Krasnoyarsk, Russia (Reuters): 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, scheduled to be held in Russia's snowy Krasnoyarsk city.

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.

Olga Olesnitskaya, 25, who won the competition in 2016 said, "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."

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.

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