need to pack loads of outfits, some of them quite big costumes, for the pageant and thinks she might just need to cadge some extra space for them in her companions’ baggage allowances. There will also be a photoshoot in the desert – another two outfits have been reserved for that.
Make-up and hair for the big shows – being held from 25th to 29th July – costs $150 a day. These turn her from gorgeous English rose into fully-fledged Hollywood starlet. Just check out the evidence of the other photos on the page!
Then, after a detour to view The Grand Canyon in Arizona, it’s back to Britain for her Warrior Charity Pageant at the Burntwood Memorial Institute in Staffordshire on 18th November. OK, so it’s not The Golden Nugget but it ticks all of Jessica’s boxes for disabled access, car parking, and changing space. And the hiring price is very much alright.
Jessica’s pageant also pulls in the celebrities. Last year, for instance, it ticked the all the boxes for Simon Kinleysides, a man severely disabled by a brain tumour who built up a huge fan base after completing the route of the London Marathon in a powered exo-skeleton. He's on the left in the pageant picture below.
Jessica never forgets who have helped her over the years. Proceeds from the sale of an annual Making The Invisible Visible calendar are distributed between a number of charities, including The ME Association.
“I will also never forget my roots, however successful I may be in the States. This is where I belong and this is where I want to stay”, she says.