State minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda has said he recently agreed to launch the Miss Curvy contest as a means of tapping into the potential of these women, rather than trivializing their personality.
The minister’s clarification came as he appeared before Parliament on Wednesday to explain his role in the recent furore over the pageant, due in April.
Mr Kiwanda said that his participation in the Miss Curvy contest was entirely about celebrating beauty and tapping into the potential of such contests to promote tourism.
“My participation at the launch of Miss Curvy was misinterpreted since my focus was more to support beauty standards with our native cultural preferences and not using curvy women as tourist attractions. I never said that and I would never even think about it. I feel strongly that women, just like men should not be taken as commodities,” the minister said.
While insisting that the pageant was not a ministry initiative, Mr Kiwanda explained that the contest would give a platform to the women who are not usually appreciated for their appearance.
“The only difference with the other pageants that have been taking place and this one was the issue of the participants’ size. These ones are slightly bigger than the usual ones but the concept is the same,” Mr Kiwanda explained.
Following his presentation, legislators left with varying opinions about the contest and the minister with some, especially women, saying that even the title ‘Miss Curvy’ is offensive when used to describe a woman.
Mr Kiwanda, however, said that the criticism against the contest is uncalled for.