By Meghan Overdeep, InStyle
January 25, 2017

Siera Bearchell expected to be busy in the last few days before Sunday's Miss Universe pageant: rehearsing, primping, etc. But what this year's Miss Canada didn't count on was having to defend herself against body shamers.

She went on: "My body is not naturally lean and that's okay. 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."

In the end, the criticism only furthered her resolve to change the pageant world from within.

RELATED: This Is What Miss Universe Pageant Contestants Look Like Without Makeup

Hear, hear, Siera!

You can watch her do her thing in the 2017 Miss Universe competition, Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

This Story Originally Appeared On Instyle