You Have The Right To Remain Fat: A Manifesto - By Virgie Tovar - Review

What a title! 6 words, so simple yet as a statement it packs such a punch, especially in this judgemental world we live in.  Author; Virgie Tovar hit the nail on the head with this book.

Virgie is an American author, activist and an expert on fat discrimination and body image. She started the hashtag #LoseHateNotWeight which is such an important message to convey. A philosophy to live by if you will.  Virgie stated; "Dieting and obsessive thinking around food and exercise create stress, and stress worsens your mental health as well as your physical, sexual, and spiritual health"  I could not agree more, Society is way too judgemental and we have allowed people to share their negative opinions each other hidden behind a veil of false concern for others health and well-being. The never-ending reminders that FAT is BAD and the constant pressure to conform to societies warped standards have become commonplace and Virgie is here to eradicate that bogus thought process and prove that there is more to life than just dieting to achieve happiness.

The whole book is laden with examples of times when Virgie has been subjected to Fatphobic behaviours.  She tells of her fears and feelings surrounding those circumstances and some of those examples hit all too close to home.  She elaborates on and highlights how detrimental the oppressive pressure of diet culture has altered women's perception of how they view themselves in today's society.  

Virgie considers Fatphobia to be a new language of classism and racism.  She's right; just think of the modern day portrayals of fat folk in films.  Just think about how characters are portrayed for a second, I'll give you an example; Princess Fiona in Shrek, why is the Fiona in her Ogre state portrayed as hideous, fat and grotesque.  Whilst ogres are commonly depicted as hideous creatures, why must they be fat?  Because that is what some people actually feel we look like.  Fat people are undesirable, unloved and not worthy of respect or happiness in life.  We are so often portrayed as clumsy and slow characters on TV or in film and more often than not we are given the funny role, the role that can only be accepted because it brings the "lol's" to the show!  If this is so easily portrayed and so easily visible is it any wonder that children growing up are brainwashed to believe exactly what they are being shown.  Children are sponges. My niece who has grown up around people of all shapes and sizes has started primary school. She came home recently after associating with her peers with new names for people and has now started to associate the word "fat" in a derogatory sense. We tried so hard to raise her to understand that the way people look does not define them and that all bodies are good bodies, but all that hard work has been scuppered by other children who have obviously not been taught the same and their pre-conditioned negative opinions of the word "fat".  Soon diet culture will overcome her tutelage and she will be conditioned to believe that fat people are unwelcome thus fuelling the divide between fat and thin.  We are under-represented as normal humans, just like people of colour, people with disabilities and trans people.

We are pre-judged at every juncture, constantly forced to reinforce our validity in society.

This book is a must read - without giving away too much, I urge you to take the time to read how Virgie articulates with impeccable wit and wisdom the struggles of being a fat woman in society, she speaks of the things that we all feel but cannot put into words.  

Well written, Virgie - I thank you for all your hard work and being the voice for us - the unsung.

Grab yourself a copy of "You Have The Right To Remain Fat: A Manifesto

This book was gifted to me to read - my opinions are my own.

Meet the Young European International Queens - a YEMI Teen London takeover

Hello and welcome to the first blog takeover on 'The World Through Kat's Eyes'. I am Mya, known to many as 'Small Child' but here in Pageant Land, I am your Young European International Teen London.

Today Marks 100 days till the 11th of November where I, along with a group of young women will strap on our Tippy Tops and strut the stage for the chance of winning one of 5 'Young European International' crowns. YEMI is in it's third year, with its finals in Dudley, Birmingham. The 5 winners will then jet off to Texas in June 2019 to compete in 'Young Miss International' with the hopes of bringing back a YMI crown.

I have had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the reigning YEMI queens, giving us the opportunity to get to know them a little bit better. As well as the queens, I also got to interview both the YEMI Director, Jeyanne and the YAMI director, Sabrina.

First up I have Mia, the first Young European International Junior Miss, who was also the first Junior Miss from the UK - at the age of 9 she brought home an international title 'Young American Miss International Supreme Congeniality'

What are you proudest of doing in your reign(s)?
I am most proud of organising the collection of lots of goodies for all the kitties at the Cat's Protection, I even had some donations all the way from Mississippi! It also got me nominated for a trailblazer award at the YAMI finals in Texas for my hard work!

The YAMI/YEMI motto is 'aspire to inspire'; who has inspired you the most in your pageant journey?
All of my big sister queens & director Jeyanne have inspired me to work hard &
give it my best shot at everything I do. They have all supported me in my charity work & given me lots of helpful tips & advice for on stage! Then in Texas meeting my director Miss Sabrina & all my sash sisters from across the US inspired me even more to keep trying hard & being the best me I can be!

What is your must have item for pageant day?
On pageant day my must have item is SNACKS! Everyone who knows me knows I like to eat all the time, so I always have a mini backpack filled with dairy free goodies to keep me going through the pageant day!

