In a society of extremes, women at every end of the curve spectrum are constantly being scrutinised for their size.
But while many of us opt to suffer such criticism in silence, one Miss Italy contestant has decided to defend her curvaceous frame from the abuse hurled at it by antagonistic trolls.
After receiving a collection of bodyshaming comments both online and in person, 22-year-old Paola Torrente hit back at her haters by publically declaring that she will not be turned against her curves by the negativity of others.
Speaking to the Mail Online, the size 14 brunette – who was told she has “too much flesh” to compete in a beauty pageant by Croatian model Nina Moric – explained how she believes the best way to deflect people’s negativity is by focusing on the happiness which exists in her own life.
She said: “I want to tell young women to accept themselves and to understand that feeling good and being happy is the most powerful thing to fight people’s words and thoughts.”
Since taking second place in this year’s pageant, the engineering student has received great praise from young girls who see her body confidence as an inspiration, a situation which Paola says makes her feel “surprised and proud”.
“They made me feel good too. And maybe in that sense I am a role model, but firstly I'm just a very normal 22-year-old girl.”
During the interview, Paola – who is from Angri, an area south of Naples – also pointed out the conflicted nature of a beauty industry which is still widely seen as pushing traditional depictions of perfection on an audience which is becoming increasingly more open to body diversity.
She said: “I embrace my curves at 360 degrees, and I'm never ashamed of them. There are many women that chose surgery to become more curvy.”
However the 5ft 9 model – who works out regularly to maintain her figure – also acknowledged that the pageant scene is changing for the better.
“The stereotype of the tall, skinny girl started in the 1990s and girls became skinnier every year,” noted Paola.
“Now a lot of girls that don't fit the beauty ideal of tall and skinny compete. That's a really good thing, it means mentality is changing.”