Recently in Nairobi, Tracy Nduati beat a crowded field to be crowned the first ever Miss Kenya Plus World. She shares her experiences with Faith Kyoumukama
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I would describe myself as a confident and independent-minded young woman, comfortably discussing topical issues. I also organise social get-together events for family and friends. I love spending time helping underprivileged children in orphanages.
You were recently crowned Miss Kenya Plus World 2019. What inspired you to take part in the competition?
I have always been a big girl since the age of 10 and this inspired my journey to embrace who I am and be comfortable in my body. I will use my voice as the contest’s titleholder to amplify and inspire young girls in big bodies to love and be confident in who they are. I want them to believe they can be whatever they want and aspire to be.
What went through your mind that moment your name was called out as the winner?
Shock! Shock! I became so emotional, cried tears of joy and I was immensely grateful for the victory because it took God’s hand to get that throne.
Generally, how was the journey and competition for you?
It was full of emotions and eye-opening. I discovered so much about myself. It opened many questions that helped me reflect on who Tracy really is and what she stands for. I shared my journey with 29 other beautiful women from different backgrounds, shared their experiences and competed for one title with the same goal of ‘be comfortable in your body’, which was quite an adventure.
What was the most valuable lesson you learnt during the competition?
The power of sisterhood and how women should build up each other. Plus-size women uniquely experience social stigma and innuendos and it’s important to create relationships that build up individuals instead of tearing them down or looking down on them.
Is it necessary to have pageants specifically for plus-size women?
Such platforms are important to give women a voice that regardless of their body size, they deserve an equal opportunity.
There is a need to appreciate beauty without standards and hence the need to include big plus-size women and men in the beauty and fashion industries.
So, what next for Tracy Nduati?
I intend to use this platform to change the narrative around body-shaming, encourage body positivity while holistically fighting for women’s human rights by engaging with like-minded organisations such as the ‘Heels for Pads’ initiative that raises awareness on menstruation by easing access to sanitary towels, among others.
What’s your advice for curvy girls desiring to participate in such competitions?
Believe in yourself and your capabilities and go for it. Don’t be shy to take a step.
Describe your style in few words.
I call it ‘Triple C Attack’. Comfortable, classy and curvaceous.
In all honesty, what would you do if money was never an object?
I would like to go on a culinary travel adventure around the world.
Who is your favourite designer?
To be honest, none. I go for whatever is comfortable and bring out my personality.
What do you think every curvy lady should own?
Confident attitude and good spanxs.
What’s your best fashion buy this year?
Black high-waist jeans from LC Waikiki; they are comfortable that I can pair them up with anything.
Whose style do you admire?
Trendy Curvy’s Christine and Queen Latifa. Both have styles that are comfortable without necessarily looking skimpy.
What’s your go-to accessory?
A classy bracelet is a must-have.
What do you splurge on?
I am the ultimate foodie and love trying out new places. I spend more on food than on clothes and shoes.