Some of Barbados’ biggest and most beautiful women were on full display showcasing their very best on Sunday night in this year’s Miss Big and Beautiful pageant at the Sea Rocks Dome in Maxwell, Christ Church.
While the eight contestants wowed the huge, boisterous crowd with their casual wear, formal wear and lingerie, Pageant Director, Tonia Husbands said she was most impressed with the views expressed by the contestants, especially the plus sized women, on critical issues affecting women.
“Some people think that we’re big just because we eat unhealthily. But sometimes we’re big because we have thyroid problems, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other challenges. So it’s not only about violence against women, it’s about the struggle that we women go through but still we overcome,” said Husbands.
Many of the contestants highlighted the ridicule some plus size women faced in society. Others highlighted more mainstream issues like the plight of single mothers and domestic violence.
“Someone else highlighted the issue of having a period, because we women, and specifically plus size women, suffer with so many different ailments,” she added, indicating that the theme I Am Woman was fitting given the topics addressed.
“We are just celebrating our strengths, our weaknesses, our triumphs and it’s just about women who are resilient, who are strong and who endure so much.”
The ladies showed impressive poise and form as they strutted boldly across the stage, much to the satisfaction of patrons at the sold out show.
Following years of plus size women agitating for more respect and acceptance from society, Husbands said in many cases, the pageant has encouraged contestants and other plus size women to accept themselves more.
“I don’t believe that it [negative perception of plus size women] will ever change, because we have been conditioned to the Hollywood standard of beauty… even though we have gone very far in showing people what we have to offer, I think now it’s just for us women. “I don’t think the show by itself has pushed men to like bigger women, it’s just about showcasing women of size with beauty, talent and creativity,” said Husbands.
Amid the dazzling show put on by the contestants, there would only be one winner on the night. Nevertheless, numerous women left with prizes for their extraordinary work in the pageant. Krystle Layne copped prizes of Miss Congeniality, Best Casual Wear and Most Improved. Meanwhile, second runner-up, Crystal Hinds, walked away with the Most Photogenic and Best Formal Wear. Following moments of suspense, and after being awarded for the Best Lingerie, Hadiya Marshall was crowned the pageant’s winner, opening the floodgates to an overwhelming show of excitement as supporters, including her father, historian Trevor Marshall flooded the stage to congratulate her.
Marshall then received her crown from last year’s winner, Gale Ann Williams, bringing this year’s Miss Big and Beautiful pageant 2019 to a fitting conclusion. (KS)