You wanna be on top? For Jodel Padao Mesina, a Filipino who flew all the way to Singapore to take part in the first-ever plus size beauty pageant, it took more than just a smize. Her vivacious personality shone through - and that was what got her the coveted crown.

Held on Nov 12, 2017, the 35-year-old won not one but two titles at the inaugural competition - she was that impressive.

She was named Miss Top of the World Plus Size 2017, as well as Miss Extravagant, receiving the crown from the 2016 winner, Fiona Tan, who is Singaporean and the organiser of this year’s contest.

Singaporean, Priscilla Boh, was the first runner-up and Miss Latvia, Victoria Brovuna was the second runner-up of the contest that was a gathering of 15 of the most beautiful plus size women from around the world.

30-year-old organiser Fiona Tan, who took part in her first beauty pageant last year and won, said: “I wanted to bring confidence to women, especially in Asia. I believe beauty pageants are created with a strong stand for a certain cause and not just to stand there like a “vase”.”

“This pageant is all about embracing curves and finding confidence in ladies who probably [have had] similar issues but still plucked up [the] courage” to take part.

Embracing a woman for who she is, contestants were judged on their poise, intelligence and talents rather than being scored based on their looks or size. Points were also given by members of a public through online voting.

First-runner up Priscilla, reveals to Her World that it was always etched in her mind that it is better to be slimmer, especially in the Asian culture.

Pouring her heart out, Priscilla told us that even the people closest to her failed to “see beauty in not being skinny”.

Recalling an incident where she was taunted and called names by a complete stranger in Orchard Road for her weight, Priscilla shared that for a large portion of her life, she struggled to keep up with beauty ideals and was often mocked for her curvier frame.

By taking part in this competition, she hopes to inspire the next generation and send the message that you don’t have to be skinny to be a pageant queen.'

“I want to redefine the core values if beauty and send the message women can all be beautiful regardless of their age, shape or size,” said Priscilla.  

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