Any advice for this year's contestants?
My advice for all the YEMI girls this year is to make sure you smile, sparkle & have lots of fun! The finals goes past so quickly so just make sure you give it your best shot & enjoy every minute of it, you will make lots of new friends that way & tje judges like to see people having fun!

What was the most exciting part of competing internationally?
The most exciting part about competing at YAMI in Texas was...EVERYTHING! I got to spend a whole week with my big sister queens & Jeyanne & we went have a pedicure & I had my make up done. I made tons & tons of new friends who I now have as  penpals & of course I got to wear super sparkly outfits & go on stage.

Next up is Macie; your Teen Queen. After winning the title of 'Young European Miss Teen International' the Welsh Born brought home the International title 'Young American Miss Teen International'

What are you proudest of doing in your reign(s)?
My proudest moment during my reign as your Young European International Teen Miss was the crowns and gowns walk in aid of the Ronald McDonald house.

The YAMI/YEMI motto is 'aspire to inspire'; who has inspired you the most in your pageant journey?
The pageant motto aspire to inspire is something in which I’m am able to treasure as an ethos, it has told me to never give up and always be confident. The person who’s inspired me the most on my pageant journey is my biggest fan my Pageant Nan, (Lea-Anne) She inspires me every day and always tells me to never give up or let the crown slip because as of the day you are crowned whether you’re in your crown and sash or PJs you should always act accordingly and try your hardest to represent the system to the best of your ability.

What is your must have item for pageant day?
My must have pageant item is hairspray! I mean what can you do without it? If it weren’t for hairspray I wouldn’t have my big bouncy curls which I fall in love with each time, no matter how many times I have them.

Any advice for this year's contestants?
The best piece of advice I can give to this year’s contestants is always have fun and enjoy yourself because that will make your personality shine on and off stage and you never know who’s watching and when!

What was the most exciting part of competing internationally?
The most exciting part about competing internationally was the “all glitters gold party” this was a party which allowed us to let our hair down after the competition and dance all night! We had dance offs, raffles and extra crowing moments! Everyone had a ball and it was the most perfect party to end the most amazing competition of the year! It makes me super excited for next year!
Next is Miss Atlanta McBride. She competed in YEMI two years in a row, bagging the 2016 Beauty before representing West Yorkshire and becoming your 'Young European Miss International'. The hard work seemed to pay off for Atlanta and her sass on stage also saw her bring home the 'Young American Miss International' title.

What are you proudest of doing in your reign(s)?
Coming from the North of England, I live in a very rural environment in the Yorkshire dales. Yorkshire is well known for its friendly and tight knit community with everybody knowing everyone! I owe my community so much that I can’t quite put it into words, without their support from sponsoring me, to allowing me to hold various charity events my pageant journey would lack some of the best experiences I’ve had. Being awarded the charity gala queen for my community involvement is one of my most prized moments to date. I am so pleased the pageant motto is “aspire to inspire” and that we are judged on our giving and commitment over our exterior beauty. Inner beauty to me has always been the most important aspect of competing and I am glad I found this system as many lacks the ambition to achieve more and get everyone out there and make memories that will last a life time. Community work will always be important to me, so being award my home towns Gala Queen for my hard work in the community whilst being YEMI West Yorkshire, is my proudest moment. Here’s to more memories with my Young American Miss International title.

The YAMI/YEMI motto is 'aspire to inspire'; who has inspired you the most in your pageant journey?
I often get asked who my biggest role model is and why. In pageants it’s often the norm to have that one queen or performer who inspired you to get up on stage and show the world what you’ve got, but I am quite the opposite. In my first ever pageant interview I was asked, “who is your biggest role model, and why?” I believe people are role models for a reason. They’re unique. The main reason any one is a role model is because of what they’ve achieved through multiple platforms. If everyone strived to be that person we would never be a role model ourselves just a mere mirage of someone else footsteps we follow in. To truly be a role model you must break the boundaries and become someone people notice.  The meaning of a role model is, ‘a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated’. I do not aim to imitate, I aim to become a role model, a leader and to set an example not to be a follower of someone who took the courage to go out there and become something. I strive to be a role model by being totally unique and following my own ideas and concepts not only whilst being a title holder but in my everyday life. I have a full-time job whilst being in education and buying my first house and mixing in my pageant life. I give up my time and weekends for others and to be a better me rather than focusing in the chaos of my life, I focus on how lucky I am to have my life compared to those who have nothing and how I can make help. It is important to me to be someone who makes a difference that people can take example from as I pride myself on my community and work ethic. YEMI/YAMI’s ethos is the main reason I joined the system, as it is a platform for me to flourish and showcase my skills to the younger generation and to set an example for people to look up to and say, she Is my role model!

