A woman who has been a model from skinny to plus size due to a medical condition says she is happier – as a larger catwalk queen.
Hannah Golding, 32, has been a size 8 up to a size 20 throughout her 12-year pageantry career.
Her weight has always fluctuated and last year was finally diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome – a hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 10 women. The condition causes high levels of testosterone and makes weight loss particularly difficult.
Mum-of-one Hannah, of Swindon, says she has more confidence now than when she was size 8.
She said: ”A lot of people judge you on your appearance or your size, especially those who think that pageants are really outdated because of old stereotypes of girls in bikinis with nothing in their head, but honestly they couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Even as a personal trainer, I was staying at a size 16-18 despite doing so much exercise.
“When I first started pageants as a size 8, I had little to no confidence and I think I always second guessed myself in a sea of girls my size.
“I’ve always been bottom heavy so always had curves but I feel as my size grew, my confidence did too.
“So things like negative comments and questions about why I compete, just solidify why I should be competing.”
Hannah feels that attitudes in all areas of society need to improve in order for genuine change to come about.
“A lot of people think that when it comes to size, size equals health which couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said. “You could be a slender size eight and have a lot of health problems, you can be a plus-size woman and have hardly any health problems.
“When I go to the doctors it’s always ‘you need to lose weight’, but in reality, all of my tests come back healthy – I’m generally fit, I can exercise and lift weights.
“I think the general conception is that just because you’re a plus-size woman it means you’re unhealthy and you’re not the stereotypical beauty that we see in pageants and in real life”, she added.
Hannah said a standout moment in her career was when she won a European title while pregnant in 2017.
“That kind of shocked a few people,” she said. “But it shows it’s moving in the right direction and breaking the stereotypes – knowing there are so many different types of girls in pageantry.”
Hannah says she has actually won more competitions when she has been a bigger size.
She said: “I’m a hundred percent more confident as a plus size woman with more trophies too. “75% of my wins were as a plus size woman!”
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