THESE plus-size women say they have had enough of being bullied and body shamed.
On Saturday, they celebrated their bigger bodies at the Ms Curvybody SA pageant in Rivonia, Joburg.
The event was attended by American plus-size supermodel Tricia Campbell, who shared words of encouragement with the finalists.
She said she was sad to learn Mzansi plus-size women were put down when African women were known to be curvy.
Tricia said as a little girl, she was teased and criticised about her weight. At 13, she went on a crash diet and became ill as she wanted to enter a beauty pageant.
“But I’ve learnt to accept and love my body. I was inspired by my mother who rocked high heels in her curvy body,” she said.
She said she contacted Ms Curvybody SA to participate in the pageant when she saw it on Instagram.
“It’s time for curvy women to be celebrated and appreciated. If you walk into many shops, plus-size clothes are hidden at the back and most window displays have smaller sizes,” she said.
Tricia, who has worked with Oprah Winfrey on a number of projects, said she had started a swimwear range for plus-size women.
Pageant marketing director, Naniwe Maqetuka, said: “Our finalists are expected to go to the public and make our voice heard.”
Organiser, Mapule Mphaki, said they were not promoting obesity but a healthy lifestyle.
Finalist Nomalungelo Ndimande (26), said: “It’s been an interesting journey and I am happy to have been part of it.”