© 2021 NPR Illinois
Stand with the Facts
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Community Voices

This I Believe: Being Fluffy And Fabulous

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS
Katelyn Watts - Louisiana High School

"Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of the body." Society portrays that in order to be beautiful you have to be skinny and have the perfect body. Women are made to believe this because they cannot help but see it everywhere.

From magazines to social media, you only see ideal women who have the skinny waist and have zero fat on their bodies. I always dreamed of being beautiful just like the models that I saw, but what I didn't realize is that I already was.

I am by no means the smallest twig in the forest, and I haven't always been accepting of that fact. I was always called fat or made fun of for being fluffy. This all changed for me when I signed up for a queen contest. It was a local fall festival contest, and I thought I would give it a try. Surprisingly, I won the contest and decided to continue on into the Pike County Fair Queen Contest. I won that competition with no contest...literally the only other girl to sign up did it after the deadline. So the fair board went ahead and made the decision to give me the crown. This saga continued on to the state level where I would compete for the Missouri State Fair Queen. Now, I was running with the big dogs. Fifty-five women including myself traveled from all over the state of Missouri to have their shot at the crown. Most of these women had been competing in pageants since there were in diapers. I had to step up my game, but then I realized I had to just be myself. I had to do an interview with five different judges, deliver a talent in front of a crowd at the fair, and participate in an evening gown portion. I had to do all of this last — out of all the girls I was contest No. 55...how wonderful. I guess they save the best for last, right? Well, I did not win the title, and I didn't even make it to the top 10. However, this gave me the opportunity to spread my message about beauty. I'm not the hottest woman alive, but I'm pretty close and that's because this opportunity has given me a positive outlook about myself.

These experiences have helped me to become more accepting of myself and find beauty within myself. Before I entered any of those contests I was very self-conscious about my weight. These contests have opened my eyes to realize that the size tag on my clothing does not define who I really am. I have stepped up in my confidence to shake off any negativity about myself and look at the beauty on the inside and show that the smile I wear and my outgoing personality are what define me and make me beautiful. There is beauty in every shape, size and color. This I believe.

Related Stories