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Confident role model

Ralph Boyce (right) and MESA colleagues lend support to St. Leonard’s Boys.

On October 21, five women will vie for this year’s title of Miss Big & Beautiful.

Director Tonia Husbands said the contestants are progressing well with practice sessions being held to perfect the routines they have learnt, twice a week.

“Talent is also being performed with a variety, from sign language to dance. Tickets will be released soon to the public. Patrons should expect an exciting show filled with loads of entertainment and surprises,” she told Barbados TODAY.

Started in March 9, 2003, the pageant caters for the full figured woman in Barbados and showcases their talent, beauty and creativity as well as helps build their self esteem and confidence.

Over the years, the pageant has grown in popularity and although it is plagued by critics, remains one of the most anticipated pageants to date.

This pageant is the brainchild of Husbands, who noted that the initial response was overwhelming, with the first pageant being sold out two weeks before the event. Back then 11 contestants competed for the crown.

Today we bring the first profile of one of the contestants.

Name: Mecheale Reid

Why did you enter the Miss Big & Beautiful pageant?

I entered the Miss Big & Beautiful pageant to show other plus sized girls that they can be comfortable and confident in the clothes they wear and in the way they carry themselves and that they should believe in their hearts that they are big and beautiful, every single day.

List three words that best describe who you are:

Fun-loving, determined and memorable.

What words of advice would you give persons who would like to enter this competition but who may be shy?

The experience is a good one, a little difficult at times as with anything else in life. It is a life-changing experience and it will teach you many things you did not know. At the end of it all you will not be shy anymore.

What would you say you have learnt from being in this competition?

I have learnt to be confident in whatever I do and that life is full of opportunities but at the end of the day if you do not take that first step, you will get nowhere.

Do you believe the Miss Big & Beautiful pageant encourages obesity and unhealthy living?

No I do not. Not all plus-sized females are obese or live unhealthy lives. Yes, they might be carrying a few extra pounds but it mostly has to do with genetics or body structure.

What should the public expect from you on October 21?

On October 21 I will display a mixture of elegance, poise, intelligence and of course, I will be fierce!!!!!

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years I see myself pursuing a career in something I always wanted to do, that is teaching Visual Arts.

If you win the title what do you see yourself doing for the year you will reign?

In my year of reign I would like to be a positive role-model and motivational speaker for teenage girls who are plus-sized. I say this because especially in secondary schools, other teenagers are very verbally abusive. This takes a toll on the mind and spirit and I would like to be able to motivate them in a way that they would know how to turn the negative comments into something positive and to be proud of who they are.

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