Azanie Lavia, a contestant who participated in the recently held Miss SVG pageant, as Miss Geccu, took to her official social media pages to respond to people who have been making disparaging remarks about her body size, and her choice to participate in the pageant as a young woman with a more shapely body than what is considered pageant “norm”.

Here’s what Azanie had to say:

Let me address this. This is 2018 people. I am in no way bothered by my body. It took me over 5 years to openly love myself and accept me for who I truly am. Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do because I am gifted in all the right places? Its funny how the persons criticizing are other women who should understand how hard it is to be a woman in society!! Then the men, wow! Men you are unbecoming! Those who know me knows that I can be as nasty you are being to me. I can make you feel the way you TRIED to make me feel. But I've learnt that not every action deserves a reaction. I LOVE THE WAY I LOOK! Maybe you should learn to love and accept who you are and you won't be so bitter and tasteless. I've seen all the comments and trust me I will never let it break me. To my fellow full figured ladies, we are more than just "stay at home mothers"! We can be whoever we want to be. A beauty pageant contestant even, I hope in years to come we see more of you! Its boring when all of the girls are skinny, then eventually the judges won't sideline us because it is something common. It is truly sad that this is a problem in 2018, in an island filled with black women who are known to full figured!?!?! How does that work? 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣

A post shared by Azanie Lavia (@azanielavia) on

Azanie has since received tremendous endorsement in the comment section under her post and across social media, from many women who further expounded on the issues of body shaming in SVG and left words of support and encouragement as well as scathing remarks to the body shamers, in her defense.