The Miss Universe pageant has yet to begin, but Miss Canada has already won the crown in our hearts.
According to InStyle, Siera Bearchell faced negative comments surrounding her appearance in the lead up to Sunday’s pageant, shaming her weight and size. But instead of letting the comments defeat her before the competition even started, InStyle says Bearchell siezed the moment to quash the negativity.
“While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year,” she said in an Instagram post, “I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before.”
When one naysayer argued that her weight is the product of a lack of discipline, Bearchell explained that she knows exactly what true discipline is — after all, she is a young law student, InStyle reports.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Detailing the lengths she went to in order to prepare for each pageant — restricting her diet, eating little and constantly working out — InStyle reports that Bearchell shared she is happy in the skin she’s in because she is confident, knowing that “that true beauty and validation start from within.”
Perhaps Bearchell’s newfound mission to spread body confidence and validation is best summed up in her own words:
“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.”
We know who we’ll be rooting for. Be sure to catch Siera this Sunday, Jan. 29 when she takes the stage of the Miss Universe pageant at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.