Plus Sized Pageants Challenge Beauty Norms

There She IsYesterday I bashed beauty pageants. Today I want to share a short documentary about them. There She Is is a film about plus size beauty contests. The filmmakers followed two plus size pageant queens as they prepared for and competed in a pageant. In the film (which is only 19 minutes long), the contestants, Allison Kopach and Jenny Flores, talk about their lives as plus size women – how they perceive themselves, how others perceive them, the challenges of dating, and why they wear full hair and makeup just to shop for groceries.

Even though the average dress size for American woman is a 14, it’s considered plus size in the fashion industry. It’s not easy to find clothing in that size; designers mostly ignore bigger body types and make clothes for much smaller bodies. And it’s very, very rare to catch a glimpse of any woman bigger than a size 6 in fashion magazines or in ads for women’s products. In a world where thin is considered a bigger accomplishment than an Academy award and a major magazine publishes an actresses’ weight on its cover, we need films like this. We need to be reminded that there is more to a woman than what she looks like; that there are greater accomplishments than what someone didn’t eat. We need to be reminded that behind extra pounds and curves, real people think and feel and hurt and love.

I’m still not a fan of the beauty pageant industry; I don’t support judging women based on their looks.  But I’m a fan of this film and I hope you’ll watch it. For more information on the film and the women behind it, visit

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7 comments for “Plus Sized Pageants Challenge Beauty Norms

  1. June 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Perhaps I need to do this in my spare time. ;)

  2. June 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Our pageant isn’t just a beauty pageant, our pageant promotes the full figured woman in general, we are a PLATFORM based pageant and recognize women who believe in helping their community and also have platforms, such as, Diabetes, Heart Association, Lupus, Domestic Violence, Humane Society, and many many more. We judge them on what they do with their state title, how confident they are and what they believe in….this way the beauty shows from the inside out! The beauty is the true beauty of who they are and what they doing even being a full figured woman!

  3. June 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Cheryl – you have no free time!

  4. June 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Angela, thanks for commenting. I love this: “The beauty is the true beauty of who they are and what they do.”

  5. June 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Wow, this is interesting, gonna look up this film now! :D Thanks for sharing

  6. June 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    –I shall be looking at this film later. Can’t wait! Thank you, L. X

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