Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ugandan Businesswoman Crowned Winner of ‘Miss Curvy’ Beauty Contest

Nasasi Belinda
Nasasi Belinda (center/top photo), a businesswoman, reacts with emotions as she is crowned Miss Curvy Uganda during the first edition of Miss Curvy Uganda in Kampala, Uganda, on April 26, 2019. AFP/Getty

*Businesswoman Nasasi Belinda has been crowned Miss Curvy Uganda during the first annual competition in the east African nation for voluptuous women.

Belinda has reportedly vowed to act as a role model for other “plus-size” women.

“I am going to be an inspiration,” she said after winning the title in Kampala on April 26, beating 24 other finalists.

“Being plus-size is not a problem,” Belinda continued. “So be happy about yourself and make sure you don’t quit. Just keep going.”

The pageant was part of a government campaign to attract tourists to the east African nation.

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But the competition was met with much push back earlier this year after tourism minister Godfrey Kiwanda suggested the curvaceous beauties of the country were  “a product to be marketed along with what we already have as a country ranging from Nature, the language and food, to make it a tourist attraction.”

As we previously reported, women’s rights activists were outraged by the comments and called for the minister’s resignation.

“This is perversion. To think women can be used as sex objects in this age and time is an absurdity and we condemn it,” Rita Aciro, executive director of the Uganda Women’s Network, told AFP at the time.

Ugandan activist Primrose Nyonyozi Murungi launched an online petition to stop the campaign, which she described as “totally unacceptable and demeaning to us.”

“Women in Uganda have been attacked while on the streets. What happens now is that the government is confirming a stereotype that women are sexual objects and can be touched regardless and more so made a product of tourism,” she told AFP via Lifestyle Inq.

In a Facebook post, she wrote: “It’s 2019 ladies and gentlemen. And a whole board of tourism sat down, discussed and decided to actually pass something like this. Those were men and women with daughters at home.”

One Twitter user reacted to the pageant by noting: “Uganda has some of the wildest adrenaline adventures in Africa, the River Nile, game parks, majestic lakes and a huge untapped market for tourism. Guess their strategy? Use curvy women to promote the country. You know, sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.”

User AfriFeminists wrote: “Efforts to present women’s curves in #Uganda as a tourism attraction brings to mind the story of Sarah Baartman who two centuries ago died after years spent in European “freak shows” with crowds invited to look at her large buttocks.”

Former opposition leader in parliament, Winnie Kiiza, told AFP the competition came “at a time (when) women face fear and stigma in a male-dominated society.”

But Minister Kiwanda wasn’t been bothered by the naysayers and criticism.

“I also believe that there is a new wave that is going to come to Uganda, a new confidence that is going to be built among plus-size ladies,” he said Friday.


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