Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir, the current Miss Iceland, quit an international beauty pageant after she was told to lose weight.
The 20-year-old was reportedly told by representatives at Miss Grand International that she needed to lose weight before next week’s competition, according to the Iceland Monitor.
Instead she decided to quit the competition, posting her resignation letter on Instagram.
“I am a very strong woman, but sometimes my strength isn’t enough.
“Your staff told me that I had to lose weight for the finals because I have too much fat on me and also too big shoulders. They told me to lose weight and 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. Four 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 that’s 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 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.”
Nawat Itsaragrisil, the founder and owner of Miss Grand International, released a statement to E! News.
Here is an excerpt: “It is common that the contestants and staffs they exchange the opinion and asked for comments of how to improve their performance because this is beauty pageant and everyone wants to improve their chance in order to win the title.”
He added: “Same like Miss Grand Iceland 2016, she asked some questions and suggestions from our staffs which they’ve replied according to what they think, 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.”
He continued: “There was an incident that she shows her photos from her previous international pageant to me which she looks slimmer and more beautiful which I do not understand the purpose as what we are looking in the competition is the present not what she used to look like.”
Itsaragrisil added that the competition does not just focus on contestants’ appearance, but a number of other factors: “For Miss Grand International, the qualification of the winner are beauty, personality and brain and ready to take on the duty to enhance our advocacy for the Stop The War and Violence campaign and perform her duty for example in refugee camps. Our organization have highest standard in order to select the winner. The winner has to be good listener, speaker, good thinking and are willing to give rather than take from others as well as be reasonable with good manner.”