Nasasi Belinda, a Ugandan businesswoman, has won the east African country’s first-ever “Miss Curvy” beauty pageant, vowing to act as a role model for other women with “plus-size” figures.
“I am going to be an inspiration,” an overjoyed Belinda said after winning the title in Kampala late Friday, beating 24 other finalists for the grand prize.
“Being plus-size is not a problem,” she continued. “So be happy about yourself and make sure you don’t quit. Just keep going.”
The pageant was part of a government campaign to attract tourists to the east African nation.
But the campaign caused controversy in February when tourism minister Godfrey Kiwanda suggested Ugandan women’s curvaceous beauty was “a product to be marketed along with what we already have as a country ranging from Nature, the language and food, to make it a tourist attraction.”
Women’s rights activists were outraged by the comments and called for the minister to resign.
“This is a perversion. To think women can be used as sex objects in this age and time is an absurdity and we condemn it,” Rita Aciro, executive director of the Uganda Women’s Network, told AFP at the time.
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