Siberian pageant shows beauty comes in all sizes

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KRASNOYARSK, Russia (Reuters) - In Russia's snowy Krasnoyarsk, women preparing for a plus-sized beauty contest parade around a hall dressed in ball gowns and swimsuits - but also take classes in kick-boxing and dancing.

The competition, now in its second year, is organized by a local modeling agency, SibPlus. Inna Sertrakova, who works at the agency, said the pageant in May aims to challenge Russian attitudes that equate beauty with an ultra-slim figure.

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Russia's plus-sized beauty contest
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Russia's plus-sized beauty contest

Galina Tiptsova, a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a participant of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition, jumps into the snow at the Polar Bear winter swimmers club in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia, March 4, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition walk during a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition prepare before a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Olga Olesnitskaya, a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a winner of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, takes a bath in the icy waters of the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Anastasia Pustovoitova, a senior inspector of railway cars, who is also a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a participant of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, inspects a train at the Yenisei railway station of the Trans-Siberian Railway in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 3, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition watch their trainer pouring a bucket of cold water over himself at the Polar Bear winter swimmers club in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia, March 4, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Julia Perminova, a dough specialist, who is also a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a participant of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, works at a bakery in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 3, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Olga Olesnitskaya, a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a winner of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, takes a bath in the icy waters of the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition get their bodies measured during a training session in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 5, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

A trainer leads models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition during a training session in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 5, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Olga Olesnitskaya, a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a winner of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, prepares before a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition take part in a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition take part in a training session in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 5, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

A trainer leads models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition during a training session in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 5, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

A trainer leads models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition during a training session in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 5, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

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"We want to show off our femininity even though it doesn't conform to current fashion standards because we want to be seen as beautiful," said Olga Olesnitskaya, 25, who won the competition in 2016.

Another of last year's contestants, Aleksandra Ryzhenkova, a violinist for the Krasnoyarsk State Opera Theatre and Ballet, said taking part had helped boost her self-image.

"After my children were born I put on a lot of weight and started trying to hide my figure, she said.

(Reporting by Ilya Naymushin; Writing by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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