This week in international body-shaming: Miss Iceland 2015 Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir decided she’s had enough of contests following a pageant owner’s instructions that she lose weight. As reported in the Iceland Monitor, the owner of the Miss Grand International beauty contest sent Jónsdóttir a message advising her to “stop eating breakfast, eat just salad for lunch and drink water every evening until the contest.”
Naturally Jónsdóttir was taken aback by the advice, which came via spokespeople on behalf of the pageant owner, Thai television personality Nawat Itsaragrisil.
“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 in the top 10,” Jónsdóttir told the Iceland Monitor.
Jónsdóttir, who is 20 years old and hails from Reykjavik, Iceland, was crowned Miss Iceland in September 2015. She participated in gymnastics for 10 years and has competed in track and field, earning a spot on the Icelandic national team as a pole vaulter when she was 15 years old.
Miss Grand International notes on its website that is one of the top five beauty pageants in the world, along with Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Supranational, and that it is “under the corporation and sponsorship from governments and organizations that will make a stand for the betterment of humanity.” According to its website, the organization’s “ideal objective is an end to all forms of violence and hostility. For the sake of our children and the generations to follow, it is our duty domestically and internationally to rid the world of conflict and focus our efforts on improving the quality of life for all humanity.” The 2016 Miss Grand International beauty pageant will take place on Oct. 25 in Las Vegas.
This should be a familiar refrain by now, whether it’s the infamous former owner of the Miss Universe pageant, aka Donald Trump, publicly telling pageant winner Alicia Machado back in the 1990s that she needs to lose weight, or more recently, the body-shaming of a Miss Italy runner-up for her size 14 frame. Apparently, many pageant owners and spectators believe that when women take to the stage to compete, that means they can be judged beyond the rules of the competition. One wonders if that will ever cease.
As for Jónsdóttir, she reacted to the so-called pageant advice by announcing that she’ll stop competing. “I no longer have any interest in doing my best in this competition after receiving that message,” she said. “This is definitely the last contest I shall be taking part in.”