What is your must have item for pageant day?
My must have item would have to be my phone! Even though I love living in the moment I have watched the Young American International Miss pageants live stream every day since I came home! I am enjoying seeing my strengths and weaknesses - a must have for learning in pageants!  When I was in Texas I got to know so many wonderful people who I wanted to have on my social media straight away to connect with and share memories! I took so many photos that my storage warning was permanently on my screen and it was too hard to delete anything, as I loved the moments I had captured. Although having my phone on me is a must have at the best moments, it is always a must have at the harder times, to speak to family members when the self-doubt kicks in before going on stage, or to speak to people about how the pageant is going, I love connecting with people so my phone is my must have for the fun, the best and the difficult times.

Any advice for this year's contestants?
My advice to this year’s contestants is that being a title holder is BIG responsibility as well as their own representation of themselves. Having a title and a platform puts you in a place of power and in the public eye, so the way in which you represent yourself and your system is a huge responsibility. Having a title is a full-time role, the way in which you conduct yourself can affect you and those around you. Setting an example for years to come is something all title holders should do. You should aim to make a positive change or act/movement that will be remembered for years to come that inspired people, after all we all have our own personal favourite title holder that have achieved and inspired us to do more. Being committed to a title is a responsibility that must be up kept with professionalism; the way in which you interact with people offline and online is also very important as well, you must stay true to yourself but stand back from the negativity that comes forward on social media, see your online profile as your personal CV. When thinking of your title as a job you change the way in which you present yourself and your mannerisms which is vital when doing your system justice. I believe that when being a title holder you hold the responsibility of aspiring people that they can be anything and do anything they want to be and do. I would aim to break stereotypes that women and young adults have placed on them. Being a title holder means you are also a motivator and role model, something I hope all our constants aim to do and conduct themselves on.

What was the most exciting part of competing internationally?
Having competed internationally in China and America before I already knew the feeling of pressure and overwhelming excitement when competing Internationally. This was my first time visiting Texas and what better place to go other than the capital, Houston. Outside of the competition days were fun filled action packed hours spent with my sister queens, or as I like to refer to us, “The Dream Team”. Not only because are they the BEST group of pageant girls I have ever had the company of being with, but because we were all there with the same goals the same aspirations and the same dream and we worked as a team from the get go! I think our favourite YEMI crowning moment was my sister queen, Hannah fixings Dawn’s crowning making sure they were straight for the photos and make sure our memories were caught without any flaws. I shared a connecting room with the funniest and out going people we all showed compassion shared secrets and it had a “slumber party effect” on our mood, the laughter never stopped, even now we still talk every day and reminisce. My favourite part of competing internationally was the bonds I have made and the most exciting is knowing in just 4 months’ time I can see them all again and pick up where we left off with all the girls and our new queens, knowing I can crown the next girl gives me such a sense of joy and pride, I’ve worked my title to the bets of my ability and I can’t wait to be the one to give another girl this feeling.

The next fabulous queen is Hannah Golding. Hannah won The title of 'Young European Ms International' in her 2nd year of competing, she also did this while pregnant with her beautiful daughter; Penelope - who within her first month of being born won Baby Miss International. Hannah Competed in YAMI this June, taking 2nd Runner Up to the title.

What are you proudest of doing in your reign(s)?
I have many moments that I am proud of during my reign, of course winning the pageant whilst I was 5 months pregnant and then going to America 8 weeks after having a traumatic birth to compete internationally is always going to be a high point in my pageantry reign. Bringing Penelope into the world was an amazing achievement and she gets to share the journey with me, from being my bump whilst I helped a massive nationwide collection for the homeless, travelling to various events throughout my reign but most recently being able to become a baby patron of my Patron charity, The Beni Bear Club who finally have their charity number!

The YAMI/YEMI motto is 'aspire to inspire'; who has inspired you the most in your pageant journey?
I love the motto Aspire to Inspire because it is very fitting to a lot of people's pageant journeys. Through running my own pageant page of Sparkles and Rhinestones, I have heard so many inspiring stories from across the UK and it has really inspired me to be the best I can be. I don't have a rolemodel as I believe that my fellow pageant sisters insire me, give me strength and make me so proud of everything they have achieved! YAMI and YEMI are a sisterhood, we all inspire each other and I am going to be so sad when I have to hand over my crown!!

What is your must have item for pageant day?
A lot of people will have make up or hair things but my most have item is food!! Pageant days can be so stressful and it's filled with lots of rehearsals, interviews, getting your hair and makeup done, and people forget to eat!! This means later on stage you could feel faint and you won't enjoy it as much. I always make sure I have breakfast and have  plenty of fluids, sweets if I have literally no time and need a sugar rush but I am the pageant girl that always brings snacks!!

Any advice for this year's contestants?
My advice would be to enjoy every single moment with that blue sash before the
finals, don't second guess yourself or compare yourself to others because you are doing simply amazing being you. You don't need to spend hundreds on
outfits, my winning red, white and blue wear for both national and
international cost me under £30! Also, if you end up not placing or winning,
try again the next year! Both Atlanta and I won on our second attempt at YEMI and Atlanta won the overall YAMI title! 

