Isobelle Gibbons – who prefers to be called Izzy - is understandably a bit nervous in front of the camera. She has never done this kind of thing before. Seeing our fabulous front cover this month you wouldn’t believe it as she looks so good. Her up-to-the-minute asymmetrical haircut, which compliments her sparkling green eyes, was cut by Cat at The Guild Hairdressing in Suffolk Road. Izzy applied her own makeup but with her perfect skin she needs very little – she’s a natural beauty.
Izzy was the winner of the 12 to 18 years of age category in the Face of The Cheltonian competition last September. She was 17 at the time but has since turned 18. Initially this category was called the Under 18s but the magazine was inundated with entries from babies and toddlers. In fact there were five times as many babies and toddlers as there were teenagers, so an editorial decision was taken to split the category into the under 12s and the 12 to 18 years.
Izzy was born in Cheltenham where she attended Christchurch Primary School up to the age of 11. She is still at school – she is in her final year in Bournside Sixth Form where she is taking her A levels in English Literature, History and Film Studies. She loves English and has even enjoyed studying Shakespeare including Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night but her favourite is Romeo & Juliet, which is good as one of the themes of her English A Level is ‘Love through the Ages’. If she gets the grades - and I’m sure she will – she’ll take up the place she has been offered at Kingston University in Kingston-upon-Thames to read Media Studies. She is looking at a career in Television Broadcasting but is unsure about joining such a cut-throat industry. Maybe marketing or advertising would be a better choice she says.
As well as working hard at her studies, Izzy has a Saturday job at Oasis and also waitresses for the Freemasons as her friend’s mum owns the catering company. It’s great working in Oasis she says, as she loves clothes and fashion. It’s her biggest hobby, if you can call shopping a hobby, she jokes!
When I ask her what other hobbies she enjoys, she immediately pipes up with ‘watching TV’. Her favourite show is The In-Betweeners but she also loves X-Factor (she went along to the auditions – to watch that is not to enter), Big Brother, 90210 on E4, Glee and even the Jeremy Kyle show. She knows all the latest celebrity gossip. What about Strictly Come Dancing I ask? Not really, she tells me, but her mum loves it. She used to watch Blind Date a long time ago, but now it’s no longer on TV she watches Take Me Out instead. She admits that she has ‘really bad taste in television’. We’re not saying a word!
So what made her enter the competition? She saw it advertised and her uncle said to her to ‘just do it’. She went along and had her photo taken and thought no more about it until a letter arrived in the post inviting her along to the Beechwood Arcade where the winners were being announced. She was really shocked when she found out she had won her category!
Izzy is one quarter Indian on her mother’s side and has family in India. Every year her Nan comes to stay in Cheltenham for six months and then goes back to India for the other six months, to Goa where her home is. Izzy has already been 12 times to visit, which is great as she adores travelling.
She has also visited Greece and Turkey and has been white water rafting in France and Italy with the school. She went skiing with the school in Austria and took a trip to Disneyland Paris which she loved. This all makes her sound very energetic, but when I ask her if she enjoys exercising she laughs and admits she doesn’t do much.
Izzy lives at home with her mum and dad in the town centre. She also has two brothers - 26 year old Ben and 23 year old Max.
The front cover photograph was taken by John Moore of Two Front Teeth Photography in Cheltenham. Tel 01242 708 468.