Miss World Iceland title holder, Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir has left the Miss Grand International beauty pageant in Las Vegas after the contest staff allegedly told her to “stop eating breakfast” and lose weight.
In an open letter to the pageant’s owner, Nawat Itsaragrisil, Jónsdóttir claimed that the staff “told me that I had to lose weight for the finals because I have too much fat on me and also too big shoulders. They told me to eat less and then you would like me more.”
The 20-year-old model also told The Iceland Monitor that the staff told her to “stop eating breakfast, eat just salad for lunch and drink water every evening until the contest.”
In a Facebook post, Jónsdóttir admitted that she felt obligated to stand up for herself and all the women and the Icelandic nation.
“I don’t intend to let anybody tell me I’m too fat to look good on stage. I quit.”
Itsaragrisil has released a statement in response, saying “it is common that the contestants and staffs… exchange the opinion and asked for comments of how to improve their performance, because this is a beauty pageant and everyone wants to improve their chance in order to win the title.
“Same like Miss Grand Iceland 2016, she asked some questions and suggestions from our staffs which they’ve replied according to what they think, she may be a little bit fat and they recommended her, in a good way, to try to lose some weight in order to improve her chance to win.
“This is a normal process for the three weeks during the pageant, everyone should show their improvement.”
Jónsdóttir has received support from netizens, who applauded her for standing up to body-shaming charges.
body shaming at the international level.
Go Miss Iceland, you look perfect to me. https://t.co/KMPI56T9u9
— Chhavi Sachdev (@chhavi) October 26, 2016
@missiceland Go and enjoy your beauty, inside and out, and your life. I am glad that you quit, you sent out a great message by doing so.
— Anna Vizard (@ahaney63) November 2, 2016