Celebrating curvaceousness

2012-11-03 00:00

LOCAL export, Treme Rama is proving to be hot competition in the United Kingdom (UK), after she made the final cut of this year’s Miss Big Beautiful Woman International beauty contest.

The Pietermaritzburg-born, UK-based lass proved her worth to become one of 19 women chosen from some 3 000 initial candidates for the pageant, scheduled to take place next weekend in London.

“The competition is about celebrating women with curves. It’s proving that you can be happy, healthy, successful and beautiful after size 16. It’s also about providing an alternative role model for anyone who feels they don’t fit into the media’s mould of what beauty is,” Rama said.

“A friend of mine entered the competition for me after I got stopped in my town’s shopping mall for a different modelling competition. I’ve always been the nerd who isn’t very photogenic and stumbles over her own feet. The first I heard of the Miss BBW competition was when I got the call backs for the final audition,” she said.

Rama said that she never imagined herself as being a model and said that she was still shocked that she had managed to become one of the finalists. “I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly model or beauty pageant material. I think in many ways I’m still shocked by it. I never thought I’d ever make it that far, although I am very excited about the finals, as it will be a fantastic night.”

The 24-year-old left Pietermaritzburg at the age of two when her family moved to Johannesburg, but says that they regularly came back home to visit family and friends as both her parents grew up in Pietermaritzburg.

After living in Johannesburg for 13 years, Rama and her family once again packed up and headed off, this time, to the UK.

The sultry Rama is a beauty with brains, holding a BSc in Clinical and Health Psychology. As a cherry on top, she has worked with charities and humanitarian organisations in many countries, including the UK, South Africa, India, and Brazil, something she says “continues to be close to her heart”.

“I think South Africans are driven to study and work hard because we understand the importance of education and how life changing it can be — not only for ourselves, but our communities. When I finish my PHD in Psychology I plan to return home.

“I was very surprised to learn that quite a few psychological advancements in history were pioneered in South Africa. I would love to do my bit in eradicating myths about mental illness and providing cheap, affordable services to people who need them,” she said.

Understanding that becoming a finalist for the pageant meant she would be a role model for young women conscious about their weight, Rama described the responsibility as being daunting and wonderful at the same time. “I would love to inspire woman to be more self-confident and believe in their abilities. At the same time it is definitely not a role I take lightly and hope I handle it responsibly and with dignity,” she said.

In final words to any women aspiring to model but who are conscious about their weight, Rama said: “Don’t ever try to be an imperfect version of someone else when you can be the absolute perfect version of yourself. Beauty has more than one meaning so it is so important to celebrate the beauty that makes you an individual and that makes you stand out in a crowd.”

• kyle.venktess@witness.co.za

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