Taunts about her weight are nothing new for Siera Bearchell, the Miss Universe 2016 contestant representing Canada. She’s heard it all: “What happened to you, why did you gain weight? You are losing points.”
But that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t leave her speechless - as one such episode did Thursday.
“How does it feel to be so much… larger than the other delegates?” a reporter asked her during a media event.
Bearchell is a runner, a law student, and co-owner of an apparel company. Her pageant journey has been paved with plenty of negativity - and she’s frankly and openly documenting those episodes of body-shaming.
“I have a vision to redefine beauty. I have a vision in which women around the world will recognize that true beauty, validation and self-worth start from within,” she wrote in one post.
Bearchell says when she heard the reporter ask her how she felt, she thought: “How does it feel to be myself? How does it feel to be confident in who I am? How does it feel to fulfill my dream of representing Canada on the Miss Universe stage? How does it feel to be a role model for so many young women who struggle to find someone to look up to? How does it feel to redefine beauty?”
“It feels great.”