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Monday, 13 December 2010

Marion Bogaert is Miss Ronde France, 2011

Measuring just 1.70 metres and weighing 95 kilogrammes, Marion Bogaert might not be everyone's idea of a beauty queen.

But at the weekend the 19-year-old became just that, as she beat 21 other candidates to lift the title of Miss Ronde France 2011.

Proving big can be beautiful, as Marion Bogaert becomes Miss Ronde France, 2011 (screenshot from BFM TV)

"I'm very proud to be representing larger girls today," she said after scooping first place in the finals held in the northern French city of Calais.

"It's a great honour for me and I really hope to live up to the expectations that go with winning this title."

Coming just a week after the election of that more traditional beauty pageant, Miss France, and its rival Miss Nationale (a long story about which you can find out more here if you're really interested) the contest to find Miss Ronde France 2011 is more than just a title to raise a smile.

As the name suggests contestants are far from being skinny.

The competition in France started life as an online contest back in 2005 when its founder, Thierry Frézard, decided to organise a pageant slightly different from what was the accepted norm.

Frézard is a psychotherapist who has over the years seen a number of women who didn't feel at ease with the fact that they were overweight.

Marion Bogaert (screenshot from BFM TV)

Last Friday's final was the first time it had been held in front of an audience and several television channels, including BFM TV and TF1, sent along teams to report on the outcome .

Proof, as far as Frézard, was concerned, that the initial reasons for its existence - namely to give women who aren't thin a chance to show they're comfortable with their weight and don't have to conform to the dictates of fashion - were bearing fruit and public perceptions of what is acceptable might just be changing.

"The media is more and more interested in this competition," he said.

"And it's probably because as a whole there are more overweight French and people are gradually realising that there's nothing wrong or 'sick' about carrying a few extra pounds."

As the French website Rue89 says in its report of the final perhaps attitudes about what constitutes beauty are changing and the media has a role to play in that.

"Maybe one day, by dint of being publicized, the title of Miss Ronde will no longer raise a smile," it says.

"And that's certainly what we would wish future participants."

Also see

Miss Plump Univesenet 2011 and Miss Ronde blog (French)


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