Strutting their gut on the FAT-walk: More than 100 plus-size women battle it out to be crowned Miss Jumbo in Thai beauty pageant
An annual beauty pageant in Thailand compares plus sized woman to elephants.
Pictures from the Jumbo Queen Beauty Pageant in Nakhon Ratchasima shows the entrants on-stage, backstage and before the contest.
In order to take part in the pageant, which promotes elephant conservation causes, contestants have to weigh at least 12st 9lbs – and those are merely the featherweights!
This year Kwanrapee Boonchaisuk, who weighs 16st 7lbs, was crowned Miss Jumbo 2018 and the 17 stone 4 lbs Bantita Sangkachart won the 2018 Miss Jumbo Transgender title.
The event attracts more than 100 entrants with judges looking to find someone who embodies the grace, elegance and enormity of the elephant.
Some of the Jumbo Beauty Queens can weigh more than topping 25st – while transgender entrants are also encouraged to take part.
The winners are crowned ‘Thi Da Chang’ which is Thai for ‘Daughter of the Elephant’ and spend the year touring the country promoting elephant causes.
Past winners include Miss Jumbo 2001, Soraya Srmitr who weighed 16 st and wowed the judges with her Latin dance.
The pagent raises awareness for the elephant population in the East-Asian country which have been steadily declining.
While the elephant theme underpins so much of the competition that contestants are judged on how well they ‘exhibit the qualities of an elephant.’
But awards are not preserved just for winners, other contestants are awarded special prizes based on their weight.
The Miss Jumbo Universe award goes to the heaviest contestant such as Thanchanok Mekkeaw, who tipped the scales at an impressive 182 kilograms some years ago.
While another prize handed out in previous years poked fun at Thailand’s economic failures, lampooning its reliance on aid given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The IMF award is given to the crowd favourite, however it actually stands for ‘I’M Fat.’
In Thailand elephants have for centuries been revered and highly valued creatures and traditionally worked in the logging industry.
But as the industry collapsed of elephants and their owners – or mahouts – have been forced to head for big cities such as Bangkok where they earn money begging from tourists who pay money to have their pictures taken with them.
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