An Icelandic beauty queen is being hailed on social media as a hero after quitting a Las Vegas pageant to protest being told she was too fat and should skip meals if she wanted to win. Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir, who was named Miss Iceland in 2015, said she was told to shed pounds on the orders of Thai TV presenter Nawat Itsaragrisil, the owner of the Miss Grand International beauty contest. Jónsdóttir said she received a message that said, “Stop eating breakfast, eat just salad for lunch and drink water every evening until the contest. [The owner] is telling you this because he likes you and wants you to do well in this contest.”
So she quit.
In her farewell letter to the contest, posted to Instagram, Jónsdóttir wrote that “if anyone tells me that I’m too fat or whatever, they just don’t deserve me.
“I truly hope that the organization opens their eyes because the year is 2016 and if you are gonna hold an international pageant, you need to be able to see the international beauty.
“In my country, my body shape is perfect. And that’s what I’m gonna remember.”
The incident was reminiscent of the recent revelations that billionaire pageant owner and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump taunted the 1996 winner of the Miss Universe contest, Alicia Machado, about her weight. Her experiences were brought to light by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the first presidential debate. Clinton’s campaign team later went on to release a video in which Machado discussed the experience and recalled feeling like a “lab rat” as Trump accompanied her to the gym in an effort to see to it that she lost the weight she’d put on. All class, Trump shot back, accusing Machado of appearing in a sex tape, and Clinton of assisting the model in receiving her citizenship.
Jónsdóttir told The Iceland Monitor, “If the owner of the contest really wants me to lose weight and doesn’t like me the way I am, then he doesn’t deserve to have me … 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.”
Read the full story at The Daily Beast.