SAN BENITO — “Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful, isn’t she precious….”
Liliana Vidaurre is excited about competing in the Miss Plus World competition next month in Atlanta where women from throughout the world will compete for the title.
“I’ll be representing the Rio Grande which means I’ll be representing Texas and Mexico,” said Vidaurre, 37, who works as a model for local businesses.
All women in the competition are at least a size 12 plus.
“I’ve been promoting my modeling work for over eight years now,” said the San Benito native who now lives in McAllen. “My motto through my journey has always been that a woman my size could also model like the smaller models do.”
Vidaurre has also served as a model for artists, posing for hours at a time while they sketched or painted images of her.
Vidaurre said organizers are serious about the responsibilities of pageant winners.
“They’re asking us what we will do with the year that we have if we win this title,” Vidaurre said. “They want us to be a positive role model to our communities with this title. So they asked me what I’d like my platform to be.”
Her platform is eating disorders.
“I feel like eating disorders are very common to women who struggle with being a plus size like I am,” she said. “I know that not everyone who’s plus size has struggled with eating disorders, but I feel like a lot of women fall into eating disorders because they are afraid to be as large as I am.”
She herself has struggled with this.
“I’ve battled bulimia from the age of 15 to 30 years of age,” she said. “I began modeling at age 30 to help me build confidence and help me battle the disorder.”
Her postings on social media about this cause captured the attention of one of the pageant organizers who invited her to compete.
“She’s been eyeing me on social media for awhile,” Vidaurre said. “She reached out to me and said, ‘I know that you’ve never done a pageant but you hold a lot of the qualities we’re looking for in a woman that can represent our organization for that year of 2018 – 2019.’”
The woman pointed out the support Vidaurre has in the community.
“It seems like the topics that you bring up, the influence that you want to make, is to show women that all sizes are beautiful,” the woman told her.
Now she’s busily preparing for the competition, which includes exercising, eating right, and getting her dresses ready.
“One of the competitions will be wearing a dress that represents my region,” she said. “I’m thinking of wearing a dress that I will go to Mexico to buy because I’m covering Mexico and Texas.”
She’s having another dress by a woman from Nigeria.
“She’s worked with me for several years,” she said. “I’ve modeled her clothing fashions and she’s agreed to make me my formal. My head’s been racing. They grade you on the way your costumes, your dresses, your attire is organized.”
She is currently seeking businesses to sponsor her participation in the pageant. Anyone wishing to discuss possible sponsorship can call 956-739-2004 or 956-739-2206. The contest is July 24 to the 28.