After being body shamed and told to stop eating for a beauty pageant, Miss Iceland told organisers they could shove their pageant up their swimsuits.
Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir, Miss Iceland 2015, was told by the owner of the Miss Grand International beauty contest that she was too fat and needed to lose weight before the grand final.
“Stop eating breakfast, eat just salad for lunch and drink water every evening until the contest,” was the blunt message passed on to Ms Jónsdóttir from the founder and owner of the Miss Grand International beauty contest, Thai TV presenter Nawat Itsaragrisil.
The Iceland Monitor reported that Ms Jónsdóttir, who had been in the US since 8 October preparing for the competition, promptly delivered a powerful response, declaring that she “no longer has any interest in doing my best in this competition after receiving that message. This is definitely the last contest I shall be taking part in.
She later posted a handwritten letter to her Instagram detailing why exactly she was dropping out of the final event in Las Vegas, saying that “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,” she wrote. “I decided to leave.”
A photo posted by Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir (@arnayr) on
Her stance has drawn widespread support and praise on social media.
Yay for Miss Iceland! She looks stunningly beautiful to me, on the inside and outside!
— Tanya (@DutchDelights13) October 26, 2016
— NASTYpetard (@myownpetard) October 28, 2016
Itsaragrisil conceded pageant staff had advised Ms Jónsdóttir to lose weight in order to improve her chances at winning.
He told The Independent that “everyone should show their improvement” in the three weeks building up to the final and said Jónsdóttir looked “slimmer and more beautiful” in her previous photos than she did in real life.
The 20 years old from Reykjavik, was crowned Miss Iceland last September, coming to the role after an impressive sporting career. She participated in gymnastics for 10 years, and was a member of the Icelandic athletics team as a pole vaulter when she was 15 years old.
“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.”
“Of course, I don’t take these comments to heart … Personally, I think I’m fine as I am.”
Jónsdóttir may be done with beauty pageants, but she is likely to become an ambassador for athletic women, later announcing she had landed a role with sporting giant, Nike.
“My past has made me who I am today,” she wrote. “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 to work with Nike.
“I guess I like my sporty badass look more than my perfect beauty look.”
— CNN International (@cnni) October 25, 2016