Big really IS beautiful! Meet the 18st pageant queens who fatten up to be crowned Miss Large
12:39 GMT, 20 June 2012
Beauty pageants are not usually associated with cellulite, rolls of flab or the models with thunderous thighs that wobble like jelly.
But in Israel's Miss Large beauty contest, such qualities are highly prized.
Contestants in the Fat and Beautiful competition, held in the southern Israeli town of Beersheva last weekend, could only enter after proving they weighed the requisite 80kg (12st 6lbs).
Many of the 16 contestants, vying to be crowned the next Miss Large more than met the quota.
Scroll down to watch the show for yourself…
Israel's new Miss Large: Fat and Beautiful winner, Vered Fisher, accepts her prize
Big win: Miss Large Beauty winner, Vered Fisher, centre, stands on stage at the end of the Fat and Beautiful contest held in the southern Israeli town of Beersheva on Monday
Preparations underway: Models have their make-up done backstage
up: A contestant prepares to stalk the catwalk at the Fat and Beautiful
pageant, which is into its 20th consecutive year
After a succession of rounds, Israel crowned its new plus-sized beauty queen.
Weighing in at 110 kilograms (17st 3lbs), Vered Fisher, 22, won first prize and was crowned Israel's Fat and Beautiful queen.
Fisher, who served in the
intelligence unit in the Israeli army, walked down the catwalk in a
packed hotel conference room alongside the other contestants, dressed in
casual wear and evening gowns.
Esterica Nagid, a modelling agent who
has sponsored the Fat and Beautiful pageant for the 20th consecutive
year, said fat is beautiful too.
'I want to show that there is no difference between skinny and fat. Nobody determined that only the skinny girls are beautiful.
'I am not encouraging fat but if it exists and is aesthetic and pretty, then this is the place to express it,' Nagid said.
The criteria, Nagid said, is to first and foremost be beautiful and to weigh between 80kg (12st 6lbs) to 120kg (18st 9lbs).
Fisher's message, after being crowned, was for large ladies to be proud of their size.
'Stay this way because you are pretty as you are and you can succeed as you are,' Fisher said.
Nerves: The contestants look apprehensive as they await their moment in the spotlight
Striking a pose: Four contestants proudly display their curves
Who says you have to be skinny to be beautiful Fat and Beautiful pageant entrants believe bigger is best
Open mind: 'I am not encouraging fat but if it exists and is aesthetic and pretty, then this is the place to express it,' the pageant sponsor said
On the catwalk: The girls took part in both a casual round and an evening wear round where they had to parade on a runway in front of judges
Glam up: The girls prepare to strut their stuff backstage
Weighing in: The criteria, the organisers said, is to first and foremost be beautiful, and to weigh between 80kg (12st 6lbs) and 120kg (18st 9lbs
It's showtime: The girls gather in the wings before taking their turn on the stage
Big moment: The girls put the finishing touches to their outfits before taking heading on stage to fight for the Miss Large crown
Dressed to impress: The pageant has a casual and an eveningwear round, but unlike Miss World, has no swimwear or sportswear segments
Inspiring words: 'Stay this way because you are pretty as you are and you can succeed as you are,' the organisers insist
VIDEO: The Fat and Beautiful competition