Siera Bearchell is opening up about the hate she received in the spotlight.
Over the weekend, the 29-year-old former Miss Universe Canada took to Instagram to open up about pageants, trolls and body shaming with her 174,000 followers.
In the post, the beauty pageant titleholder shared photos of her competing in Miss Universe alongside examples of derogatory comments she’s received about her body in the caption.
“Fat. Whale. Miss Piggy. Obese. Disgusting. I’ll never forget the thousands of comments thrown at me. People from around the world trying to tell me that my body was not worthy of stepping on the Miss Universe Stage,” she wrote. “Fellow contestants later posting themselves eating donuts and saying they would have placed if they ‘were fat like Miss Canada.'”
However, the model and entrepreneur didn’t let the hate stop her from being an advocate for body positivity and self-love.
“I rose above the hate to share that size is not a measure of worth. Size is not a measure of leadership. And size is certainly not a measure of who you are as a person,” the mother-of-two explained. I am forever grateful for the [Miss Universe] organization for believing that beauty is beyond size.”
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Bearchell went on to thank the judges of the competition for placing her “in the Top [nine] among 86 countries,” which is Canada’s highest and only placement in 10 years.
“Let this be your sign to believe in yourself even when others may not,” she concluded.
On her Instagram story, the law graduate revealed she’s “on the fence” about putting pageant content behind her, referencing an Instagram live where the Calgary-based content creator said that “Miss Universe has never crowned a woman over a certain size.”
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“This is completely true and all you have to do is Google ‘Miss Universe Crownings’ and you will see there is not a single woman over a size 4/6. It is what it is. People have completely twisted what I said and are taking it as criticism towards the past title holder,” she explained.
Bearchell added that she’s tired of the constant negativity, which is beginning to wear her down, while sharing another mean comment that called her “disgusting” and “not an inspiration.”
“I’m just so exhausted of the trolls and so-called supporters who try to bring people down. I am very grateful for the support that is there. Sometimes, the criticism is just too much and overwhelming,” the activist penned. “…trying to let go of what I can’t control,” she added in another story.
In the comments of her post, fans rushed to Bearchell’s side and called her “an inspiration.”
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“You paved the way, thank you for your voice,” commented a follower.
“You’re an inspiration to the underdogs too! And you are forever a queen to us!” shared someone else.
“I started following you because I finally felt someone was real and it’s been an honour ever since,” added another.
“You’re powerful and beautiful and your body is a mere part in the overall picture! You my friend are a true example,” wrote a fan.