What was the most exciting part of competing internationally?
Competing internationally has always been my dream, and it's another world! The best part overall (apart from the food and everywhere having DR Pepper on tap!) was to be sharing the experience with my sister queens, we had adjoining rooms so in the morning could just open the middle door and see each other! It was great to bond and it  was like having a girls holiday. Texas is beautiful, I would go again in a

Now we have the beautiful Dawn, who was the first Young European Mrs International, She is a seasoned pageant queen and took home the 1st Runner Up tittle in America.

What are you proudest of doing in your reign(s)?
I'm proud of how far I've come and what I've achieved in such a short space of time. The fact that what I've done inspires women to be themselves and gives them confidence and encourages them to go for their dreams.

The YAMI/YEMI motto is 'aspire to inspire'; who has inspired you the most in your pageant journey?
The motto 'Aspire to Inspire' was what really spoke out to me. It's what I've always done and aimed to do and use my platform for. I entered beauty pageants much later in life than other beauty queens and I have a lot of people constantly messaging me saying what an Inspiration I am to them and how they want to be like me and follow a journey of their own. I'm happy to give advice etc to them when they ask, but feel privileged to be thought of in this way as I literally do live by the motto and always aspire to do more and inspire others to as well.

What is your must have item for pageant day?
I have two 'must have' items for a pageant day. The first is my Younique Epic mascara! I never leave home without it! I'm a Younique presenter and constantly flashing it around to my friends - but I love how it makes my eyes look big and sparkly. My other must have in between rounds is my (sssshhh don't tell anyone)
flip flops! Yes that's right - even beauty queens need comfy footwear after
strutting around in heels!

Any advice for this year's contestants?
My advice to this year’s contestants is to be yourself and to enjoy every single minute! Seriously - it's nice to have something or someone to aspire to, but you need to show the real you at all times. Otherwise you're cheating yourself out of an amazing experience. Yes have a role model to look up to but let your personality shine through and the judges will see that. YEMI is all about real person within and what they do to inspire others. It's an uplifting pageant system and creates
many friends and happy memories.

What was the most exciting part of competing internationally?
The most exciting thing about competing internationally is just being there and being part of it all, as well as meeting your International sister queen finalists. We've all been in touch before the finals but it was so lovely to meet them and spend time with them too. Everyone was made to feel so welcome and it was the best pageant experience ever. It was also exciting to think that I'd won and been given the chance to compete on the American stage. So for me, it was about realizing my dream had come true. It’s a fabulous opportunity that I will cherish forever and will never forget.

The final Queen is the gorgeous Sara Zakaria (who's name is so much fun to say, but hey I'm a simple girl!) Sara won the title of Young European Ms International in 2016, she was then awarded the 'Queen Of Queens' title, giving her the opportunity to fly back out to America, and compete again. Sara brought home the title of 'Young American Miss International Supreme Beauty'

What are you proudest of doing in your reign(s)?
During my reign I am very greatful to have been involved with many charities and to help fundraise and raise awareness for so many causes. I have also been involved with some projects/ events that I am proud to say that I arranged myself. I have recently started a new job and arranged for us all to have a ‘dress down Friday’ where we all pay £1 and then we can come to work in casual clothing on the Friday. I am really glad that I could bring my fundraising and community work skills into the work place and now make a difference for our chosen charity every week. I have also been working on a project to knit blankets for babies in my local NICU and getting others involved with this also. I really wanted to do this as it is the unit that looked after me when I was a premature baby

The YAMI/YEMI motto is 'aspire to inspire'; who has inspired you the most in your pageant journey?
Well Jeyanne is going to think this is really funny and a little cringe but she is the person that has inspired me the most in my pageant journey! Having seen Jeyanne’s pageant journey and all that she has been involved with and achieved she’s definitely inspired me the most in my own pageant journey! I remember seeing the photo on facebook when she won the Supreme Beauty title in the USA and thinking I want to be like her! It makes me so happy to think that I went on to win the Supreme Beauty title at Y.A.M.I just a few years later!

What is your must have item for pageant day?
For pageant day I don’t have a must have item as such however I must have spares of each outfit for stage! This can seem a bit extreme and does mean that I will always have a lot of luggage but I guess it’s always good to be well prepared!

Any advice for this year's contestants?
In order for me to feel prepared I will always make a list of everything I need for pageant weekend! I believe that Preparation is key and by doing so means that I can relax and be myself without worrying I’ve forgotten anything! I would also say to all contestants to have fun and enjoy the experience! YEMI is such a brilliant pageant system to be involved with and I know that we have a brilliant weekend planned for the finals in November!

What was the most exciting part of competing internationally?
I absolutely loved competing internationally and the whole week in the USA was great! It was really nice to spend time with my sister queens and directors and everyone was being so supportive of each other. I think the most exciting part of competing internationally was being in the ballroom waiting to compete and cheering everyone else on!

