— ♛Zeezus♛ (@Zo13y) August 6, 2017
It's 2017 and beautiful, healthy women are still being told that they aren't skinny enough to meet societal expectations. Twenty-eight-year-old Zoiey Smale from Nottinghamshire was crowned Miss UK in June and she has just given back her crown. After winning the UK round of Miss United Continents, she was preparing for her journey to compete in Ecuador for the final round of the competition. However, in a move that I naively thought was a thing of the past, she received feedback from the organisers, who told her that she needed to "lose as much weight as possible" to stand a chance. Er . . . Excuse me?
"It saddens me that even still, there are pageant directors who believe you must be skinny to be beautiful."
Not that it matters, because beauty shouldn't be defined by a size, but Smale is a size 10. Yep, you read that right: a size 10, which is already below the average size of a woman in the UK. She is fit, healthy, and a gorgeous representation of beauty in the country. "It saddens me that even still, there are pageant directors who believe you must be skinny to be beautiful," she explains. "My body has carried me through my 20+ years of being on this earth, allowed me to have a career I am very proud of, carry a child and the best thing of all, my body has never given up on me."
But, being the badass she is, she thankfully didn't take the comments to heart, and she damn well didn't take their advice. Instead, she gave back her crown and took to Facebook to share her experience in the pageant world. "I actually believed that I was so disgusting that no one would ever love me. How sad is that?" She continued by saying that she is happy to be a role model for girls and other women and that, for her, the beauty pageant world should be a place where "real queens empower others, are intelligent and help communities come together."
Smale finished by saying that she is "not here to name and shame, however I wanted to be honest with you all as to why I will not be participating in the competition." On behalf of women everywhere, thank you for proving that beauty has no size, and that although the industry has changed, it clearly still has a long way to go.