Miss Iceland quits beauty pageant after being told she's “too fat”


The current Miss Iceland, Arna Yr Jonsdottir, decided to quit the Miss Grand International beauty pageant in Las Vegas after she was allegedly told she needed to lose weight before the finals.

Um, exsqueeze?

Throwback to Beginning of this summer when I won the pageant Miss EM ? Photo taken by @foto_nils

A photo posted by Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir (@arnayr) on

According to the Iceland Monitor, Jonsdottir received a message from the owner of the beauty contest directing her to stop eating breakfast, to only eat salad for lunch and drink water every evening until the day of the contest.

"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 international beauty.”

The beauty queen then wrote and posted an image of a handwritten letter on her Instagram, announcing that she would be abstaining from the contest.

My goodbye letter????

A photo posted by Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir (@arnayr) on

Read more: Mrs SA contestant gives us the scoop on life in the world of beauty pageants

The letter reads as follows:

“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 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 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 be able to see 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 finals will be amazing. I know the show will be."

My point of view ??

A video posted by Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir (@arnayr) on

She says that her body shape is athletic rather than skinny, because she was a member of the Icelandic national athletics team and they loved her broad shoulders.

As unbelievable as this is, unfortunately, it didn’t really surprise us. In pageants, women are often expected to reach unrealistic standards and encouraged to do whatever it takes to look “perfect”.

We are so glad that Jonsdottir stood up - not only for herself - but for other women scared of voicing their opinions on body-shaming tactics used in beauty pageants.

Here is a statement given by Mr Nawat Itsaragrisil, President of Miss Grand International Organization:

"Since the start of the pageant she is one of the delegate who shown herself to be interesting and great personality and all my staffs love to work with her and she made great impression to the team. 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.

"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.

"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. Finally she posted one of her personal Snapchat on her own words in her own language and her own understanding. After that we had a chat with her together with my Vice President Miss Teresa Chaivisut she said what the social media feedback was not what she actually said and we make understanding which she released another Snapchat to clarify and it is all seems fine. Next day I was reported that she moved out since last night without informing anyone, her roommate told us that she left a letter which addressed to me at the reception which she showed to the media. One of our conditions of the pageant for security reasons we do not allow anyone to leave the hotel without our acknowledgement, she seems to have her own imagination and do whatever she pleased without obeying any rules and regulations which she read and signed accepting before entering the pageant.

"We were worried about her and then we contacted her National Director who’s found out that she moved to stay with her friend. I’m a bit surprised that all the sudden she has a friend here. Afterwards she continue to give the news to the media. 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."

Read more:

Celebs read body-shaming comments from haters in powerful lingerie campaign

3 ways to be more comfortable in your body

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