Bree Boyce, 22, recently won Miss South Carolina and will be going on to compete in the Miss America pageant. The catch: over the course of two years, she lost 112 pounds. Initial stories are a bit misleading, making it seem like she *just* lost the weight. A bit of Internet research shows that she actually did it when she was in high school. Her highest weight was 234, and with 112 lbs lost, that puts her at 122 pounds (and I’m presuming mid-height — if she were my height, she’d fall over dead, ha!).
Here’s her before and after:
Bree did an interview with HeavyUSA. It’s long and honestly a bit dry, but gives you a better sense of her philosophy (and that she loves chocolate cake):
I’ll be honest, my first reaction when I saw it on The Huffington Post was “I call bullshit.” Then, my feelings became more… nebulous. She seems to be the real deal. I’m pleased to see her platform is teaching kids about obesity and health, and agree with her anti-diet stance.
However, I did have a few thoughts, and I wonder if anyone else thinks the way I do. Disclaimer: a lot of this may be projection XD
- Interesting that she said she “tried all the diets” (ie: Atkins, Weight Watchers) but none of them worked. When you’re only 17… how many diets can you honestly try and not have stick? I’m with her on Atkins, but WW isn’t a diet and if for you it is, UR DOIN IT WRONG. It just seemed like a pretty silly statement.
- Following on above, there is very little information on her Facebook Page or in any of the interviews with her on HOW she actually did it. Other than exercise and “not dieting”… really? You don’t lose 112 lbs that way. I don’t need a play-by-play, but, unfortunately, in the absence of that information, with all the “diets don’t work!” talk, it smacks of “I lost 112 lbs by SHEER WILLPOWER!” ie: the super human extreme weight loss model. And that just sends home the same negative messaging as always.
- She works out three hours a day. Ah, to be 22 and not have a job! (again with the super-human weight loss model!)
- But seriously, I kind of worry for her! Pageants can be a great platform to educate others on a topic you care about, but it’s also something of a meat market for women. Put on a pretty dress. Shellack on the makeup. Smile. Rock that bikini. BE PERFECT. Again, projection, but… it’s potentially problematic from her to go from obese to beauty queen. One can only hope she worked on all the emotional stuff (she seems pretty balanced), but that kind of rapid shift of being not desirable to being a model expression of femininity and sex appeal, especially at her age… that can mess with your head (and self-esteem).
- And I beg the classic question: could a FAT girl have won the said-same pageant? (ie: are we just reinforcing the same story to girls that you can’t be pretty/feminine/a winner until you are THIN?)
What do you think? Is she an inspiration? Future potential trainwreck? The same-old “miserable fat girl gets thin/pretty and wins” story?
I guess my problem is that, in my gut, I’m leaning towards that last one. :/ (and that’s a reflection on society, not Bree Boyce)