Check Out “There She Is,” A Documentary About Plus-Size Beauty Queens

What better way to celebrate the beginning of Full Figured Fashion Week (and cleanse your palette after Sunday night’s Miss USA pageant ridiculousness) than with a documentary about plus-size beauty queens? “There She Is” stars two friends, Allison and Jenny, who love everything about beauty pageants: the makeup, the hair, the costumes, the glitter.

But unlike the women who compete in Miss USA and Miss America pageants, Allison and Jenny are both a size 22.

Filmmakers Emily Sheskin and Veena Rao follow the two plus-size women as they compete in the American Beauties Plus Pageant for women sizes 14 and up who push the boundaries of what is considered “beautiful” by our mainstream culture. Plus, “There She Is” is only 20 minutes long — hooray for short attention spans! — and you can watch the entire movie online.

Normally I think all things pageant-related are cheesy at best and repulsive at worse. However, “There She Is” got me to question whether pushing for inclusivity at pageants, rather than abolishing them entirely, might be a better option. Pageants are not going to ever go away. Women and girls competing against each other over their beauty is problematic, but there will always be some women — lesbians, women with alopecia, autistic women — for whom being included in a beauty pageant is akin to a radical act. []

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