‘That’s Their Problem’: First Plus-Size Model In Miss Universe Pageant Fires Back At Trolls

Miss Nepal Jane Dipika Garrett has made history after becoming the first plus-sized woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. She has since opened up about her experience on the world stage as well as dealing with body shamers online.

This year’s Miss Universe pageant, which took place on November 19 in El Salvador, was truly extraordinary, inspiring and history-making. The 2023 pageant was the first to feature two transgender women — Miss Portugal’s Marina Machete and Miss Netherland’s Rikkie Kollé — and featured two mothers, Miss Guatemala’s Michelle Chohhn and Miss Colombia’s Camilla Avella.

It also had the first plus-sized candidate in its history, Miss Nepal’s Jane Dipika Garrett, who nabbed a spot in the top 20.

In an interview with Fox News, Garrett got candid about her historic role in the highly coveted pageant, mentioning she “did not expect to get much applause on stage or much spotlight”.

“I was just there to represent my country and to represent women all over the world. And that was my goal,” Garrett told the publication.

“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.”


Garrett was unfortunately exposed to online hate comments. During the interview, the Miss Universe icon revealed she witnessed comments that labelled her as a “whale” and accused her of “promoting obesity”.

“[The haters 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,” she shared.

(Image source: Hector Vivas / Getty Images)

She went on to reveal that she has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affects one in ten reproductive-age women in Australia. Due to the condition, the model said she finds every day difficult due to fatigue, mood swings, brain fog and said it took a “toll on [her] mental health and [her] self-esteem”.

“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 told Fox News.

“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.”

Reflecting on her teenage years, the body positivity advocate admitted that she “had a lot of eating disorders and mental health issues” due to her goal of wanting to become a model.

“All the girls around me were very thin, especially when you’re a teenager… because that’s just their body type. And I would compare myself to a lot of the girls there, and I would feel like I’m not good enough,” she told the publication.

“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.” 

Towards the end of her chat with Fox News, Garrett said she wanted to make a clothing line specifically for “curvy girls” to “feel sexy” in their skin.

Although she may not have placed in the top five, I am so thankful that Garrett represented the community on the world stage. As someone who continually beats themselves up over their body image, their weight, the lingering stretch marks on my belly and all of that toxic behaviour, seeing Miss Nepal be graceful in her skin reminds me of how beautiful I am (gosh, why am I crying).

Even though it’s not me on that stage, I feel very emotional about having someone who looks exactly like me in a pageant that is notorious for having the hottest women on Earth. Seeing Garrett rock that stage like an absolute goddess reminded me that I am beautiful the way I am, I am allowed to eat when I’m hungry, and I can wear that swimsuit if I want to because I AM sexy AF.

Miss Nepal, Jane Dipika Garett, if you’re reading this I just want to thank you for representing me and a bunch of other women who may have had to second guess every decision they make due to body image, insecurities and society’s expectations.

Big ups to ya, love!

Image source: Getty Images / Hector Vivas