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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Buff State chapter.

Miss Phat 2016.

This was not only the first Miss Phat I have been to but, it was also the first pageant show I’ve attended at Buffalo State. Even though each contestant wanted to entertain us and ultimately win the crown, the show itself really opened my eyes and helped me understand things better. Each performance had an underlying message or words of inspiration. The sickening fact is that around the world, females are still being body shamed. It is unfortunate that it continues to happen but we have people out there who are willing to bring down others just to make themselves feel better. Why is it that we continue to body shame others or put them down for whatever reason? There is a reason we all don’t look alike. We are born the way we are and there’s nothing we can change. We need to learn to embrace it because it is what makes each and everyone of us unique. It is time to break out of this ignorant and egotistical point of view where if we do not look like A-list celebrities, then we aren’t accepted.

Throughout society, we have had roles and idealistic placed on us, females, of what we should be, what we should look like and what we should do with the life we are given. Many see females as second best, to the point where they believe males should be the breadwinners and females should sit back playing housewife. It is because of these social stigmas that females continue to be brought down. In regards to body shaming, there is this certain look one must acquire in order to be considered suitable to someone. One has to be a certain height, a certain weight, a certain body figure, a certain color, and the list goes on. Very rarely is someone appreciated or noticed for their talents or personalities. But having pageants like Miss Phat really helps build the confidence of not only the contestants but others who have struggled with their body image. The pageant itself really embodies strength and courage.

I personally want to thank those who continue to love themselves for who they are and really accept the challenges that are brought upon them. Congratulations to those who have competed on Sunday and for the past eight years.

Amanda Velazquez Senior Buffalo State College Campus Correspondent Media Production Major Apparel Construction and Pattermaking Minor Obsessed with Justin Timberlake An athlete on the days my heart decides to act right. Overall, I’m super dope!