A review of the Miss Pleasantly Plump and Beautiful show
When I heard of a show advertising plus-sized women I thought, well, here we go again! But then I heard it was organized by Ferdina Frampton who was at the helm of a Miss Pleasantly Plump and Beautiful Pageant. Well, for one, the integrity and standards should certainly be top grade, I thought, since the woman behind the scenes has a good reputation in the organization of shows and pageants.
So I walked into the pageant with some expectation; the ladies who were publicised aroused my interest as they really represented, in their photos, beauty and were not outrageously plus-sized but somewhat classy.
The show began fifteen minutes late… not bad. Master of Ceremonies Daryl Bobb came in at short notice to fill in for MC Pawol Bruno and his co- host Shara Georges. After introductory remarks by the director of the pageant, Ferdina, the show began.
The ladies were introduced as they danced to their spicy introductory piece then a wonderful guest act followed featuring the salsa dancing duo of Ansel Prince and Yanel Bruno who exceeded expectations. Reida Shillingford of Fond Cole/ Trafalgar was first to grace the stage and she give hope to the down trodden and those in despair.
"Don't worry there's a place for you," she stated.
Indeed, she demonstrated with her vocals there is a place for such talented plump-sized women.Before Desra Jude, a crowd favourite, came on stage there was an uncomfortable lull. She showcased a monologue "The Independent Woman". The Pointe Michel contestant demonstrated her independence in her hair salon while lamenting some women's preoccupation- doing nothing or engaged in gossip via social media. She created peals of laughter when she ran off stage shouting that her client did not pay her-all part of the act.
Diane Benjamin presented a dance on varied beats which the audience appreciated while Tawana Paris brought to focus a domestic situation when weight gain became a point of contention and eventual broke up the home.
"Baby, I'll be ok?" she assured the audience that she will find another who could appreciate her for what she was. One plus-plus-sized woman rose from the audience to demonstrate her approval, much to the delight of the patrons.
Jemima Moses of South City could have done a better job with Alicia Keys's "If I ain't got you". She was a bit nervy and out of breath, though one realised, she had a good tone.
Gatina Darroux from Petite Savanne was entertaining in her dramatic monologue which brought to the fore everything from football to social media. Despite the comedy, she presented a sound message calling on the community and families to return to the days when they interacted and spent time with each other as opposed to the informal 'What's up."
For Kyishma Victor it was a self-esteem speech for plus-sized women and an attempt at a rap calling them to uplift their image.
In the swimwear segment, Miss Shillingford did not show much confidence in contrast to the voluptuous pretty in pink Miss Jude from Pointe Michel. Apparently confident of her looks, bolstered by the cheers of fans she made sure we all had a good look until she was challenged by her suit and tried to make amends much to amusement of the crowd who we ready to pounce on any semblance of a flaw. Meanwhile, Machel Montano's "Bumper too big it dangerous" continued to serve as backdrop to the round.
Tawana Paris easily had the best-fitted swimwear, black which contrasted well with the white and pick decor of the stage and her own complexion. Moses and Darroux lacked the confidence of the former and seemed a bit tentative in their strides. Moses had a multi-coloured full swimwear while Darroux opted for a dark green but less conservative design.
It was in the evening wear that the plump ladies really shone as they really displayed their beauty in green, lime green, royal blue with appropriate sequins as accessories hugged curvaceous bodies, though I must say the military type song which accompanied them, did not do justice to the round.
The Question and Answer round, as usual, was the weakest; it proved challenging for the ladies except for Jimmit's Diane Benjamin who was short and spicy in her responses and Kyishma from Salisbury who took a longer route but seemed composed.
After the usual Miss Photogenic and Congeniality prizes, Dian Benjamin, who won the speech and casual wear segments, was announced Miss Pleasantly Plump and Beautiful. The popular Blue- Blue City lady, Tawana Paris won the swimwear round and was 2nd runner up just behind Gatina Darroux, the talent round winner, who took the 1st runner up position.
There was no place for best in evening wear winner, Kyishma Victor nor was there for the popular and I dare say most curvaceous Desra Jude who may go down in pageant history as the first contestant who appeared at number two in most rounds and for some unexplained reason was allowed to perform 7th in the evening wear segment .Congratulations to all the ladies because we all know in pageantry in this country destructive critics have a field day, so it takes guts to do what you have done.