Beauty queens are not known for being an especially diverse group in the size department. Whether their skin is alabaster white or coffee brown, usually they’ve got legs up to here and weigh 120 lbs. soaking wet.
But for the past 21 years, Italy has crowned a different sort of beauty queen: Miss Chubby. Yes, the country that invented Sophia Loren (and spaghetti bolognese and cannoli) acknowledges that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Thirty large female contestants strut their stuff down a runway in gowns or undergarments and then hop on a scale for a shame-free public weigh-in. The gal who weighs the most — this year, Angela Scognamiglio, at almost 374 lb.s — takes home the revered title. “I am very moved, I feel as if I’ve won the lottery,” Scognamiglio gushed. The only prize at a Miss Chubby Beauty Pageant is a cake to share among the contestants. Alas, prizes are not the point: getting screamed at by Jillian Michaels on national television isn’t the only place a fat woman belongs.