If there’s anything we could all agree on, it’s that beauty deserves to be celebrated. And perhaps, holding pageants is one of the best ways we could think of of doing exactly that. Where the letdown lies, however, is in the fact that these beauty pageants have “qualifications.” You have to be this tall and that slim to be able to join.
The cruel reality that a curvy woman joining a beauty pageant tonight will be the next day’s laughable news says a lot about our idea of what’s visually desirable. Somehow, in our attempt to “celebrate” beauty, we’ve created a standard that marginalizes a certain demographic.
Combating these twisted standards, different groups that promote body diversity started organizing beauty contests where women of any shape and size can join. Embracing a lady for who she is, these plus-size pageants give points based on the woman’s intelligence and talent.
Let us get to know some of these plus-size beauty pageants that are redefining how beauty should be celebrated.
Plus-Size Beauty Pageants Created for Stunners of Every Shape and Size
Here are five plus-size beauty pageants worth checking out.
1. Miss Plus America
Founded in 2002 by West Monroe, Louisiana, native Melissa Stamper, Miss Plus America is the plus-size alternative to the more-known yet seemingly slim girls–only Miss America. Stamper envisioned Miss Plus to be the pageant that would “champion and celebrate the essence of this wonderful group of ladies without bias and without excuses.”
Miss Plus America welcomes all American women so as long as they’re more than a size 14W. In 2013, Constance Zehner won the crown at age 60.
Embracing the theme “Influence to empower from within and allow others to see out strength in numbers,” this year’s Miss Plus America has kicked off but has yet to announce the winners.
2. Miss British Beauty Curve
“To show the world how amazingly diverse Great Britain is” is this beauty pageant’s main goal. And to achieve that, Miss British Beauty Curve encourages women, no matter their shape and size, to join and show the world that they too can be beautiful.
Miss British Beauty Curve is one of the plus-size beauty pageants that have three grand winners at the end of every coronation night. One Miss, a Ms, and a Mrs British Beauty Curve are named and each takes home their own crown. This year’s event just wrapped, and Isha Crosdale was crowned Mrs. British Beauty Curve, Rachel Silverton was Ms British Beauty Curve, and Sian Yapp was named Miss British Beauty Curve.
3. Miss Top of the World Plus-Size
If there’s anything Miss Top of the World Plus-Size excels in, it’s “breaking beliefs on beauty,” which is probably why they went with this tagline. Founded in 2013, this beauty pageant is a supporter of curvy women who continue to break standards and overcome body-shaming. Aside from their main goal that is to save the world through beauty in all its form, Miss Top of the World Plus-Size has a charity mission mainly aimed at raising funds to build enough classrooms in Uganda for a nursery and primary school that is set up by a woman.
The pageant’s latest winner is Filipino Jodel Mesina. The 35-year-old bested fifteen other candidates from all around the world and took home the crown with grace and pride. Hoping to empower all women after her win, Mesina shared on Facebook, “I’d like to thank all the beautiful plus size queens from all over the world who made this journey extra wonderful. I am sharing to you my crown. Let us continue to empower, inspire, and help every woman to pursue their dreams and make it come true like every one of us did.”
4. Ms. Plus-Size North India
Organized by plus-size beauties Daksha Digitas and Hardeep Arora Innovater, Ms. Plus-Size North India is relatively new, having been founded only two years ago. But in only two years, this beauty pageant has done so much to help promote body positivity.
Every year, the team behind one of the biggest plus-size beauty pageants in India tours around the country to conduct auditions in different cities. And for the pageant’s latest event, forty gorgeous ladies joined the pageant.
When asked about Ms. Plus-Size North India’s mission, its organizers had this to say: “Every woman is unique and precious in her own way, and these days, curves are the new sexy.. . . We took an initiative to break the myth that only thin ladies are beautiful and [that only them] can win the beauty pageants.”
5. Miss Voluptuous UK
Returning for its third year in September 2019, Miss Voluptuous UK has established itself as one the highly anticipated plus-size beauty pageants in Britain. Just recently, the pageant has finally named its 2018 titleholder.
Katie Davey, 34 and a size 18, took home the crown. Honored to have been named the grand winner, Davey has only one goal she wants to achieve. She quipped, “I want to support change and prove that inclusivity can happen and is happening and it is not bound by superficial misconceptions. Beauty is not skin deep, it’s from within. We are all beautiful in our own way and it doesn’t matter what size or shape we are, we all bleed the same.”