“I was very moved, as if I’ve won the lottery,” said 33-year-old Angela Scognamiglio (right) from Naples, after beating 30 other contestants to Italy’s ‘Miss Chubby’ title. The pageant promotes full-figured women, and the only condition for entry is that you should weigh more than 100 kilos.
The contest gives them a chance to have fun as opposed to being ‘objects of fun’. Admits contestant Marilena Amato, “When we get on a bus, people nudge each other, and whisper, making fun of us, and it’s the same on the beach.” “We are the victims of severe discrimination; it’s as if we are second class citizens,” said another contestant, Antonia Bartolo. But the women gain confidence and recognition at platforms such as these. “Why is it necessary to follow the diktat of what’s beautiful? Why can’t these women show off?” questions contest founder Gianfranco Lazzereschi.
Miss Artificial Beauty
After a Chinese girl was banned from a beauty competition for having gone under the knife, a group of people decided to start an unusual contest in 2004, with one requirement only: they should have been through plastic surgery. The contestant is called ‘Miss Artificial Beauty’.
Miss Jumbo Queen
Thailand hosts the Miss Jumbo Queen pageant for ‘big, beautiful women’. The contestant, who best exhibits the characteristics of an elephant by virtue of her grace, elegance and size, gets crowned. The winner leads a jumbo banquet and helps promote elephant conservation.