Being full-figured in a society that does not accept you can be very hard. I have often commended all of my contestants over the years for taking that step and saying to the world: “I am big and beautiful.”
It saddens me, however, when we go on our annual motorcade, the degrading comments that are still thrown at the contestants.
I can still remember when that young woman came to Barbados scantily dressed and the appalling response she got. She was followed through Bridgetown, with people laughing at her; and her image was plastered on Facebook and in the newspapers. Even though I do not agree with what she wore that day, I was very disappointed in the way people behaved towards her.
Sometimes I wonder if we as a society will ever change our views of the plus-size population. I do agree that people of size are at a higher risk of suffering from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, but do not hold the popular belief all plus-size persons are unhealthy.
Regardless of how many gyms we have, or how many diets wecan go on, we will always have plus-size individuals. So segregating the plus-size, I think not!
Every day we are witness to Hollywood’s image of what beauty looks like. To be considered beautiful we must all be a size 0, it seems. As Caribbean people we must realize that many of us are plus-size –– not by habit, but by genes. I am truly amazed at this mentality we have adopted.
To me beauty comes from within. How someone can be considered beautiful only because of her size is truly beyond me.
I am often annoyed when I hear people say to contestants that they are too small. Yes, I will agree our contestants have got smaller over the past couple of years, but they fit the criteria.
It seems we can never please the public, because when they are “too big”, we are “encouraging obesity”, but when they are “too small” for their criteria, they should not be in the competition.
In 2004, our first runner-up was eligible to compete in the Caribbean pageant because she was over 250 pounds. Since an article in the newspaper highlighted the fact that it was the Caribbean pageant’s criteria, many still believe that to enter the Miss Big & Beautiful Pageant in Barbados, you must be 250 pounds or over –– which is not the case.
We do not have a height or weight requirement for our delegates. People need to understand that height carries weight, and even though you may not be of a fuller size than others, you may still weigh as much because of your height.
I just want to take a moment to commend all those full-figured ladies who defied the odds and stood and said: “I am indeed big and beautiful.”
Have a wonderful week ahead! One love!!!