(Credit: Zoiey Worlds/Facebook)
28-year-old beauty queen Zoiey Smale, who was set to compete for an international title next month, has decided to instead hand back her crown in an effort to share an important message.
Smale, who won Miss United Kingdom in June, was gearing up to head to Ecuador for the final round of another title competition when the UK size 10 (US size 6) pageant contestant was told that she needed to lose weight. In a recent interview with Daily Mail, Smale shared that this advice was passed down from the director of the international program. 'She said to me "They want you to go on a diet plan and they want you to lose as much weight as possible for the finals." I was like, "pardon?"
Instead of succumbing to the pressure, Smale decided to take a stand and remove herself from the pageant altogether. She also decided to share her experience with the public on Facebook. “After being asked to lose weight and go on a diet plan for an international competition, I have withdrawn. Some of you may think this is cowardly, however I don't think it is the right to have my face representing a pageant ethos I do not believe in. I will be handing back my crown and wish the new title holder the very best of luck,” she wrote in a note that she posted publicly.
Smale shared that she has had amazing experiences throughout her pageant career, but is disheartened by the body shaming that comes from some of the pageant directors. “It saddens me that even still, there are pageant directors who believe you must be skinny to be beautiful.” She continues on, “I don't believe anyone should be able to manipulate you and dull your sparkle.”
Smale let the pageant directors know that if they do not wish to include her in the pageant because of her size it is their loss. To conclude her note, Smale expresses her gratitude to everyone who has supported her throughout her pageant career, and signs off with a message of self-love. “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,” she wrote.
Her post has since gained tons of positive feedback online, and Smale continues to spread her message on body positivity to the public.
Body shaming is a major issue, especially in the world of pageantry. We’re hopeful that Smale’s powerful message will continue to push this discussion even further, and open the doors to a more welcoming environment for all shapes and sizes.
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