What has being crowned ‘Queen of Queens’ meant to you?
Being crowned Young European International Queen of Queens was such an honour! It has meant that I have been able to continue within the YEMI system and to keep working with charities and causes whilst spreading the ethos of ‘aspire to inspire.’ As queen of queens one of my goals is to help my sister queens as much as possible by promoting the work they do with their charities and I have really enjoyed being involved with and learning about so many different causes. Being crowned Queen of Queens also meant that I had the opportunity to go back to compete at Y.A.M.I which was brilliant and where I won the Young American Miss International Supreme Beauty title!

Jeyanne is the Director of YEMI, she has successfully brought the amazing pageant into its third year. She was also a previous pageant competitor herself before becoming a Director.

What does ‘Aspire to Inspire’ mean for you as a director?

For me personally aspire to inspire is being the best possible role model
not only for my queens but contestants too. I like to think the advice I give
is the advice I also live by and when I do things or act a certain way I
remember that there are a lot of younger girls following me and so I want to be
able to point them in the right direction and hopefully aspire them to make
good decisions.

What made you switch from pageant girl to director?
It felt like a natural transition for me. I’d competed internationally a
few times. There were no Pageants in the UK I felt I fitted into but I knew I
didn’t want to be completely out of pageantry. I have always had a knack for
running events. My mum says it’s because I’m so bossy 🙄

What are you looking for in your next queens? 
I have a thing where I always say that my next queens don’t have to follow
in the footsteps of their predecessor because they’re their own person with
their own journey and own path to take. I just want someone who builds a strong
platform, Represents me and my system well, stays true to herself and above all
aspires to inspire.

Who is your pageant Idol/Inspiration? 
I have a lot not just one. I like to take lots of different qualities from
different people and use that to inspire me. Especially ex queens who then use
their platform to really make something of their lives like Priyanka Chopra. In
everyday life Nicole Harris is one of my closest friends and also a very
inspirational queen and person. She works so hard and will literally help anyone
she can. She’s just amazing

What's your biggest tip for the contestants?
Sounds cliché but be yourself and enjoy every second of it because it goes by so so quickly and you don’t want to miss it. So when I was given the opportunity to run an amazing system with the best international director by my side I knew I couldn’t say no. I wanted to give girls the same experiences I’d had in pageantry if not better. I wanted to give a pageant that helped girls with their confidence. That felt like family and home to everyone. I wanted YEMI to be known for being open to everyone no matter your history and to really be the true essence of pageantry which to me is friendship, charity, kindness and truly inspirational queens.

Young American Miss International is ran by acclaimed pageant contestant, coach and director Sabrina Hubbard. In 2019 the Internationals will be renamed to Young International Miss. The YAMI Franchise has been run by Sabrina since 2016 with the motto of ‘Aspire to Inspire’.

What does Aspire to Inspire mean for you as a director?
“Aspire to Inspire” for me as the owner and director of YAMI means having integrity, being there for my contestants, queens, and community any time. It means inspiring those that come in contact with me and YAMI to want to wake up each day and do something meaningful for the community and themselves. For me being able to inspire those around me is such a blessing. I want everyone that comes to YAMI to walk away having an amazing time, knowing that they count, and that they will always have a place with the family.

What are you looking for in a YAMI queen?
There is actually several things I look for but I like to see that person as an overall whole. To me naming those things would just be pin points for someone to master. I want to see the overall you. The queen that aspires to inspire daily, for that person that puts forth the extra effort in all they do. Having a YAMI title holds great weight for me not just in America but Internationally as well. There are kids and adults all over the world that see our system and recognize our queens. For them to be able to be in position as queen is pretty amazing to me because of the impact they could possibly have on the world.

What do you think about the 2018 YEMI contestants?
I don’t know too much about them honestly just from what I see online. Normally, I don’t see that much before the pageant but this year I am impressed that I have seen much much more from them. YEMI is a force to be reckoned with. They brought it this year so it’s for sure a tall order to fill. I have the utmost respect for Jeyanne and for YEMI and I know many more amazing things are to come

 What’s your best tip for the pageant girls?

Everyone always says be yourself, make a memory, or have fun as a tip and to me that should be a given. Let’s face it everyone is there for the crown but being apart of the YAMI and YEMI family is just that, you are family no matter what. If I could give one single tip that would be be hard so here is a few:

-Take the stage as your own personal runway. Rock it like you are at home, or how you did as a little girl pretending you’re a super model. Show your sass and you will shine on stage. 
-Always listen to your directors 😉
-Ask questions
-Go out of your way to introduce yourself to fellow contestants, Queens, and directors. It makes you memorable and that’s something that is great to be.

A massive Thank you goes out to the Queens and directors for taking the time out to answer my questions and another massive thank you goes out to my Mumma for giving me this opportunity and letting me see my visions through.

