Haworth’s mum ‘role model’ hope as she wins Miss Voluptuous world crown

A HAWORTH mum says she hopes to be a role model for other plus-size women after being crowned Miss Voluptuous International.

Amy Walker won the first world title – representing the United Kingdom – in the final in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 34-year-old said she entered her first Miss Voluptuous pageant of 2019 – “without any idea what I was really doing” – and finished in the top five.

“I walked off stage then and knew I had found ‘home,'” Amy said.

“Miss Voluptuous pageants pride themselves on being an empowerment program for plus size women. They are not ‘beauty pageants’ because many people watch pageants. The entire scoring system is based on what you do as a person behind the scenes.

“However, it gives plus size women the opportunity to feel empowered and have their moment on stage. In a world that tries to shame those who don’t fit a certain body type, Miss Voluptuous stands out. rebel against it.”

Amy struggled with her body image throughout her teenage years, which also led to mental health issues.

“There was no one who looked like me on TV and no portrayal in magazines,” she said.

“I was always the biggest in my group of friends. I took on the role of the joker to help hide the pain I went through.

“I struggled so much with my mental health that it led to self-harm.

“These struggles continued into adult life, when I finally asked for help.

“I decided something had to change. I attended a body confidence workshop which completely changed my outlook.”

Amy has now acquired various mental health qualifications and is an advocate for youth suicide prevention.

“I want to use my title to amplify my advocacy for youth suicide prevention, but also to break stereotypes,” she said.

“I ice skated to stay in shape and traveled virtually all over Britain – live on Facebook – during the pandemic, raising over £2,000 for local hospice Sue Ryder Manorlands.

“I hope to show the world that fat doesn’t mean unfitness! All bodies deserve love and respect, regardless of shape, size or color. There is a direct link between negative body image and mental health and need to be discussed further.

“Being a plus size woman always comes with negativity, but I’m happy to take space figuratively and literally to be the role model I needed as a teenager.”

Rebecca R. Santistevan