Miss Canada 2017 Siera Bearchell may not have won the Miss Universe crown today, but she has certainly won the hearts of many by embodying what it truly means to be confidently beautiful.
The 23-year-old pageant queen ferociously competed for the title in the annual pageant held in the Philippines this year, and she successfully secured a spot in the Top 9. While many have marveled over her grace and timeless beauty, Bearchell was not immune to the uncalled-for comments directed toward her weight.
Miss Canada Siera Bearchell on Body-Shaming: ‘This is not OK’
Despite having normal body proportions for a woman her size, Miss Canada Siera Bearchell has become a target for body-shaming and harsh critics. She stands tall at 5’9″ and weighs approximately 135 lbs. Apparently, this did not stop numerous people from taunting her online and in person.
The body-shaming began last June after Bearchell earned the title of Miss Canada–Universe in Toronto. Almost immediately after settling in her new role, the lawyer-athlete received criticism from strangers on her social media pages.
“I had just run my first marathon, so I was fit, I was in shape. And all the comments after I won were that I was fat, overweight,” Bearchell told Global News. “There were some people who said, ‘Oh my gosh, is she pregnant?’ It was just unbelievable.”
But the online trolls weren’t the only ones pointing out her weight as people close to the reigning Miss Canada had urged her to shed the pounds as well. What bothered Bearchell the most was how society saw her body as a “problem” she needed to fix. They failed to acknowledge her achievements in law school, business, sports, and how much she’s given back to community.
“How does it feel to be so much . . . larger than the other delegates?”
Perhaps the biggest slap to the face came when a reporter asked Bearchell about her thoughts on being the largest candidate in the competition. She took to Instagram to not only hit back at the reporter, but also to post a powerful message against body-shaming in general.
“How does it feel to be so much.. larger than the other delegates?”• I was just asked this question in a press junket by a member of the media. I was left almost speechless. I 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?”- My answer- It feels great. #confidentlybeautiful #beautybeyondsize #bodydiversity #missuniverse #misscanada @missuniverse
Bearchell is not the first beauty queen to be a victim of body-shaming. Back in October, Miss Iceland dropped out of the Miss Grand International pageant after the 20-year-old was told that she needed to lose weight.