A full Moon wins them over

Beautiful girls: Miss Jumbo Queen 2011 Yoong Swen Moon (centre) flanked by 1st runner-up Kelly Ong Kay Li (right) and 2nd runner-up Winnie Goh Yea-Min

Ten gutsy ladies aged 21 to 39 proved that big is beautiful in their own individual ways in a beauty contest for women over 80 kg (176 lbs).

Yoong Swen Moon, 21, a make-up artist and TV commercial agent from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur was crowned Miss Jumbo Queen 2011 recently. She surpassed strong competition to take the title at the grand finale held at Sungei Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur.

KK Lim and Miss Jumbo Queen 2011 Yoong Swen Moon (centre), who was crowned by Jumbo Queen 2010 winner Karina Abdullah (right)

It was a moment of great excitement for Moon, who said, “It was tough. I never ever thought I could win.”

Moon weighs 94kg and has a 42-38-42 frame. She took home a cash prize of RM5,000, shopping vouchers worth RM2,000, a trophy and a sash. “I love my size,” she says, “I was born that way and I’m proud and happy to be the size that I am.”

The girls modelling their own evening wear had a presence denied the usual pageant of model stereotypes

“I will give all the prize money to my mum who has always been a source of great support. Her care, encouragement and support gave me all the confidence to be myself,” added Moon, who also won Miss Most Talented.

The concourse of Sungei Wang Plaza was packed to the brim with supporters waving banners and placards and chanting the names of their heroines. Others blew whistles and sounded their horns. Another group waved pom-poms in the air and yelled at the top of their voices. The melodious beats of the kompang and bhangra drum whipped the crowd into fever pitch.

One of the heaviest contestants Azurah Bt Ismail (120 kg) and her son in this beautiful mother-son dance that had the crowd really enthralled

The 10 finalists went through two rounds of catwalk; first modelling casual wear from Joan Allen & Joan Sports and later, their own evening wear.

They enjoyed their time on stage busting a move or singing in the talent performance, drawing loud cheers from the crowd.

The contestants were judged on criteria such as stage personality, charm, talent and crowd response by a panel of five judges who included ERA FM presenter and singer Dina Nadzir.

KK Lim, senior manager (promotions and public relations) of Sungei Wang Plaza, which organised  the event said: “We got the idea from Thailand while reading a magazine about a Jumbo Queen contest in that country and we found it quite interesting. So we decided to organise one here back in 2007.

Contestant Purnisha A/P Premchand, 31, at 112 kg, displays her talent at bhangra. She won the subsidiary title of Mix FM Most Popular Choice Award

“[But] in 2007, we faced the challenge of getting contestants to participate. They were shy because of the stigma attached to their plus-size bodies.

“But things have changed since then and in 2010 we got better response from participants because it was not that big a stigma anymore (no pun intended) and of course the quality of participants has been improving all the time.

The girls had their groupies

Lim said they received about 100 registration forms this year and the participants were
much younger and prepared to come on stage without shyness getting in the way. They also received a lot of support from sponsors and the mass media.

Contestant Honey Chan Ang Li, 22, at 89 kg wows the crowd with her classical Indian dance

“Most of them are very appreciative of this contest. Previously they thought only slim women qualify as beauty queens. These large women now have a chance, a platform, to express their individuality, boost their confidence and enhance their great personalities.

“There is a lot of talent among them as seen from their performance on stage. They really had fun tonight even though some of them did not win any awards.

We are overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm shown by the public and members of the media. The large crowd was tremendous considering that it was held on a weekday. The weekend crowd would have been very much bigger. We have decided to organise the Jumbo Queen competition annually.”

Miss Jumbo Queen 2011, Yoong Swen Moon
1st Runner-up, Kelly Ong Kay Li
2nd Runner-up. Winnie Goh Yea-Min

Most Popular, Sharon Lim Su Ling, 23, 120 kg
Most Talented, Yoong Swen Moon, 21, 94 kg
Most Online Votes on Facebook, Winnie Goh Yea-Min, 29, 117kg
Mix FM Most Popular Choice Award, Purnisha A/P Premchand, 31, 112kg
MY FM Most Popular Choice Award, Sharon Lim Su Ling, 23, 120 kg