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‘Won’t change for anyone’: Beauty queen gives up crown after being asked to lose weight

The size 10 model was informed that the international directors of the contest wanted her to “lose as much weight as she could” to become a serious contender.

fashion and trends Updated: Aug 31, 2017 14:45 IST
Zoiey Smale,Miss United Continents 2017,beauty pageant
Zoiey Smale gave up her Miss UK crown after being asked to lose weight.(Zoiey Smale’s Facebook page )

28-year-old Zoiey Smale was all prepared to represent the UK at Miss United Continents 2017 in Ecuador after winning the Miss UK title in June.

This was before she was informed that the international directors of the contest wanted her to “lose as much weight as she could” to become a serious contender, the size 10 model claimed in an interview with The Independent.

Smale was aghast. “I was like, “pardon?” It was one of those things, in the 21st century you don’t actually expect people to be that blunt”, she told the DailyMail.

Having been in the industry for over 10 years and competing in pageants since she was 18 years old, Smale said she hung up the phone and, after thinking about it for two weeks, decided that she didn’t want to compete in the final in Ecuador.

“Some of you may think this is cowardly,” Smale wrote in a Facebook post, “however I don’t think it is the right to have my face representing a pageant ethos I do not believe in”.

Smale hopes her experience will make budding beauty queens aware of the ‘rogue’ competitions.

She explains in the post, “Those rogue competitions that claim to be pageants… yet insist you eat less, parade around in a bikini for a few days and sit at the arm of a man over dinner whilst pushing an olive around a plate.”

She remembers the time when she too was one of the young aspiring girls who are bullied “into believing the only way to be successful is to be thin”. “I was branded ‘fat’ because I am size 10. I actually believed that I was so disgusting that no one would ever love me.”

It saddens her that despite the transformation that the pageant industry has seen in the past decade, there are still many who “believe you must be skinny to be beautiful”. Pageant girls are more than just a number on a clothing tag, she writes. “Real queens empower others, are intelligent and help communities come together.”

“All in all we never know when our time on this earth is up.. so love yourself, eat a bit of cake and laugh until your belly hurts.”

People commended Smale for blowing whistle on an industry that glorifies thinness. Some even shared their own experiences:

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 14:26 IST