Willowdean, nicknamed "Dumplin’" by her mother and called "Will" by her friends, is a plus-size teenager who has always felt comfortable with her body and herself. She doesn't care that her mother was a teen beauty queen or that people have poked fun at her weight. However, all of these changes when she meets Bo, a handsome teenage boy her age that has expressed interest in dating her. Suddenly Will is full of insecurities and can't bring herself to date him out of fear of what others would think and say. In order to prove to her self-worth, Will has decided to enter and win the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant. But, as the date of the pageant approaches, Will finds that it's not that easy to take part in a pageant — especially after her best friend Ellen decides to enter.