Media has continuously portrayed beauty as being tall, blond, and almost perfect. Society believes all this and has set impossible standards for what it means to be beautiful. Hence, we’re always under constant pressure to fit into the mold that society has carved out.
We eat less, work out more, and dress according to fashion trends. And because we want to fit in so badly, we develop bad habits that can lead to sicknesses like anorexia nervosa, a severe eating disorder. It’s high time to say that the impossible beauty standards set by society have become unhealthy for women of all ages. Girls all over the world are losing self-esteem and becoming more and more conscious of how they look or weigh.
Another thing is the worldwide culmination of pageants. If there’s something that contributes the most to causing women to feel insecure, it’s the pageant setting where girls are made to strut in their bikinis and show off their curves. These women are being judged according to physical characteristics more than their inner beauty.
But the good news is that pageants are becoming friendlier to diversity. Now, we see women of all shapes and sizes competing in beauty pageants and winning the titles. One notable advocate of body diversity and self-love is Miss Universe 2016 candidate, Siera Bearchell.
Siera Bearchell’s Story
Siera hailed from Canada and won the local pageant in their country. According to her, she joined intending to gain a title so that she could gain a platform to discuss preparing for disasters and relief operations. That would help her give back to her community and families, like hers, who lost their homes in natural calamities.
Her victory put her in the spot to compete for the highly renowned Miss Universe. The pageant was not an easy journey for her, considering that she weighed a little heavier than her co-candidates. A lot of pageant enthusiasts from all over the world bashed her for not being thin enough to participate in Miss Universe. But she did not let this stop her. It even gave her the platform to advocate for something more — body diversity.
Siera responded to her bashers in a graceful and inspiring manner. Instead of seeing her weight and measurements as a weakness, she used it to open people’s eyes to body diversity and self-love. She slammed critics for defining her and other women for their physical appearance.
In her own words, “We are not defined by our appearance. When we think about the people we love, we think about their character, their humor, their intelligence, their wit, their generosity, their kindness, and humility… We don’t define our friends and family solely on their appearance.”
That was well-said for a beauty queen. Especially in a pageant setting where women are expected to look a certain way and have these small measurements, Siera broke out of society’s standards. She loved herself and the body she was in. And she never let anyone tell her that she shouldn’t be in Miss Universe. Instead, she used the platform to advocate for what she believes in.
Through her courage and vocal beliefs about self-love, she has inspired every young woman. We don’t need society to tell us who we are supposed to be. We are beautiful exactly as we are, and that’s something we should be proud of.