Remember, chin up, smile and Aspire to Inspire,
Your Young European International Teen London
Mya Henry

Miss British Beauty Curve - The 2018 countdown is ON!

On Saturday 4th August 2018 a tribe of strong, powerful and tenacious women will once again take to the stage of The Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone to compete for the three coveted titles in the 7th year of the UK's leading plus size pageant; Miss British Beauty Curve.

I checked in with some of the new 2018 contestants to see what their experiences have been like so far;

Lorna - Mrs Derbyshire Curve 2018

MBBC has been the most amazing, rewarding experience for me! I’ve met some amazing women, had the opportunity to do the most wonderful charity work and above all, I’ve grown in my self confidence. MBBC is so much more than a pageant, it’s a group of strong women empowering each other and influencing others and I’m so proud to be a part of that.

Leanne - Miss Warwickshire Curve 2018

MBBC is not just the name of a pageant it's the name of a community of beautiful, supportive women. The empowerment I feel is incredible and being able to showcase my self worth, love and beauty as a plus size is extremely rewarding. When you hear the term 'life-changer' I think of MBBC!

Marisa - Ms Merseyside Curve 2018

I'm so glad I entered the pageant not only because I get to mix with like minded women who champion body positivity but because of the opportunities within my local community this has given me. I've met some phenomenal people and when I share my journey and details of our pageant the support people give to what we are doing is brilliant! That's because were entering into a pageant of inclusion and celebrating curves. I'm so proud I was given the opportunity to represent Merseyside and share the amazing work our pageant sisters are doing across the UK.

Rachel - Ms Essex Curve 2018

This is the picture of my pageant journey I’ve met so many lovely ladies on my journey but to be able to bring my best friend along for the ride whilst also raising awareness for the Fab Campaign was everything! I’ve pushed myself further than I have ever gone before but without the help from yourself and the lovely queens I couldn’t have got this far x

Sunita - Ms Basildon Essex Curve 2018

I love how supportive all the girls are of each other considering I’m 43 and nearly double some of their ages. It's given me lots of confidence and I’m proud to be a part of this system. To any ladies thinking about applying... go for it!

Cathy - Ms Liverpool Curve 2018

I literally have spent years yo-yo dieting, joining slimming clubs, buying meal replacement bars and attempting every single fad diet under the sun! It’s only really been in the last year or two that I’ve thought “sod it!” I’ve got two beautiful sons and I don’t want any of my insecurities or body worries projected onto them. I’m a good mum, so what if my arms are a little bit chubby... all the better for cuddling my boys! I’m also a good teacher... even if my bingo wings jiggle as I wipe the board! And I’m a good friend... even if my belly does hang over my jeans every now and again!! I’m not going to let my weight define me and when I heard about Miss British Beauty Curve something inside me just clicked and I thought “yes! That’s how I’m gonna celebrate my new found confidence!” And so far the experience has been amazing, nerve wracking and stressful at times, but overall amazing and I would suggest it to any woman out there!! At this stage it’s not even about winning anymore, it’s about the pageant family I’m now a part of! I have never met a group of more supportive and loving women and I’m absolutely over the moon to call them all my pageant sisters!

It's awesome to have new ladies enter the family and it's lovely to hear their experiences so far - I cannot wait to see what they all bring to the stage!

Year on year, we have ladies who re-compete. I want to know what drives them to come back;

Charlotte - Ms Gloucestershire Curve 2018

The opportunity to be part of something wonderful. To strive to improve myself. It's taught me to accept that I am enough - just as I am. My experience of MBBC is one of camaraderie. A sisterhood. A family. Women working towards a shared goal of raising body positivity, serving charities and genuinely caring for one another. I think we're pretty awesome, really! ~ @charlottephillips_msglos

Charlotte is extremely modest in her words, she has been crowned our Ms Congeniality for 3 consecutive years by her peers which in itself speaks volumes about her character and dedication to the system.  In addition to that fantastic accolade, last year she was crowned first runner up in our Ms category.  Charlotte is a true MBBC Royal Family Member and a fantastic ambassador for plus size ladies who are not afraid to fly their flag of utter uniqueness.

Another member of the MBBC Royal Family is Demi-Louise.  Demi has also competed for the last two years.  Demi placed within the top 5 in her first year of competing and last year was crowned our first runner up in the Miss category. Demi has been a great role model and mentor to some of this year's contestants and it's lovely to hear that she plans to return in the future - here's what Demi had to say (short paragraphs are not her forte!)

