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Britain's First Plus-Size Beauty Pageant: Celebration & Segregation

Illustration for article titled Britains First Plus-Size Beauty Pageant: Celebration  Segregation

The Sun's piece on the 2010 Miss BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) pageant in the UK is fairly heartwarming; winner Laura Morrod describes it as "the best night ever." Here's the problem:

Laura finds acceptance in the BBW scene, saying:

"At school I was the easy target and it was awful. My sister looks like a size 8 version of me, so I always felt like the one people weren't interested in. You spend your whole life trying to fit in and please other people - and being made to feel a failure when you don't conform. So to be here and to be told you are attractive and nice-looking is lovely. Winning is going to help make me a more positive person."

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But while attending a monthly party called Big Girls Paradise, and participating in a BBW pageant may give Laura (and the other ladies) a confidence boost, we still live in a world where Sun commenters respond to these plus-size women negatively, writing things like "fat dogs" and "ew this is disgusting." Though she was crowned a winner, Laura wouldn't be allowed near the Miss Universe or Miss America pageants. Self-acceptance is important, obviously. But what about acceptance in general? It seems like the "best night ever" would actually be when Laura (or someone like her) wins after competing against size 6 contestants.

Big Girls… You ARE Beautiful [The Sun]

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DISCUSSION

tippi-hedren-old
Tippi Hedren

I'm curious as to how people feel about the term "BBW." I love the literal meaning, but worry about the connotations of it.