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Brazil pageant 2016 main image

Brazil’s “The Most Beautiful Fat Girl” pageant (Image: Roberto Teixeira / EGO)

Plus size pageants are not a new thing. They are yet another avenue for plus size women to get exposure as well as experience being on stage and walking the runway. However, pageants are also a wonderful way for women to be in an environment where their bodies and curves are celebrated.

Lately, we have been seeing a surge in pageants in countries where being plus size is deemed negative and women suffer from bullying, discrimination and low self-esteem. These events are empowering plus women to embrace and love their bodies, as well as be proud of their beauty.

In Brazil recently, the country held its Concurso A Mais Bela Gordinha Do Brasil pageant (The Most Beautiful Fat Girl in Brazil) where more than 35 contestants competed for the title in categories such as swim, runway and talent.

In order for a woman to be eligible, she must weigh a minimum of 176 pounds. A panel of 12 judges scored the women on their personality, congeniality, shape and beauty. Contestants were divided into two categories of 18 to 35-year-olds and 36 to 55-year-olds with two women winning the crown, each for their age bracket.

The winners were crowned in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, May 20, 2016. 43-yr-old Roberta Augusta took the title for the older bracket. 23-yr-old Thaís Oliveira won the title for the younger division.

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Roberta Augusta (left), Thaís Oliveira (right) – Image: Facebook

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Winner: Thaís Oliveira (Roberto Teixeira / EGO)

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Winner Roberta Augusta

Augusta told Daily Mail:

“Over the past five years, I’ve participated and won several plus size competitions. However, before I started entering these contests, I suffered from depression because of my weight. There were many times I wouldn’t even come out of the house because I was ashamed. These shows have helped me heal psychologically and taught me to accept who I am.”

The paegant’s organizer Claudia Ferreira, who is a US size 16, spoke to Daily Mail about how this pageant aims to show that being plus size does not equal being unhealthy:

“If you have a tendency to be fat, that doesn’t mean you have to be unhealthy and sedentary. I go to the gym regularly, eat healthily, but because I easily put on weight, I keep a close check on my cholesterol and glucose levels.”

The women who competed for the title came from all walks of life; there were housewives, civil engineers, doctors, lawyers and nutritionists among the contestants.

The pageant didn’t just end there. For those women who did not have the courage to be on stage in front of an audience, there was also an online competition taking place where they could submit their images to the pageant’s official website. A winner was chosen based on online votes from those voting for their favorite.

39-yr-old Kellen Leão, representing the Pará state, won the online competition.

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Kellen Leão

Congratulations to not only the winners but all the women who competed. This pageant seems to not just be about winning a title but more about celebrating curves, confidence and body diversity.

Click here to check out the pageant’s official website.