— A size 2 carrying 129 pounds on her 5-foot-8 frame, Domonique Ramirez is hardly what most people would call overweight. But the 17-year-old Texan says she was stripped of her title as Miss San Antonio because, among other things, she put on a few pounds.
Ramirez filed a lawsuit against the Miss Bexar County Organization after the group informed her on Jan. 25 that they were stripping her of her title and handing it over to first runner-up Ashley Dixon. For now, a judge has blocked Dixon from claiming the title until Ramirez’s legal complaint is addressed, and a growing war of words has ignited between the beauty queen and the people who crowned her last April.
While Miss San Antonio pageant board president Linda Woods claims Ramirez’s “weight was never an issue,” the teen tells a different story — saying Woods told her to “stay off the tacos” if she wanted to keep her crown. Ramirez told KSAT-TV in San Antonio she was told to lose 13 pounds.
But Woods has countered that Ramirez’s weight was the least of the teen queen’s issues; she maintains Ramirez showed up for some promotional events an hour late, or not at all, and violated pageant rules by bringing her boyfriend to events.
Still, Woods conceded that pageant officials had talked to Ramirez about her weight, saying they were worried that Ramirez had gotten heavier since winning the pageant, and they wanted her to look her best when she competed in the Miss Texas pageant this summer.
“She was doing a photo shoot and asked to wear her wardrobe from the competition, but it did not fit her,” Woods told ABC News. “I told her, ‘We need to get you on an exercise program. We need to get you ready to compete for Miss Texas, just like any other other elite athlete.’ ”
Woods told KSTA Radio in San Antonio she did advise Ramirez on her eating habits. “I said, you know, ‘Get off the tacos, get off the chips and soda.’ Because she’s 17, and that’s what these kids eat.”
The laundry list of other complaints against her performance as Miss San Antonio left Ramirez in tears — and ready to fight back. “I’m 17 years old,” she told KSAT. “I shouldn’t have to be slandered like this, and my future shouldn’t have to be ruined over this.”
But in what has come down to a nasty battle of she-said, she-said, Woods claims Ramirez’s conduct has been decidedly unbecoming of a beauty queen.
“The main thing was that she did not make it to functions that she was scheduled for that she agreed to do,” Woods told KSAT. “Sometimes, she didn’t show up at all and didn’t even call to tell you she wasn’t coming, or, if she did come, she would come an hour and a half late, unprepared, unready, and it just continued being a habitual thing with her.”
Ramirez countered by saying the pageant board promised her a chaperone to take her to events, but didn’t deliver. And having only just gotten her driver’s license, Ramirez says she couldn’t navigate her way around San Antonio well enough to be on time for every event.
But Woods insisted to the London Daily Mail that Ramirez declined using a chaperone, preferring to be escorted by her parents. Ramirez’s lawyer, Luis Vera Jr., said the teen’s Latino parents both work full-time, making it impossible for them to drive her around to every Miss San Antonio event.
Speaking to the San Antonio Express, Vera even indicated there may have been racial overtones in the move to oust his client.
“The way I see this is these rich, white Dominion types versus the Latinos who are busting themselves to make a living,” he said.
Added Ramirez: “They’re bringing up stuff from the past and making up stuff that is not even true.”
A court date on the case is set for Feb. 16.