Woman, 23, who weighs 22 stone and was nicknamed "garbage disposal" in school becomes a beauty queen


Woman, 23, who weighs 308lbs and was nicknamed 'garbage disposal' in school becomes a plus-size beauty queen

Victoria Christensen weighs 308lbs (22st) and was called 'fatty' at school

Entered Miss Plus American pageant and was crowned Mrs Utah Plus America 2012

Entrants must be at least a dress size 14 but there is no maximum size

Says the pageant 'turned her from a girl into a woman'

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UPDATED:

13:04 GMT, 8 October 2012

A girl cruelly nicknamed ‘garbage disposal’ at school has fulfilled a childhood dream by being crowned a beauty queen weighing more than 308lbs (22st).

Victoria Christensen, 23, grew up in awe of girls on television competing in the Miss America pageant every year and even had to witness her slim sisters regularly scooping regional beauty awards.

But now after suffering years of verbal abuse at the hands of bullies due to her size, brunette Victoria has finally decided to ignore her critics and pursue her dreams.

Victoria Christensen, who weighs 22 stone, has fulfilled a childhood dream by being crowned a beauty queen
Victoria Christensen, who weighs 22 stone, has fulfilled a childhood dream by being crowned a beauty queen

After suffering years of verbal abuse at the hands of bullies due to her size, Victoria has finally decided to ignore her critics and be happy

After suffering years of verbal abuse at the hands of bullies due to her size, Victoria has finally decided to ignore her critics and be happy

After suffering years of verbal abuse at the hands of bullies due to her size, Victoria has finally decided to ignore her critics and be happy

Determined that her size wouldn’t get
in the way of her beauty pageant dreams she entered Miss Plus America, a
beauty pageant specifically for the larger lady.

And
despite not winning the national title, Victoria was crowned Mrs. Utah
Plus America 2012 and with it gained the confidence boost to be proud of
her curves.

She said: 'I used to watch the Miss America pageant as a child and wished I could be one of those girls.

Although she was cruelly nicknamed garbage disposal at school, Victoria has beat her demons and become a pageant girl

Although she was cruelly nicknamed garbage disposal at school, Victoria has beat her demons and become a pageant girl

Although she was cruelly nicknamed garbage disposal at school, Victoria has beat her demons and become a pageant girl

'I had decided that I was never going to be skinny enough or pretty enough to do that so year after year I would watch them and continue to wish.

'At school people commonly called me fat and “fatty” – the worst was “garbage disposal” because people thought I ate too much.

‘But I don’t remember anything more than that because I’ve tried to let them go and remove any negative forces in my life.

'My
gorgeous sisters are 10 and 16 years older than me and I remember going
to a few local parades and seeing them with beautiful dresses and
people waving at them – I wanted to be that girl.'

Victoria,
who works in home automation support, was browsing Facebook one day
when she stumbled across a link to an interview with the Mrs Plus
America 2011 winner and discovered the pageant.

Victoria with her sisters Dawn (L) and Jennifer (R) who she used to watch enter beauty pageants

Victoria with her sisters Dawn (L) and Jennifer (R) who she used to watch enter beauty pageants

She added: 'My first thought was
“wait a minute – plus” I realised I had a chance to be one of the girls
I thought I would never be skinny enough or pretty enough to be.

'I
was obviously anxious but my amazing husband Fred encouraged me and
kept on telling me it would be alright and he really wanted to see me do
this.

'I spoke to the wonderful organisers
and when Fred saw my expression each time I spoke with them he pushed me
more. I remember feeling accepted for the first time.

'Not
too long after I entered I noticed myself being more confident. About
two months before the pageant Fred walked in on me in the bathroom
crying and asked me what was the matter.

Despite not winning the national title, Victoria was crowned Mrs. Utah Plus America 2012

Despite not winning the national title, Victoria was crowned Mrs. Utah Plus America 2012

The Plus size pageant gave Victoria the confidence boost she had always needed

The Plus size pageant gave Victoria the confidence boost she had always needed

'I explained that for the first time in my life I could look into the mirror and actually like what I see looking back.

'I realised I was becoming what I’d wanted to see in myself for nearly my whole life to date.

'I want to send out a positive message about feeling confident with who you are.

'Miss Plus America changed my life and helped me see what a woman should be. It has turned me from a girl into a woman and given me the strength to accept myself and shine.

'I may not have finished first overall but this was my first ever pageant and I’m not ready to give up or stop anytime soon.'