Plus-Sized and Proud of It

Miss England's first plus-size finalist is confident about winning the crown.

LONDON March 26, 2008— -- You don't have to be catwalk-skinny to be a beauty queen, at least not in the English county of Surrey.

Last week, Surrey residents elected teenager Chloe Marshall (a statuesque 5-feet-10-inches tall and 176 pounds) as Miss Surrey, proving that beauty does come in all shapes and sizes.

Curvy Chloe Marshall will be the first plus-size model in British history to compete in the Miss England final on July 18. And the outspoken 16-year-old beautician trainee is in it to win it.

"I know I will stand out from them but in a good way," she tells ABC News. "I want to bring plus sizes back and I want to show teenagers that you can be beautiful whatever size you are."

Chloe's success is unheard of. The biggest model the pageant final has seen so far was a size L, nothing compared to Chloe's Extra Large 176 pounds.

According to her agent, Model Plus's Stevie Walters, Chloe's success has less to do with her size than with her personality. "She is extremely confident," says Walters. "What's great is that Chloe's a very good ambassador for teenagers who otherwise feel that fashion is dictating to them."

Maybe because of her 5-foot 10-inch height and her DD cup, the young model is not afraid of taking a stand. She held her own in TV appearances this week, and was argumentative in a British televised debate on body image.

"I think this is happening now because people are sick and tired of skinny models," says Walters. "Women aren't that size. So bigger, plus-size girls are coming into the spotlight."

The Miss England pageant is a welcoming platform for plus-size girls because the winner is chosen in part by the public.

"We don't deal with catwalk models, and we always encourage them to eat correctly and not to lose weight," Angie Beasley, Miss England Pageant Director, tells ABC News. "They are judged also on personality, confidence, beauty, and they also have to be photogenic."

Most important of all, the contestants must have a cause. Chloe Marshall's cause, bringing beauty back to big girls, rings truer with the crowds, than, say, world peace.

"They have to be good spokeswomen for what they believe in," says Beasley. "And Chloe won because of the way she spoke about her cause, as well as the way she photographs."

If she wins, Chloe wants to pursue a career as a plus-size model.

But before that can happen, she needs to convince England that out of the 50 Misses to compete for the national title this summer, she is the smartest, the wittiest, the most strong-minded and also, the most beautiful.