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Belarus national to represent Nigeria at Miss Top of the World Plus Size 2019

Vanesa Marskaya-Umenne participated in the Miss Belarus Plus Size pageant /​

23-year-old blogger and Miss Belarus Plus Size participant Vanesa Marskaya-Umenne will represent Nigeria for the first time at the international beauty pageant Miss Top of the World Plus Size 2019.

Maryia Razumava and Vanesa Marskaya at Euroradio studio / Maryia Vaitovich, Euroradio

"Initially, I was preparing to represent Belarus. When the voting kicked off, my relatives from Nigeria were rooting for me and asked why I would not consider representing Nigeria. I explained to them that it was not allowed to represent two countries," Vanesa told Euroradio.

Her relatives upset, Vanesa thought: "Well, I am half African. My looks are not Belarusian anyway"

Vanesa was born into an international family. Her father is from Nigeria and the mother is Belarusian. She says she always felt that she lived in two parallel worlds. One is in the south where big shapes are welcome and considered beautiful. The other is in the north where many women cannot be happy unless they have the 90-60-90 standard.

"I will participate in the contest representing Nigeria in order to demonstrate its national colors and the beauty of African women. I feel it is also very important to show to European girls how to love and respect yourself in any body shape. Basically, weight does not matter. The number one thing is to be healthy," Vanesa added. 

When the young woman advanced to the Top 12 and was about to fight for a spot in the Top 5 she discussed her idea with the jury and received full support from the Belarusian and foreign organizers. All the parties agreed that Vanesa would represent her second motherland Nigeria at the Miss Top of the World Plus Size 2019 beauty pageant on 5-10 November in Kyiv.

Belarusian designer Natallia Liakhavets will sow a gown for the final evening, while Nigeria will provide the ethnic gown. The Nigeria ambassador will arrive at the contest.

If Vanesa or one of the five finalists wins Miss Belarus Plus Size, it is likely that Minsk will host the pageant in 2020.