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KRASNOYARSK, Russia (Reuters) – In Russia’s snowy Krasnoyarsk, women preparing for a plus-sized beauty contest parade around a hall dressed in ball gowns and swimsuits – but also take classes in kick-boxing and dancing.

The competition, now in its second year, is organized by a local modeling agency, SibPlus. Inna Sertrakova, who works at the agency, said the pageant in May aims to challenge Russian attitudes that equate beauty with an ultra-slim figure.

“We want to show off our femininity even though it doesn’t conform to current fashion standards because we want to be seen as beautiful,” said Olga Olesnitskaya, 25, who won the competition in 2016.

Another of last year’s contestants, Aleksandra Ryzhenkova, a violinist for the Krasnoyarsk State Opera Theatre and Ballet, said taking part had helped boost her self-image.

“After my children were born I put on a lot of weight and started trying to hide my figure, she said. “But now, after the competition, all of my insecurities melted away.”

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition prepare before a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Anastasia Pustovoitova, a senior inspector of railway cars, who is also a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a participant of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, inspects a train at the Yenisei railway station of the Trans-Siberian Railway in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Julia Perminova, a dough specialist, who is also a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a participant of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, works at a bakery in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition walk during a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Models of the SibPlus Models agency and participants of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition take part in a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

A trainer helps a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a participant of the Miss Doughnut beauty competition during a rehearsal in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Aleksandra Ryzhenkova, a musician of the State Opera and Ballet Theatre’s orchestra, who is also a model of the SibPlus Models agency and a participant of the Miss Doughnut 2016 beauty competition, plays a violoncello during a rehearsal at the theatre in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

(Reporting by Ilya Naymushin; Writing by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Catherine Evans)