Demi-Louise - Miss British Beauty Curve 1st Runner Up 2017

Hi, I’m Demi and I am Miss British Beauty Curve 1st Runner Up 2017. I’ve been with MBBC for 3 years now, unfortunately I won’t be competing again this year my time had come to take a year out BUT hopefully I’ll be back next year. Miss British Beauty Curve has genuinely changed my life. I have made friendships that I will genuinely treasure for the rest of my life you will never meet a girl like a “Curve” girl. For me MBBC is family, these girls have pulled me through some of the hardest times of my life and I am forever grateful for Sam, Leah and everyone behind the scenes for giving me to opportunity to be part of such an incredible system AND family. I return year after year because when you compete with MBBC you experience something that is like no other. The empowerment, the growth and the acceptance is just incredible and it’s something that brings me back every year.

Kat asked for this to be short but I like to go on a little and I just want to say to every woman taking to that stage next month YOU ARE INCREDIBLE DO NOT FORGET IT! Good luck to every single one of you I can’t wait to be there with you watching and supporting you all.

If you don’t place or don’t take home a crown don’t be disheartened. A loss is never a loss with MBBC and you take home so much more than a crown. I cannot wait to see who your Miss/Mrs/Ms British Beauty Curve 2018 is. Love you all

Stef is a real MBBC Veteran after competing three years consecutively.  I have seen Stef's confidence soar over the three years, watching her fly is so amazing. Here's what Stef had to say;

Stef - Ms Derbyshire Curve 2018

MBBC changed my life. sounds cheesy I know, but it did. I was in a very bad place mentally before this pageant, I still have dark days but I know there's hundreds of amazing strong women who've got my back. Even though at the end of it all its a competition I've never experienced anything like the love and support in MBBC I'm now on my 3rd time and I'm so glad I took that plunge, this year will be amazing and I can't wait for pageant day.

Another MBBC Royal Family member up next - Amy has competed for the last two years and last year was crowned the second runner up in the Mrs category. Amy stepped out of her comfort zone this year and ran a fantastic event; East Curve which was a fabulous day, I am so proud of her and love watching her confidence grow.

Amy - Mrs Norfolk Curve 2018

Miss British Beauty Curve has been a very unique experience for me. I have met friends for life and I am growing in confidence all the time. I first took part in 2016 and since then MBBC has changed my life!

Next up I spoke to another MBBC Royal Family Member - Nickey. After competing for the last two years Nickey was crowned second runner up in our Miss category last year. I remember meeting a very shy young Miss Surrey Curve back in 2015 in the lead up to her competing in the 2016 finals and they girl I met is simply not the same girl I see before me now. Nickey has not only learnt to be more confident in herself but she is also a role model for other women struggling with loving their bodies. Here's what Nickey had to say;

Nickey - Miss Surrey Curve 2018

My pageant experiences through MBBC have been phenomenal. The confidence I have gained through stepping out on that stage is amazing. I was a girl who could not look at myself in the mirror and constantly yo-yo dieted. Now, I am a sassy confident lady who loves her larger figure and it’s all down to this pageant system. I have made friends for life which I know I can count on, and even when I retire from pageantry, I know those girls will be there for me. I have so much to thank MBBC for, they’ve given me a spring in my step and a light in my life. It’s more than just a crown.

Hollie competed for the first time last year as one of our youngest contestants. She has thrown her heart and soul into her appearances and outfits this year - I'm excited to see what she brings to the stage.

Hollie - Miss Hampshire Curve 2018

To be involved in such an amazing system has changed my life. I’ve had more opportunity’s given than I can think of and my confidence has grown more than I ever could of wished. You don’t compete against each other, you compete alongside one another and I’m grateful to be apart of such a big family.

Emily also joined us last year and bagged the award of Best Application. We are so glad to have her back again to storm the stage with her amazing strut!

Emily - Miss Essex Curve 2018

Miss British Beauty Curve has provided me with so many amazing experiences so far and I am so grateful. More importantly, it has given me an opportunity to spread the message of acceptance and loving everyone. I have had conversations with people that I wouldn’t normally have, and whilst some may not always agree with me, they have listened to my points. Only positive things can come from the pageant and I am so happy to be part of it.

Daniella also competed last year and ever since has gone from strength to strength.  Her confidence has grown tenfold and she continues to strive for positive change surrounding a very important cause.  Daniella took on her own radio show and also founded #ThePinkPurseProject - I am exceedingly proud of her efforts and to see such a strong woman emerge from someone who was not so confident.

Daniella - Miss North Essex Curve 2018

MBBC helped my rediscover myself when I found myself on a path I didn't recognise. I owe my confidence and new found love of life to the pageant and all those who participate in it. Without my girls, my family, I'd still be on an entwining dark journey without direction or cause. For That, I am eternally grateful.

The last few ladies I spoke to are no strangers to success. All these ladies have competed in Miss British Beauty Curve in the past and have since gone on to win awards, crowns and titles, here's what they had to say about their experiences of MBBC;

Laura is no stranger to pageants. Alongside competing in MBBC in 2014 where she made the top 5, She also competed in Miss Plus Size UK, She placed first runner up in Model XL in 2015, second runner up in Miss Voluptuous UK 2017 and then went on to be crowned Ms/Mrs Diamond SE 2017.

