A Large and Lovely Beauty Pageant

By Elana Sztokman

Published December 30, 2009, issue of January 08, 2010.
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‘My name is Heli Buzaglo, I’m 24 years old from Afula, a fat girl, FAAAAAAAAT but beautiful (or at least that’s what everyone says, including the mirror on the wall).” Thus opens the blog of one of the contestants in the 16th annual “Fat and Beautiful” beauty pageant in Israel.

The pageant, held mid-December in Beersheba, was open for women weighing more than 176 pounds. In advance of the voting, the Internet was swamped with homemade videos of self-described beautiful fat girls in heavy makeup, sexy lingerie and suggestive poses. In yet another “American Idol” transposition, young women begged their viewers to “SMS Yarin, [contestant’s name] number 995! I love you all!”

Women (weighing up to 264 pounds) from all over Israel participated in the pageant. Although casual wear and evening wear were two of the categories in which the women competed, the swimsuit competition was absent from the pageant.

The winner was a 22-year-old security guard, Moran Baranes, from Beersheba, weighing in at 205 pounds. She was awarded beauty products, jewelry, a trip abroad and an annual membership to a gym.


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