[Watch Clarissa tell her story at the bottom of this story]
32-year-old Clarissa Munezero began having trouble with her body size and weight when she reached her late teens (about seventeen). Her sister who is six years older than her began rebuking her that she was ashaming the family by growing too big and looking way older than her real age.
“It was painful, hurtful,” Munezero recalls. “I began to drink vinegar every day so I could cut the weight and become slender. But the weight just kept coming on even when I ate as little as possible. The only thing I got from drinking vinegar and starving myself were stomach ulcers.”
The mother of two boys says it was until she got married in 2009 that she began to find confidence in herself just as she was, realizing that there was a size/weight bracket she was naturally created to be in and could still be beautiful without fighting her nature. She says realizing that her husband liked her ample figure the way it was encouraged her a lot, and she even began to work out so as to tone without necessarily becoming thin.
“I have kept the weight in check, of course, because it is also not good to be lazy and let your body totally spiral out of control,” Clarissa says. “I work out in the gym about three times a week, and also go swimming at least once a week. But that is not to become thin, it’s for fitness and health and keeping within natural weight limits, because I understood and embraced the fact that I am a Plus-size woman.”
Munezero reveals that she chose to participate in Miss Curvy 2019 so as to provide an inspiration to Plus-size women.
“I want to show Plus-size women that they can also be beautiful and love themselves the way they are. That they don’t need to think being thin is the only way to be beautiful –that they can regularly exercise, dress nicely, generally care about themselves and be confident in their skin. I look to be a voice and face for them and drive their cause in our society.”