The average sized woman in the UK stands firm at a size 16. Despite the fashion worlds recent advances in size inclusion, decades of conditioning from the media regarding the "ideal body type" has left millions of women with low self esteem/belief.
Ms Curvaceous UK is a Model management company that hosts a massive female empowerment campaign and the biggest modelling competition in Europe for models from a size 12 and above with the aim to change beauty perspectives worldwide. The founder, Theodore Ilori states, "Being born unique is a blessing exclusive to you".
Every year, hundreds of women attend the agencies body confidence, modelling and beauty workshops, then audition to compete for the title, Ms Curvaceous UK.
This year 5000 women applied, 50 got through to an exciting 3-stage photo shoot challenge and 30 made it to an intense modelling bootcamp before competing at the Grand Final Catwalk competition in Hackney for the prestigious title, Ms Curvaceous UK 2018.
This year the choice of venue, Hangar by London fields, embodied the urban, edgy and vibrant vibe of Shoreditch bringing a fresh and younger energy to the show. The night was hosted for a second year by International Ms Beauty Curve and Plus Size Blogger, Kat Henry who once again kept the audience energised and engaged every step of the way.
The show opened with a swimwear catwalk for designer, Work Your Curves, and styled by Sharif Robert Ofori that had the audience on their feet cheering, as the contestants took to the runway with confidence during a live performance from UK's rising star, Levelle London.
When it seemed like the catwalk was over, a second eruption in the audience occured as male models appeared on the stage to join the curvy ladies on the runway with sexy and stylish choreography, put together by renowned Catwalk Coach, Reuben P Joseph.
Ms Curvaceous UK stayed true to its message on diversity by inviting Sia from “The Disgusted Campaign”, striving for diversity in the fashion industry to launch Ms Curvaceous UK’s trademark audience catwalk where anyone of any shape size, gender, ability or race gets to strut their stuff on the runway. This year the participants included beauty queens, kings, parents, kids and more.
The 2nd round of the competition had the models catwalking in stylish evening wear sponsored by Xehar, who's CEO, Hadari Oshri sat on the judging panel. The stakes were high knowing she would be flying the winner out to LA to do a fashion campaign. Other judges included CEO of Europe's biggest plus size magazine "Style and Curve", Lyz Lupo and legendary female rapper, Lioness one of the originators from the UK's iconic grime scene.
The judges were all in awe after the initial catwalks and their feedback made it clear how hard the choice they had would be.
The clothing for the 3rd catwalk had an edgy streetwear theme sponsored by Reebok and Missguided, put together by stylist, “Styled By H”. Each model had the challenge of posing with different styles on a chair before hitting the runway in a choreographed three model formation. It was introduced by a street dance collective, Glitch. They set the tone for the attitude,energy and sassy catwalk that followed
Once the models had left the stage we had a blast from the past from previous Ms Curvaceous UK finalists in the model collective, “The Curve Squad” hitting the stage wearing their new collection in a trendy black and white themed streetwear girl power attire put together by stylist, “Styled By H”. The energy in the room exploded when Judge, Lioness hit the stage to perform her newest classic whilst the Curve Squad backed her up on stage. This brought the audience on to the runway for a mini concert like performance and became one of the iconic highlights of the night.
The soulful rising award winning UK vocalist Lylo Gold calmed down the audience with her soothing voice. Whilst singing her soul-gripping hit, Starry Night, whilst the contestants joined the stage one by one. Suspense took over the room as we all waited to find out who would be the next Ms Curvaceous UK.
The top 5 models were announced! Georgia Globe, Shanika Carstens Campbell, Jessica Parish, Corrine Mensah and Chloe Fiducia!
For the first time in Ms Curvaceous UK history a tie was announced between Corrine and Chloe for 1st place. As a result, the founder, Theodore Ilori pronounced that the winner would be decided by a final showdown.
The energy from the audience was heightened with screams for both girls as they hit the runway for the last time.
Finally the judges had made up their minds, the winner was announced, Corrine Mensah! In seconds the stage was rushed by the fellow contestants and members of the audience to congratulate her as she shed tears of happiness having beaten 5000 women across the country to win the title, Ms Curvaceous UK 2018.
Since winning the competition, Corrine has been on BBC World News and Al Jazeera discussing hot topics within the fashion industry and injustice against curvier women. She will be flown out to LA to shoot a fashion campaign for Xehar Curvy, get an exclusive feature in Style and Curve Magazine, as well as £500 and a 12 month Modelling contract from Ms Curvaceous UK.
This was truly a year for the books.
To book models for your brand or to register to be a model in next years Ms Curvaceous UK go to www.mscurvaceousuk.com