Only a week ago we were lamenting the dearth of female presence at a UN Women’s event in Beijing; now comes an event that celebrates a plus size of it.
The Miss Plus Size International pageant, to be held this Saturday at a luxury hotel in downtown Beijing, isn’t a contest one would immediately associate with China, but – fuck it, it’s happening, and there’s nothing we can do about it. As 36-year-old contestant Anne Homu told Time Out, “There’s a lot of big-sized Chinese and maybe they’ll get confidence if they see us.”
The current lineup features plus-size (US size 12, UK size 16) entrants from the UK, Angola, Gabon, Egypt, India, Portugal, Rwanda, Greece, Russia, Samoa, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the US — and one from China, “Baby Tiger.” Ditching the swimsuits, the 16 contestants will compete over four rounds — Fashion Casual Wear, Fashion Trouser Wear, Evening Gown, and Talent — to win a top prize of RMB 6,000.
Although beauty contests are seen back home as hip and vital as Donald Trump’s shriveled organs, this one’s about empowerment in a non-judgmental environment and all that jazz. “Curves are in!” the organizers say: “Larger women are often rejected by other beauty pageants and this Pageant is here to change the perception of the world.”
If you have 300 kuai to hand, were only planning to spend it on cheap drinks, and would like to have your perceptions changed, what are you waiting for?
POSTSCRIPT: “Miss Plus Size Beijing is a brain child of Dr Samantha Sibanda a Zimbabwean currently based in Beijing.”