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Miss Canada to body-shamers: 'My body is not naturally lean and that's OK'

Miss Canada Siera Bearchell, a competitor in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, is standing up to body-shamers who criticized her weight.
/ Source: TODAY

Miss Canada Siera Bearchell has no patience for body-shamers.

The 23-year-old beauty queen is standing up to bullies who criticized her size, admonishing her for gaining weight since winning the Miss Canada pageant last summer.

"I was recently asked, 'What happened to you? Why have you gained weight? You are losing points,'" Bearchell, from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, wrote on Instagram. "This was a reference to my body, of course. While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year, I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before."

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Bearchell, who's currently competing in the preliminaries for Miss Universe, is getting praise from fans for her uplifting, body-positive social media posts.

Miss Canada 2016 Siera Bearchell during the Miss Universe preliminary competition on Wednesday. Alex Mertz / Miss Universe Organization

"I am secure and that's what makes me beautiful," she wrote on Instagram. "When you call me lazy, fat, and mediocre, what are you saying to the women of the world?"

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Bearchell has also opened up about the restrictive diet she once had, saying she was "miserable, self-conscious and I never felt good enough."

"No matter how little I ate and how much weight I lost, I constantly compared myself to others and felt like I could still lose more," she wrote. "My mental perception did not match the physical body I saw in the mirror. There were days I would eat a protein bar, work out for hours and struggle to fall asleep because I was so hungry.

"My body is not naturally lean and that's okay," she continued. "I am healthy. I am fit. I am confident. I am me. This is who I am right now and I'm okay with it, so you should be too. My fellow ladies, remember that true beauty and validation start from within."

Fans love Bearchell's inspiring message and we do, too. We wish her luck at the Miss Universe pageant on Sunday!