Encouragement,  Goals,  Healthy Priorites,  PFIT TIPS,  PFOCUS

Miss Skinniverse Contestants: Where’s the Beef?

If you are going to compete to be crowned the most beautiful woman in the world, I guess it’s understandable that you would need to look perfect – but is skinny perfect? I’m not talking about Miss Universe winner, Olivia Culpo. I’m talking about pageants in general, top models, and even plastic dolls that teach women you have to be THIN it to WIN it.

Barbie dolls

When I looked back at prior pageants, you can clearly see judge’s standards get higher and higher – and skinnier and skinnier. Look at the how beauty has evolved and how the woman’s “ideal body” has changed over the years.

1950 Miss Universe bikini

miss universe bikini




By looking at these photos, that’s not all that has changed. The 2012 contestants (pictured above) posed poolside in Vegas in more provocative poses – and look more like Victoria Secret models than roll models. Of course I am SURE many of these women are just as beautiful on the inside as the outside, but unfortunately first impressions are important – and I’m not sure they are sending the right message. And, if this is what these girls looks like now, what will women look like in 2020? How much skinnier and sexier can they get?

Barbies to Mannequins


So, I may sound like a bitter old hag that never weighed less than 120lbs (expect maybe in middle school), and I admit, I sat on the couch eating my pistachios thinking “I am a complete fatso next to them” – and I have a pretty health self-esteem. But, what if I didn’t workout and I had no one to lift me up and let me know my weight is OK. Seriously, I’d probably take up bulimia.

Truth is, this is nothing new. Skinny models are everywhere you look. Hosting TV shows, modeling in magazines, starring in films and advertising products. But is this healthy? I don’t think so.

Fortunately, reality TV and the paparazzi has turned real life people (musicians, athletes, actresses and reality stars) into today’s top models, which has given us a little more reality when it comes to bodies. There are also more stars working out and getting fit than ever before, but skinny still exists and Barbies still sell.

It seems there is no real middle ground in America – it’s like people are either really fat or the are really skinny. Which is funny, does a heavy country really want to see a bunch of bony girls modeling clothes. Seriously – after I go shopping, I always leave feeling like a Barbarian after comparing clothes on the mannequins to the same clothes on me. It’s really an unhealthy message. No wonder women are twice as likely to become depressed as men. We began our childhood comparing ourselves to Barbie, and now compare ourselves to the skinny headless mannequins.

Bonnie vs. Barbie: Body Comparison


To put things into perspective, if Barbie was my best friend (well, let’s just say she wouldn’t be. I’d have to hate her with a body like that!), look how we’d compare if Barbie was also 5’9 like me…

Bonnie: 140lbs
Barbie: 110lbs

Bonnie: 38″ chest
Barbie: 39″ chest

Bonnie: 28″ waist
Barbie: 18″ waist 

Bonnie: 38″ hips
Barbie: 33″hips

Bonnie: Size 9 shoe
Barbie: Size 3 shoe

Barbie’s BMI is 16.4, which, according to a doctor, would be considered anorexic.

That is a really REALLY scary thought! I doubt very seriously we’d buy Anorexic Barbie if it was titled that way, but that’s what little girls are playing with for hours on end – an anorexic doll.

I don’t think my opinion will change beauty pageants or modeling agencies, but I do think putting the facts out there can change people and help encourage women, and their daughters. Girls need to know that Barbie is not realistic, and women need to just focus on being THEIR best – because THAT’s beautiful!

Fit for the Crown

Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo

Congratulations Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, for your victory! You are a beautiful woman!!  Miss USA wasn’t always thin. Once a chubby kid, Olivia now follows a healthy diet and exercise routine. While she is thin, I could tell by her bikini body that she was not skinny fat (like many of the women I saw last night on stage) – but indeed fit and healthy. I was right! Keep it up Olivia! Read more on Miss Universe’s diet and exercise routine in the Examiner.

Everyone was truly stunning lat night. Just remember ladies, little girls are looking up to you and you have the power to be a positive influence …or a negative one. You may not have won Miss Universe, but you don’t have to wear the crown to make a difference in our universe. 🙂

Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


  • Christallin

    Really love this article. Barbie is a doll for pete’s sake, not a person. I love your comparison and I have to tell you I am the best looking, beautiful, fine, looking sister I know and I weigh in at 157.6 38-30.5-38. at 5’9.5″. I love the way you are keeping it real. Bony is not where it’s at, fit is!

  • Krysten @darwinianfail

    Love the Bonnie vs Barbie diagram. Really helps put those unrealistic standards in perspective.

    I could not agree more. Health needs to be the focus. Not skinny. Not an unhealthy number on the scale. As women we need to choose health and happiness! And sett better examples for the women and girls who come after us.

    • Bonnie Pfiester

      I have to admit, I bet it is easy to get fixated on skinny if you compete in pageants like this. I bet the pressure is enormous. Hopefully we can make a difference and try to encourage people to focus on healthy, not just their waistline 🙂

  • beka @ rebecca roams

    Great post!! I think Olivia Culpo is beautiful and I agree- she looks FIT as the result of good diet and exercise. Way too many young women have it burned into their brain that the skinnier they are the more attractive. It’s such a bad viewpoint and I am so glad that the “strong is sexy” mentality is beginning to make a comeback. Albeit, not quick, but much more than the previous years!

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