Zoiey Smale has been in the pageant industry for a decade, but after recently witnessing the appalling shallowness of pageant directors firsthand, she's decided to give back her crown. The 28-year-old mother was named Miss United Kingdom in June, and she was planning on competing in Ecuador in September, but then she received a phone call from a director saying that the pageant organizers wanted her to lose weight.
"She said to me, 'They want you to go on a diet plan and they want you to lose as much weight as possible for the finals,'" Zoiey told the Daily Mail. "I was like 'Pardon?' It was one of those things, in the 21st century you don't actually expect people to be that blunt."
Zoiey went into great detail in a Facebook post about how this conversation changed everything, and her candid perspective proves how much of an incredible role model she is, with or without a crown!
"After being asked to lose weight and go on a diet plan for an international competition, I have withdrawn," she wrote in the post. "Some of you may think this is cowardly, however I don't think it is the right to have my face representing a pageant ethos I do not believe in. I will be handing back my crown and wish the new title holder the very best of luck."
She added, "I love me and will not change for anyone. My body has carried me through my 20+ years of being on this earth, allowed me to have a career I am very proud of, carry a child and the best thing of all, my body has never given up on me. If a pageant doesn't want to utilize my capabilities because I am a size 10 then it's their loss."
While this was not the first time Zoiey was body shamed, she said, "it has opened up my eyes to situations I will never put myself in again."
During a time when so many young women are comparing themselves to unrealistic photos on social media and feeling pressured to look a certain way, it's people like Zoiey who are really making a difference.
"It's a case of right girl, wrong pageant," she closed her post. "All in all we never know when our time on this earth is up. . . so love yourself, eat a bit of cake and laugh until your belly hurts."
Now that is a message we can get behind!