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Zoiey Smale, 28, won the Miss United Kingdom pageant in June this year and was supposed to be flying out to represent the UK in Ecuador
BYRHIAN LUBIN 18:15, 30 AUG 2017UPDATED18:23, 30 AUG 2017
Zoiey Smale is a size 10 and says she was told she needed to lose weight (Image: Facebook/Zoiey Smale)
A size 10 beauty pageant winner says she has handed back her crown after claiming she was told by organisers she needed to 'go on a diet'.
Zoiey Smale, 28, won the Miss United Kingdom pageant in June this year and was supposed to be flying out to represent the UK in Ecuador in the Miss United Continents competition.
But just weeks after the win, she claims organisers of the competition told Zoiey she needed to "lose as much weight as possible" to be in with a chance of winning, she claims.
The beauty pageant queen claims she was told to diet (Image: Facebook/Zoiey Smale)
Now Zoiey, 28, has handed back the crown (Image Facebook/Zoiey Smale)
Zoiey, from Nottinghamshire, wrote on Facebook: "Having been in the industry for over 10 years I have seen it all, from amazing competitions to international pageant directors bullying young aspiring girls into believing the only way to be successful is to be thin.
"I was branded 'fat' because I am size 10. I actually believed that I was so disgusting that no one would ever love me. How sad is that?
"After coming out of my retirement for one last 'Miss' competition I win another national title.
"It was supposed to be a positive experience as pageants have really changed in the last decade.
"I love seeing queens on my news feeds promoting giving through charity work, educating themselves, eating well and enjoying life.
Zoiey says she couldn't take part in the competition after being told to lose weight (Image: Facebook/Zoiey Smale)
"Those women know how hard it is to be a queen and run a normal life along side everything else," she continued.
"It saddens me that even still, there are pageant directors who believe you must be skinny to be beautiful.
"After being asked to lose weight and go on a diet plan for an international competition, I have withdrawn.
"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."
Zoiey added that she 'refuses' to change for anyone and is proud of what she looks like.
She wrote: "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.
"I have had some really amazing experiences through being in the pageant industry and made some lifelong friends and memories.
"However I don't believe anyone should be able to manipulate you and dull your sparkle."
She has been competing in pageants for over 10 years (Image: Facebook/Zoiey Smale)
At first she was going to take part in the competition despite the comments, but changed her mind after thinking about the example it would set.
She added: "I think it's important to empower women and know it's OK to be healthy, educated and a good role model.
"I didn't hand my crown over straight away. I was going to go out of protest, however what example would that be setting?"
She has been praised by many on social media for refusing the title.
One person wrote: "Thanks 4 being an inspiration to all the girls around the world. (sic)"
Alba Moreno said: "You're an example to thousands of women who feel complexes with their bodies in cons of the wrong new standards of beauty."
Lindsay Luco wrote: "Can you leave women alone and stop FAT SHAMING us?! This woman is a size 10 beauty queen, Zoiey Smale, who was told she's TOO FAT?!"
Paul Smyth said: "Good for you, I've seen too much of this nonsense as a photographer. I think you look amazing."
Mirror Online has contacted Miss United Continents for comment.
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