Beauty Comes in All Sizes or does it? In light of the Miss Thick Tuskegee Pageant, Tone Lewis examined this question and presents her findings in the blog posted here.
When you search the word “thick” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary you will find that it does not refer to the human body at all. However, within the black community the word thick definitely applies to a body physique.
So the two questions at hand are; do we know thick when we see it and who falls under the thick category?
Going by the stated definition, skinny and fat girls are already ruled out, which makes this word more of a controversy. Much like the controversy of the word, there has been a little uproar about the Miss Thick Tuskegee Pageant. Curious minds want to know why is there a need for a Miss Thick Tuskegee Pageant since there are already pageants in place that welcome all contestants.
To clear the confusion, I spoke with Jordan Miller, who was the second Miss Thick Tuskegee. She offered this explanation for the competition that is being discussed. “The Miss Thick Pageant SHOWCASES the full bodied, plus size, thicker more voluptuous women by leveling the playing field in a pageant that is free of bias or discrimination. As Miss Thick Tuskegee 2017-2018 my goal is to remind men and women that their body is perfect the way they are. We are body positivity advocates on this campus. The pageants goal is to provide a platform for thick women to demonstrate their talents, express their dreams while becoming empowered in a pageant that is centered on bold, bright, thick women.”
Not clarifying enough?
Just think about Miss USA or Miss Universe, could you think of anyone who has ever fit the definition of “thick” in those pageants? I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you answered no, and much like those pageants it is often rare that you see a thick woman represented in pageants on the Tuskegee University campus.
It showcases something that is an atypical beauty standard and the pageant is important to people who fit that body type.
The ultimate goal, as I see it is to establish a cultural norm that respects everyone. The Miss Thick Tuskegee Pageant makes us think about this issue. The organizers hopes that it will inspire more respectful representation of curvaceous women.