This Miss Universe Contestant Shut Down Body Shamers Like a Queen

This Miss Universe Contestant Shut Down Body Shamers Like a Queen
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Siera Bearchell expected to be busy in the last few days before Sunday's Miss Universe pageant: rehearsing, primping, etc. But what this year's Miss Canada didn't count on was having to defend herself against body shamers.

"I was recently asked, 'What happened to you? Why have you gained weight? You are losing points.' This was a reference to my body of course," she wrote on Instagram last week. "While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year, but I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before."

I was recently asked, "What happened to you? Why have you gained weight? You are losing points" This was a reference to my body of course. While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year, but I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before. 🙋🏻As soon as I started to love who I was rather than always trying to fit what I thought society wanted me to be, I gained a whole new side of life. This is the side I am trying to bring to the @missuniverse competition. The side of life that is so rare to find: self-worth and self-love. We always focus on the things we wish we could change rather than loving everything we are. #missuniverse #bodydiversity #IMG

A photo posted by Siera Bearchell (@sierabearchell) on

And when a someone alleged that her weight gain showed she lacked the discipline required of a Miss Universe contestant, the 23-year-old law student got real. "To be truthful, I restricted my food intake intensely at previous pageants and was miserable, self-conscious and I never felt good enough," she wrote this week in another heartfelt Instagram post this week. "No matter how little I ate and how much weight I lost, I constantly compared myself to others and felt like I could still lose more. My mental perception did not match the physical body I saw in the mirror.

"It takes discipline to have the body of a Miss Universe." It also takes discipline to be accepted into Law School. It takes discipline to run a marathon. It takes discipline to be true to ourselves in a world that is constantly trying to shape us into something we are not. People have asked me if I changed my body to prove a point. No. Our lives are fluid, dynamic and ever-changing. So are our bodies. To be truthful, I restricted my food intake intensely at previous pageants and was miserable, self-conscious and I never felt good enough. No matter how little I ate and how much weight I lost, I constantly compared myself to others and felt like I could still lose more. My mental perception did not match the physical body I saw in the mirror. There were days I would eat a protein bar, workout for hours and struggle to fall asleep because I as so hungry. My body is not naturally lean and that's okay. I am healthy. I am fit. I am confident. I am me. This is who I am right now and I'm okay with it, so you should be too. My fellow ladies, remember that true beauty, and validation start from within. 💛 #confidentlybeautiful #missuniverse

A photo posted by Siera Bearchell (@sierabearchell) on

She went on: "My body is not naturally lean and that's okay. I am healthy. I am fit. I am confident. I am me. This is who I am right now and I'm okay with it, so you should be too. My fellow ladies, remember that true beauty, and validation start from within."

In the end, the criticism only furthered her resolve to change the pageant world from within.

VIDEO: Lauren Conrad Bans Body-Shaming Words from Her Site

"In fact, the negativity only fuels my fire to keep working on a platform that so evidently needs to be progressed," she wrote. "This journey has just begun."

I am secure and that's what makes me beautiful. 🙋🏻 When you call me lazy, fat, and mediocre, what are you saying to the women of the world? Miss Universe is an organization built on the foundation of inclusion and diversity. It is no longer the "beauty pageant" it used to be. The mission of Miss Universe is to provide the tools for women to reach their personal best and use those skills to serve others. That's exactly what I am doing and I will not be brought down by shallow negativity. In fact, the negativity only fuels my fire to keep working on a platform that so evidently needs to be progressed. This journey has just begun. ❤ #confidentlybeautiful #missuniverse @missuniverse #bodydiversity #beautybeyondsize

A photo posted by Siera Bearchell (@sierabearchell) on

RELATED: This Is What Miss Universe Pageant Contestants Look Like Without Makeup

Hear, hear, Siera!

You can watch her do her thing in the 2017 Miss Universe competition, Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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