<p>Megan Byrne wins Miss Voluptuous Wales</p>

Megan Byrne wins Miss Voluptuous Wales

Mother who was bullied for her weight wins Miss Voluptuous title

‘You don’t need to fit into the social expectation of body size to be beautiful,’ she says

Saman Javed
Monday 18 October 2021 14:33
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A mother who was targeted by online trolls over her weight has become an award-winning plus-sized model.

Megan Byrne, a 22-year-old from Wrexham, has been crowned Miss Voluptuous Wales – an international pageant for women who are size 14 and above.

She is now competing for a chance to win a Miss World title in the plus-size competition.

Byrne first began modelling during her teenage years before becoming pregnant with her son, Frankie.

In the two years that followed, she gained nine stone and went from a size zero to size 16.

Megan Byrne wins Miss Voluptuous Wales

Byrne, who now uses her Instagram account, @__megbyrne__, to encourage women to be proud of their bodies, says she has faced a tirade of abuse from online bullies.

“I have been called a ‘whale’ a ‘fat pig’ and told I should be ashamed of promoting being fat. The average woman in the UK is size 12 to 16, so I am the ‘average’ size of a woman,” she says.

“I get posts weekly on my Facebook page and in my messages on Instagram that I should be ashamed of myself because of my weight. It can be pretty upsetting to read these things sometimes but I know I can’t let them win.”

Now, she is determined to promote a positive body image for women after struggling throughout her life.

She recalls being in and out of hospital as a teenager because of disordered eating, and being in a “dark place” and relying on “fad diets” to try to lose weight after giving birth to her son.

“Looking back now, I’m like ‘what the hell were you thinking?’” she says.

“You don’t need to fit into the social expectation of body size to be ‘beautiful’ and I am doing what I can to spread this message of body appreciation and empowerment.”

Following her Miss Voluptuous win, Byrne is starring in an upcoming TV series, The Fashion Hero, which aims to champion non-stereotypical models.

“The show is for people who wouldn’t usually be given a second look in a typical modelling agency because of their weight and size,” she adds.

“The message isn’t just about excepting plus-size bodies, it’s about excepting all body types, it has contestants from size four to size 34. They should all be appreciated.”

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