Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Full Figure Queen Pageant 2011

 Toccara Burgess, Brittany Williams, Shamika Adams, Tarsha Hagan-Watts, Charleen James, Kim Davis 

The Full Figure Queen Pageant is back for its 2nd year and it just keeps getting better and better.  Under the direction of Brenda “The Promoter” Murray, Jacksonville celebrated the full-figured woman in a very special way on September 11, 2011. 
Tarsha Hagan-Watts

The full figured queen pageant is an annual event that is meant to honor and showcase plus size men and women.  This year the pageant was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Jacksonville.   There were six contestants whose ages ranged from 18-35.    These group of women brought with them beauty, class, and talent that included dance, spoken word, and sign language. 
We were introduced to the Queens in there opening act.  They danced to music by Mary J. Blige, “Just Fine” with lyrics that read:
“So I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking pass a mirror…”  With every step that these ladies took one could easily tell that they embraced these words and expressed them through their dance.
If you are not familiar with the world of pageantry and you think all you need to win the crown is a puffy dress, heavy make-up, and a stiff hand wave then your sadly mistaken.

The Queens in their opening act
The Full Figured Queen Pageant like many others began well before pageant night, and there are many qualifications.   Contestants must undergo an extensive interview process, complete a 500 word essay, showcase their talent, and practice, practice, practice.  Judging begins the first day you walk in to register.  According to Brenda Murray, founder of the Full figured Queen pageant, “This pageant is committed to excellence in every area of all full-figured men and women.”  The contestants must learn an opening act routine, a runway routine for their casual, business and formal wear, perform their talent, and answer interview questions and all of this is done in front of a room full of people and several judges. 
But these ladies were definitely up to the challenge.  They walked the runway flawlessly and answered their interview question without breaking a sweat.

Ms. Full Figure Queen: Shamika Adams
In the end the crown for Ms. Full Figure Queen 2011 went to Shamika Adams, a native of Jacksonville, Fl. who is a certified HIV/aids testing counselor.  Shamika plans to use her time with the crown to give back to her community.  She wants to volunteer at several Jacksonville shelters, including the Clara White Mission and Beam (Beaches Emergency assisted Ministry).  She will also be making a special appearance at the 2012 MLK parade.    Adams also won”best essay” and “Ms. Photogenic”.  Second runner up went to Kim Davis and Miss Congeniality was won by Charleen James.  Every contestant received an honorable mention.

Brittany Williams in a suprise proposal
The night was filled with many special attractions and surprises.  One contestant, Brittany Williams received a special surprise when her boyfriend proposed to her during her formal attire walk. Each lady was to be accompanied by their special someone but Kimberly entered alone.  Her boyfriend was not in the proper attire to escort her but when she entered he rushed up to her, took her hand and knelt on one knee.  A mic was offered to him so the entire audience could share in their special moment. 

Other special attractions included, three dance numbers by the Dazzling Diamonds, a line dancing group with women ranging in age from 65 to 80.  The group is spear headed by Dr. Dawn McDermott.  There was also a special performance by Gregory, The gospel artist.  Mr. Gary Thomas of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Foundation made a special speech and also served as a judge.  Commentators included Dr. Drake of 92.5, First Lady Kimberly Mckissick of Bethel Baptist and Candace Smith creator of Phatabulous Magazine. 

Commentators: Dr. Drake of 92.5, First Lady Bethel Baptist Kimberly Mckissick, Candace Smith
Brenda "The Promoter" Murray

Tarsh Hagan-Watts strutting her stuff in her casual wear

The Queen-Shamika adams

The Dazzling Diamonds

Opera Singer-Mrs. Melissa Todd-Doehne

Kimberly Davis performing a monologue

"The Queen"Shamika adams performing Single Ladies

The 2010 Queen Monique Coles

One of the performances "Gregory the Gospel artist"

Mr. Gary Thomas with the MLK Memorial Foundation

Brenda “The Promoter” Murray is now registering youth for her next upcoming debut, “The Unique Teen King and Queen Pageant.  For more information on any of these events please contact her at:

Candace Smith or call 904-887-4165.

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