The INSIDER Summary:
• Miss Iceland quit a beauty pageant after she was told that she was too fat.
• Now, that owner has responded to her claims.
• Instead of apologizing, he tried to defend his actions.
Arna Jónsdóttir made headlines worldwide this week when she left the Miss Grand International Beauty pageant, alleging that one of the officials told her she needed to lose weight in order to win.
In a handwritten letter posted to Instagram Tuesday, Jónsdóttir took a stand against the pageant’s owner, Thai TV presenter Nawat Itsaragrisil.
“Your staff told me that I had to loose [sic] weight for the finals because I have too much fat on me and also too big shoulders,” she wrote in the letter. “I truly hope that the organisation opens their eyes because the year is 2016 and if you are gonna hold an international pageant, you have to see the international beauty.”
Now, Itsaragrisil has addressed the controversy in a written statement sent to Mic. And, instead of apologizing, he actually appears to double down on what he said, adding that “She may be a little bit fat.”
Here’s what he told Mic:
“She may be a little bit fat and they recommended her, in good way, to try to lose some weight in order to improve her chance to win. This is normal process for the three weeks during the pageant, everyone should show their improvement. Similarly the staffs give the same advice for others who asked them what should they do to improve in order to win which each of them would get different advice and no one have any problems and are trying their own way to improve.”
Mic reported that Itsaragrisil’s letter did not address Jónsdóttir by name or express any amount of regret for his words.
Luckily, Jónsdóttir doesn’t seem fazed by the incident. She’s already forging ahead as a model for Nike, for one thing. She also posted a video reaction to the controversy Wednesday morning, saying, “I wasn’t sad when I got these comments […] I’m not sad. I just wanted to grab this opportunity to stand up for myself, for women in the world, for young girls.”
Watch the entire video here:
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