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Miss UK beauty queen hands back her crown 'after being told she was too fat' for international pageants

The winner of Miss UK 2017 has given up her crown after being told she was too fat to compete at an international level.

Zoiey Smale, 28, from Nottinghamshire, was crowned Miss UK in June and was preparing to compete for an international title at the Miss United Continents competition in Ecuador in September.

But the size 10 model and mother of one dropped out after the UK head of Miss United Continents told her the international directors of the contest wanted her to “lose as much weight as she could” to become a serious contender.

Smale responded by giving up her title and has pledged to use her experience to fight off body shaming.

Speaking with The Independent, she said:

“She [the UK director] told me every pageant has their own criteria but did tell me she wasn't happy with the international directors' decision,” Smale said.

"I can't represent a company that thinks it's OK to body shame women because they don't have the right measurements," she went on. "I was asked to submit every measurement on my body, which I didn't do. My measurements should be irrelevant. “For a person to tell me to change myself to fit in with a company make me feel sick,” she added. “How are people allowed to dictate what I put in my body? Beauty is not determined by the size you are on a clothes tag. So I gave up my title.”

“I thought I'd entered a competition supported the empowerment of women. But it went against everything that I stand for and it wasn't the pageant for me.”

Smale says she was “just so shocked” by the suggestion that she hung up the phone on her "supportive" director to process what she had been told. “I felt let down as I have had lots of positive experiences in the pageant system.”

The beauty queen also stresses the fact that “some pageants promote charity work and body positivity.”

“On the flip side, here are other competitions that I have heard of where girls are used as escorts for rich men who sponsor competitions. They go out to 'sponsor' dinners in cocktail dresses and are told to mingle," claims Smale.

Speaking out about her experience, Smale says she has received emails praising her decision to blow the whistle on pageants.

"I worked so hard gaining sponsorship deals, raising money for charity and making individual costumes. So it was a shame to think my hard work went to waste. But it hasn't. After telling people my story and having emails about how I have inspired others, that means more to me than any crown could."

Zoiey Smale who first competed in a pageant at the age of 18,  has won three national titles.

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