Louisville's own Ms. Plus America discusses size, fitness and ch - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville's own Ms. Plus America discusses size, fitness and childhood obesity

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Being a cover girl doesn't mean you have to be a size zero. Just ask Nicole Hayden of Louisville. She’s on a new mission with a new crown.

"I am a size 18, proud to be a size 18," said Hayden.

She may not look like most models in a magazine and she’s okay with that.

"It's never been anything that I would be ashamed of,” she said. “I've always been a confident person so I've always embraced my curves even as a young girl."

The 32-year-old has better things to worry about, like being a cover girl and her new title as “Ms. Plus America”.

"Let's have fun and let's honor our curves let's celebrate our size it's okay," she said.

Hayden recently won the national pageant in Atlanta, beating out women from every single state.

"Half of America is not a size zero. Half of America is a size 14 and up," said the newly crowned winner.

Nicole entered the competition after losing 30 pounds and becoming a Zumba instructor.

"I will match another woman who's not as healthy as me and get in a Zumba match and I bet you I can out dance her."

Nicole is all about healthy curves. She's taking part in First Lady Michelle Obama's Lets Move campaign to help stop childhood obesity.

"You can see skinny people and that doesn't necessarily mean they're healthy," said dietitian and personal trainer Donna Giovenco, who says carrying extra weight isn't always bad.

"Maybe they are classified as being overweight or being obese, they could have perfect lab values,” said Giovenco.

We caught up with people working out at Iroquois Park in Louisville to ask them what they think of Nicole's success, and they say you don't have to be a size zero to be a mentor to young kids. In fact, we didn't show them her picture, until our cameras were rolling.

"She's really gorgeous," said one woman. "I think everyone needs a role model no matter how big you are. The body image America portrays sometimes is kind of discouraging."

"Most importantly is loving the skin that you're in," said Hayden.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer proclaimed July 20th Nicole Hayden Day. Despite her confidence, she knows there are bullies, name callers, and people who only have negative comments. But she says they will not slow her down.

"Of course there's gonna be a lot of people that are gonna have a lot to say, but hey, I love the skin I'm in!"

Hayden will reign as Ms. Plus America for a year and take part in mentoring sessions with young girls. If you’d like to schedule an appearance you can email msplusamerica@gmail.com.

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