Laura Gentles

Here is what Laura had to say about her experience;

I competed in MBBC in 2014 and loved it! From the genuine love between us contestants to how cool and approachable the directors are. Everything was amazing. Everyone helped each other backstage, I even fake tanned the winner of MBBC 2014, Emily Blake! It was genuinely an emotional experience, and I was honoured to place top 5 with the ladies on the stage that evening. I'd compete again because it's a genuinely lovely pageant and so much fun! The experience brings so many friends and so much personal growth.

Sian also competed in Miss Plus Size UK in 2013, she won Model XL in 2015 and then went on to compete in MBBC. I'll let her tell you the rest :)

Sian Yapp - Miss North London Curve 2018

I took part in MBBC in 2016. I have had a very positive experience, I placed within the Top 10 and won Miss Top Model.  Although I did not win, I took away from the experience so many happy memories and wonderful friends.  I chose to return to MBBC this year to compete and represent myself to my fullest and to have fun!   There is something quite magical being on the stage with a group of women who support each other and come together to show society that you do not have to be the standard that is imposed on us, to Love who you are and be happy.

Alyx returns year on year to compete and has been one of our longest standing veterans. She has quite an inspiring story which I am so proud of her for sharing. She has also been recently crowned Mrs Curves 2018 at The Miss Curves Beauty Vitual Pageant.

Here's her story;

Alyx Denman - Mrs Curves 2018

My story of MBBC starts from my horrible ex husband saying that I wasn't good enough to compete in Miss England (this was before we were married) it really upset me and so for the rest of my marriage I didn't try again. Fast forward to when I first gained weight due to medication and severe mental and physical health problems, I was feeling really bad about myself, I hated my body and stopped going swimming as I didn't want people to see me or my body, my fiance at the time now my husband of 5 years and together for nearly 10 said my curves were beautiful and that he loved them which really helped me. I decided that I wanted to do a pageant but I was nervous about my size so I scouted the internet and came across MBBC, a plus size pageant, on a whim at two in the morning I applied and got in. On the day I was so scared, I was completely by myself and didn't know anyone but I was brave and made some friends, getting up on stage for the first time being the size I was was terrifying, I was in ore of the other girls they were all stunning, I hadn't worn heels since I came out of my wheelchair and I'm still learning how to walk in them again as I have weak legs. The swimwear round meant the most to me as I hadn't worn a swimsuit in years, so I watched the other girls in their swimwear and everyone was cheering them, when it was my turn I got the same reaction from the audience, they cheered me, it felt amazing it really did. MBBC has changed my life and made me who I am today and gave me the confidence to be happy in my own skin, I keep going back because this system is very close to my heart and literally saved my life, I have got more and more confident each year and I just love It, my experience has been amazing and I've made life long friends, I can't thank MBBC enough for what they have done for me. This is my favourite photo from my first swimwear round as that's the moment my life changed.

Last but by no means least we have yet another true veteran from MBBC - Dawn Lowe. Dawn has won many titles and awards with a list of accolades as long as my arm I could write a whole post on her achievements alone. Her most recent titles are; Ms Catwalk Perfect 2016/17 and she is the reigning Young European International Mrs 2017/18 where she competed internationally in YAMI and placed first runner up and to think that her pageant journey all started with MBBC.

Dawn Lowe - Young European International Mrs 2017/18

Miss British Beauty Curve was my very first pageant that my friend told me to enter and I am so glad I did. The run up to the finals was such fun, making appearances in my finalist sash and meeting other finalists and queens from other systems. On the day, I was nervous as I didn't know what to expect, having never competed in a pageant before but I found it to be the most rewarding experience. I'd made up my mind to just enjoy it and see what happened. I decided to just be me. I loved meeting the other girls and I'm still friends with them today. My journey in the pageant industry has been a very positive one. I've always been a positive person and wanted to be the voice and a positive role model for the curvier lady. There's a lot of pressure out there to conform to and be a certain way or have a certain look, which I don't agree with. I think you should always strive to be the best version of you! Always be true to yourself. Find your own inner happiness and love the person you are and That's what will shine through on stage. My advice to anyone competing in pageants for the first time would be to research the ethics and mottos of the pageant and what it stands for and represents and to enjoy every moment. Whether you win or not is irrelevant, you've been part of an amazing experience with like minded women from all walks of life and will come away with a sense of achievement. I won Ms Congeniality and Ms Best Publicity and learnt so much from my fellow finalists. I'm always happy to help others in their journeys and so proud of their achievements. MBBC was a fabulous day that I'll always cherish.

Thank you ever so much to all of you for sharing your experiences with me. I truly hope that your words inspire other like-minded women to dive in and experience the taste of what MBBC has to offer.

If you are interested in signing up for 2019 - head on over to

OR you could come and watch the finals in just over 3 weeks time - grab your tickets HERE