First Plus-Sized Miss Universe Contestant Describes Her Struggles With Weight Gain

Miss Nepal
Hector Vivas/Getty Images

The first-ever plus-sized Miss Universe contestant, Jane Dipika Garrett, said she struggles with weight gain due to a medical condition.

The 22-year-old beauty pageant participant said she was surprised to have made it so far in the competition. Garrett, who represents Nepal, spoke with Fox News Digital about the experience so far. 

“I really did not expect to get that much applause on the stage or that much spotlight,” Garrett told the outlet. “I came with a humble heart… but when I won on that stage, I got the loudest applause from the whole entire audience. And that felt so good because it was like a breakthrough moment for me and for society that they see something different, that they see real size beauty.”

Miss Nepal also noted how some viewers had negative reactions to her being a contender for Miss Universe.

“I see things like, ‘Oh, she’s a whale,’ or ‘That’s disgusting. I’m going to vomit.’ Or like, ‘She’s promoting obesity.’ ‘Why don’t you go to the gym?’ And things like that,” she said. “And it’s like they don’t even know my story. They don’t even know what I’m going through.”

Garrett told Fox News that she has a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This condition causes the ovaries to produce a higher amount of male sex hormones, which can lead to weight gain, irregular periods, acne, cysts, infertility, and excess hair growth.

“So it’s very easy for us to gain weight,” the beauty pageant contestant said. “Even if we just look at a piece of cake, we can gain weight,” she said. “[Critics are] just judging me from social media. And that’s their problem. I don’t let it bother me… Society can be very cruel. People can be very cruel sometimes.”

“Recently, I’ve gained a lot of weight because of my hormonal issues,” Garrett continued. “And that’s also really taken a toll on my mental health and my self-esteem because I thought that I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t beautiful enough. But I really had to get the validation for myself and learn how to have a positive mindset and to love myself despite not feeling my best self,” she said. 

“It’s about being confident in your own skin and accepting who you are, where you are at. So I had to really remove all of those messages that were coming from society as well as coming from my own mind. So I had to really brainwash myself again and accept who I am and love myself.”

Garrett also said she believes that any body type can be beautiful.

“You don’t have to do something like what a celebrity does or that a model does to be considered beautiful. I think that what’s most important for you, whatever suits you, is what is beautiful for you. And then I think that’s so important to just embrace who you are and love who you are and not try to fit into what society says is beautiful,” Garrett added. 


Miss Nepal went on to describe how she struggled with mental health and “had a lot of eating disorders and mental health issues” during childhood. 

“I would feel like I’m not good enough. I’m too big because I’ve always been naturally big-boned. The boys had naturally a bigger figure. I’ve always been curvy since I was a child,” she said.

Finally, Garrett said being healthy is more important than being very thin. “Some models can completely starve themselves and do like liposuction or something. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s their own choices, but then they could be promoting that as their beauty standards,” she said. “And then some people that are very overweight and are very unhealthy could be promoting that and saying that that that they’re being body positive. But I think that there should be a balance.” 

She added, “Body positivity for me basically stands for whatever body that you’re in. You accept it, you love yourself, you are embracing what you are, but you’re also going towards a healthy lifestyle.”

This year’s Miss Universe contest previously made headlines for the inclusion of two trans-identifying contestants, 23-year-old flight attendant Marina Machete who is competing as Miss Portugal and Rikkie Kollé, who won the title of Miss Netherlands.

Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua was crowned the 2023 Miss Universe during the 72nd Miss Universe Competition on November 18.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  First Plus-Sized Miss Universe Contestant Describes Her Struggles With Weight Gain