The Miss Cicciona pageant is a beauty contest for overweight women. As in all past 20 editions of the pageant, there is only one condition for entry: you have to weigh more than 100 kilograms, or 15 and a half stone. This year a 33 year old Angela Scognamiglio bagged the title crown of "Miss Chubby" at the beauty contest held in the village of Forcoli, near Pisa. She weighs 170 kilograms (375 pounds).
30 contestants paraded before an audience of 2,500 at a local hotel, wearing gowns, or for those who cared to show more, undergarments. Some even dared a little glamour striptease. There is no big prize for the winner, just a huge cake to share around, and perhaps for all the contestants a boost in self-esteem in contrast to the mockery many obese face. "When we get on a bus, people nudge each other, and whisper, making fun of us, and it's the same on the beach," said redheaded Marilena Amato. "We are the victims of severe discrimination, it's as if we are second class citizens," said another contestant, Antonia Bartolo, a 37-year-old nurse from the Milan region.
The contest's founder, Gianfranco Lazzereschi, says the event showcases other types of beauty in women: "Why is it necessary to follow the dictates of what's beautiful?"