Sierra Bearchell Remembers Applying for Miss Universe Canada | Job Binary

Photography courtesy of Getty

“I’m so hungry I have trouble sleeping at night.”

The last time you filled out a job application, you probably didn’t have to complete a section that asked for your height, weight and a swimsuit photo. But go to the “Become a contestant” page on the Miss Universe Canada website and there you are, located between date of birth and address. It’s surprising—after years of length entering the mainstream and the likes of Lizzo and Rihanna celebrating diverse beauty—that in 2022, the famous faphobic competition still exists. And it’s equally surprising that Siera Bearchell entered the contest at all, let alone using it as a platform for herself.

Pageants are not on Bearchell’s radar. A straight-A student, athlete and dancer growing up in Moose, Sask., she was 15 and heading to medical school when a candle in her family’s living room set a tissue box on fire. “I was the first one to call 911,” he said. “We lost everything. We don’t even have renters insurance to help us recover. ” Instead, the citizens gathered around his family, they put together their efforts, and even put them in a hotel while they were looking for a new home.

MISS UNIVERSE WEAR FASHION SHOW 2016. Photography courtesy of Getty

A Facebook ad for the Miss Teen Saskatchewan page caught Bearchell’s attention in the wake of the fire. He recalled: “He said, ‘Be a leader in your community today,’ and I was impressed when I was blown away by the help we received in our community.” Soon after, she entered the competition, winning the Miss Teen Saskatchewan title, followed by Miss Teen Canada.

Bearchell’s bright looks, academic achievement and desire to make a difference in the world make her perfect pageant fodder. Using her new public profile, she became an ambassador and volunteer with the Red Cross, speaking at schools and events about disaster preparedness and fire relief, drawing on her own experiences. “It’s an opportunity to have a global platform that a girl like me from Moose Jaw wouldn’t have otherwise,” she laughs, adding, “That sounds like hillbilly.”

While Siera Bearchell celebrates Saskatchewan’s indigenous heritage, she has conflicting feelings about the small town’s attitude toward anyone “different” as her family feels they can’t discuss their Metis heritage. “In Moose Baw, being Native is something you want to preserve,” he explains. “I’m still learning about my ancestors. I feel like I’m a loser because I’m white in appearance but my mom is black and has obvious traits. I’m trying to find a way to make it real to me.” Even though Bearchell is still exploring her Native identity, she’s happy to be the first person of Native descent to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. Since leaving at Moose Somehow, you’ve learned more about how to use both your law degree and public platform to make positive changes for Canada’s Indigenous population.

Reality has become a driving force for Sierra Bearchell and it’s something she struggles with as she transitions from national to international levels and her body begins to change. “I went from being that skinny teenage girl that people would tell me to eat a cheeseburger to becoming more athletic and fun in my 20s.” When she entered the Miss Universe pageant in 2013, Bearchell was told she had a good chance of winning if she lost weight. “I was ordered to eat as little as possible, and if I was really struggling, I could have a chicken breast with some greens once a day.”

At the time, Bearchell was balancing his pageant life with his law studies at the University of Saskatchewan and revealed that he often had trouble concentrating because he was running on empty. “Some days, I would have a protein bar, half in the morning and the other half later, and then do hours of exercises,” he recalls. “I am so hungry that it is difficult for me to sleep at night. But I believe this is what I have to do to succeed.” And after all that, Bearchell didn’t even make it to the final meal.

When she looks at photos of herself from that time, all Bearchell remembers is feeling uneasy, despite her megawatt smile and 0 weight. In physical competition, he decided in 2016 that he wanted to enter the competition once more — this time as a healthy, strong size 8, who had just finished his first race. He said: “I thought, ‘I’m not going to do it my way. “My body may not be what the debating world wants, but I am happy with it. I want to be a person that people can look up to and be myself wholeheartedly. “

Despite his positive outlook, Bearchell faced immediate backlash. In the world of pages, where a small increase is the only acceptable size, your medium size frame (which is very moderate by many retailers) draws your comparisons to a big fish on social media. Body mockers have circulated photos of her in a bathing suit, even accusing her of promoting obesity. He said: “It was so hard that the Miss Universe committee came to see if I was okay.

But rather than breaking under pressure and negativity, Sierra Bearchell decided to face it on social media by posting testimonials of self-acceptance and body positivity. And while she’s the first to admit the inadequacy of a 30-inch waist is considered size-plus, her mission is to shine a light on the pageant’s unhealthy body standards and win the queens The beauty of the future encourages you to embrace higher self-esteem and self-love.

That year, she won Miss Universe Canada and placed ninth in the world competition. “Body confidence and body confidence became my unexpected platform,” she said. “Yes, I have trolls and I face a lot of nasty comments, but I also have a lot of people who support me and thank me for being myself.” He believes that his success directly reflects the changing values ​​of society. “Now, when you go to the beach, you see all kinds of bodies.”

As Bearchell went through another phase—this time to get her law degree—she was newly pregnant and knew she wouldn’t be able to pursue law right away. Instead, she began sharing her pregnancy with the social media audience she had built up over the years of her page. “I have taken the expectations of women and their bodies during pregnancy,” he said. “I was shocked by the fact that after spending nine months growing up, the first thing people started talking about was his body ‘regressing.’ You have become a mother! You have to love yourself and your baby, don’t worry about losing the baby weight. “

sierra bearchell becomes daughter lily against a winter backdrop

As her baby bump grew, so did her followers, and offers for paid partnerships began to increase. Bearchell puts his law degree to good use, negotiating contracts and brand collaborations. 176,000 followers later, he has published three e-books, and runs mentoring programs with catchy titles like “Do You Want to Take the Crown?” and is a successful entrepreneur. And in the process, he has become a cultural icon for his fans without a doubt. He said: “It took me a while to find my style. “I’m from a small town where you’re afraid to stand out.” Citing Victoria Beckham as her fashion inspiration – “she’s feminine but with an edge” – she loves shopping for timeless pieces and has recently discovered recycling, thanks to websites like Poshmark.

Sierra Bearchell believes that she made a better world, more for her three-year-old daughter, Lilly, her son on the way (in March, she announced that she was pregnant) and generations of girls who grew up with social media. And, of course, the benefits are everywhere—from the bodybuilding world of surfing, where @curvysurfergirl is flipping the bird to the accepted sport of exercise, to high fashion, where brands like Erdem are creating clothes up to a size 22. And, yes, Bearchell knows that her current size 6 frame is thin. However, she knows what it’s like to be publicly criticized for her body image and believes that no one should have the bad experience she did. “The bottom line I’m interested in is for women to feel like they can truly be themselves, whatever that looks like,” she said. Because regardless of our height, weight or size, we are all more than a swimsuit photo.

Shop through the gallery below to see some of the items on Sierra Bearchell’s must-have list, including handbags and bright beauty products.

This article first appeared Fashion’s October issue. Find out more here.

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