The INSIDER Summary:
• An Icelandic pageant contestant was told she needed to lose weight.
• Instead of caving, she quit.
• People are praising her powerful letter to the pageant’s president.
An Icelandic woman has quit an international beauty pageant after officials apparently found her too fat, the Telegraph reports.
Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir, who was named Miss Iceland in 2015, recently shared a handwritten letter on Instagram announcing her departure from the Miss Grand International pageant. In the letter, she says that the pageant’s owner, Thai TV presenter Nawat Itsaragrisil, told her she needed to lose weight for the competition.
For reference, this is what Jónsdóttir looks like:
Now, she’s earning widespread support on social media for her letter, and for standing up to the pageant owner’s body-shaming insults.
“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.”
Here’s the letter in its entirety:
And here’s the transcribed version [all sic]:
Dear Mr. Nawat
I am a very strong woman but sometimes but strength isn’t enough.
Your staff told me that I had to loose weight for the finals because I have to much fat on me and also to big shoulders. They told me to eat less and then you would like me more.
I decided to leave. I’ve been Miss World Iceland, placed 14th after judging interview in Miss World, I won another pageant (Miss EM) and with all my qualities and good experience I come with my passion and hard work to your pageant. 4 days before stage they tell me that I’m too fat for you. Actually if anyone tells me that I’m too fat or whatever, they just don’t deserve me. And thats why I left. Miss Grand International doesn’t deserve my face, body, personality or heart.
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 be able to see the international beauty.
In my country my body shape is perfect. And that’s what I’m gonna remember. No one will ever tell me anything else.
I hope the final will be amazing, I know the show will be.
People quickly commended Jónsdóttir on leaving the pageant and standing up for herself.
“Just wanted to take the time to tell you that you’ve made the right decision and that you are a great role model for younger girls,” one Instagram user commented on the photo. “I applaud you and the actions you are taking!”
“I am so saddened that you in any way should have been spoken to in this manner,” another commenter said. “You are an intelligent, beautiful young woman and I applaud you for standing up and saying ENOUGH is ENOUGH!”
Jónsdóttir later spoke with the Iceland Monitor about the incident, according to the Daily Beast, explaining that she’s proud of her athletic build. “Yes, my shoulders are a bit broader than the other girls, but that is because I was a member of the Icelandic national athletics team and I am proud of that,” she said. “Personally, I think I’m fine as I am.”
And it looks like she’s already moved on to bigger and better things: In fact, a handful of recent Instagram posts reveals that she’s snagged a modelling gig with Nike.
“I’m so proud to be one of the faces for Nike and if I would not have my sporty body I would never have gotten this huge opportunity,” Jónsdóttir wrote in a recent caption.
Take that, Miss Grand International.
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