From the UK's Daily Mirror
Yes you can be size 16 and sexy ..says Miss England hopeful Chloe Marshall
Chloe Marshall (Pic:DM)
Here, at last, was a positive role model in the shape of a potential Miss England.
A 17-year-old, size-16 trainee beautician from Guildford, Surrey, who proves you can be beautiful without being slimmed down by an artist's airbrush.
We asked the 5ft 10in teenager, who is 12st 8lbs, to model high-street outfits and tell us why being bigger than the average celeb is sexy.
I didn't give my figure a second thought until my first day of secondary school, when I realised I was bigger than many other children.
Someone called me "fat". I was stunned by the nastiness of it. Children can be cruel so for a while the nicknames followed me. I got called "Fatty" and it hurt.
Mum told me: "You're beautiful whatever size you are and never feel ashamed." But by 13 I was already a C cup. Flat-chested girls were jealous. Being curvy gave me kudos and from then on I embraced it. Now I want to be an ambassador for teenagers who are plus sizes.
I want to dispel the myth that being bigger means you're unhealthy. It worries me how many teenage girls have body issues and even develop anorexia.
Some people gain weight because of a bad diet or lack of exercise but there are lots of people like me who exercise regularly and eat well but are just naturally bigger.
Everyone is different. So it upsets me that curvy role models like Charlotte Church and singer Adele are few and far between.
There's a lot of pressure to be skinny and I want teenagers to be happy with the way they are.
It is a myth that men only like skinny girls. I get plenty of attention from guys, although for now the boyfriends can wait as I want to concentrate on finishing college first.
I hope I get through to the finals for Miss England, as I'm showing a different side to beauty. I'm not just another stereotypical skinny blonde.
People ask how I will cope among so many tiny girls and whether I will feel out of place, but it won't bother me. I know big can be beautiful.
I'm happy the way I am. If Miss England was a plus size it would really break the mould.'
'Women who are too thin look old'
Shapely singer Mica Paris, of TV's What Not To Wear, recently wrote a book called Beautiful Within: Finding Happiness And Confidence In Your Own Skin. She says:
'Chloe is a great role model and I'm so thrilled she is standing up for plus size girls. For the past decade women have been going through hell. As a nation we're too obsessed with size. For the majority of women it's totally unrealistic to be a size zero, as women get older they naturally fill out.
Cur ves are gorgeous and great women of the past embraced them - look at Marilyn Monroe, who was a size 14! Personally, I think women who have forced themselves to be too thin look old. You should embrace your natural shape.
My stats are not that far off Chloe's and I'm really happy with my curves. I look great! You've got to relax and not worry about weight. When you see stars who obsessively stick to size zero they just look edgy and moody.
Whereas the stars who eat what they want to eat and don't obsess about food look relaxed and great. It's time for real women to fight back!