A contest aimed at celebrating the beauty and intelligence of ‘plus size’ Nigerian women and also showcase their uniqueness to a global audience began formally in Nigeria on Thursday.

The organisers say the contest which is going on simultaneously in about 16 countries, including the U.S., Ukraine, Trinidad and Tobago, is aimed at addressing some of the societal biases faced by plus-size women and also exhibit their innate and outward beauty.

At a press conference held in Abuja, on Thursday, the national director of Miss Plus Size Nigeria, a franschise, Chris Iyke, said the contest has started with registrations ongoing across the nation but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the major activities would commence in September.

Mr Iyke said the Miss Plus Size Universe (Nigeria) will showcase boldness, style, creativity and cultural diversity.

“These plus size women are totally neglected most times. This beauty pageant is a new concept aimed at showcasing, promoting and celebrating big, bold and beautiful women,” he said.

“A beautiful woman is that healthy, big and bold woman who is not shy to express herself due to the fear of extra weight,” he said. “Women must naturally increase in size after the rigours of childbirth and breastfeeding. The contest seeks to celebrate these features of womanhood and help them regain their confidence from ‘body shaming’.”

He said the contest is open to all decent, intelligent plus size women, who are above 18 and possess relevant educational background, whom he added could register via www.missplussizeuniverse.com. “We don’t promote tattoos and indecent behaviour.”

He said at the end of the contest across the 36 Nigerian states and the FCT, a winner would emerge who would represent the nation and then proceed to St Vincent and Grenadines to contest at the Miss Plus Size International Contest after the COVID-19 pandemic has eased.

A grand prize of $10, 000 and modelling contract awaits the final global winner he said, adding that consolation prizes including modelling contracts also await runners-up at the event.

Meanwhile, the deputy national media director, Alvin Ahmed (Mic Master), said the contest would be transparent and entertaining and would ultimately promote the unique African culture to the global community.

Miss Plus Size is a unique pageant,” he said. “Uniqueness is in the originality of this episode where African culture will be projected.”

“Previously, attention had only been given to slim ones. But we are giving that platform to the ‘robust in size’ persons to showcase veauty and brains. There is pride in who you are,” he added.

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