MEET SIERA: Siera Bearchell is a body activist, law student and former Miss Universe Canada. While competing in Miss Universe, Siera received backlash about her weight and was continuously body shamed throughout the competition - but despite the hurtful comments, represented her country proudly and placed in the top 9. Accomplishing Canada's highest ranking in over ten years, she not only exemplified strength and beauty in the competition but showed what the true meaning of being a babe is. Siera chose to use the negativity she received as inspiration to create a platform where she could speak to women around the world about body confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. She is now a motivational speaker and is working on her first book!
What does babes supporting babes mean to you?
"Babes supporting babes" represents the power and movement of women supporting women through our individual platforms. Women best succeed and prosper when we support and encourage each other rather than critique and try to bring each other down. Supporting each other's success and encouraging each other through the challenges is the best way to find personal success and fulfillment.
If you could choose your nickname, what would it be?
Cinderella (my mom’s nickname for me). I used to LOVE to vacuum with my mini Dirt Devil vacuum when I was 3/4 years old. Cinderella is also my favourite Disney princess. My favourite Cinderella quotes are "Have courage and be kind," and "A dream is a wish your heart makes."
What is your spirit animal?
Probably a lion or tiger because I act on my instincts and like to be in control. I'm also super independent, but also curious! I also like to think I have had great courage in difficult times.
What is your proudest babe moment or achievement?
My proudest babe moment was probably stepping on the MISS UNIVERSE Stage while wearing the CANADA sash. I had never been more proud of representing something so much greater than myself. I was representing all of the women around the world who have ever doubted themselves or who have ever felt as though they are not good enough.
What is the most unexpected thing you have in your purse or wallet?
A copper pen with my wedding date and the words "I am yours" engraved (a gift from my husband the night before we got married!) "Yours" by Calum Scott was our wedding song.
Tell us about a time where you were faced with a situation that you could have been unkind, but chose to be a babe instead?
When I was competing at MISS UNIVERSE, I was called "fat," "overweight," told I was "promoting obesity," and called "Miss Piggy." There were so many ignorant and horrible things said about me, but I did not let that break my spirit. It was difficult to read these things about myself, but what was more difficult, was wondering how other young women would feel by reading those comments on my social media. I knew others would wonder, "If people are saying that about her, what would they say about me?!" I made it my goal and mission to promote body confidence, self-esteem and self-worth for the rest of my Miss Universe journey. I wanted to show the "haters" that we are so much greater than our physical appearance. We will not be stopped by ignorance and hatred. My story and posts were shared by VOGUE, TIME, Cosmopolitan, Self Magazine, Allure, Shape, CNN, Huffington Post, CBC, People, and the list goes on!
What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t selling anymore?
Voluminous Mascara by Loreal!
If you had a yacht, what would be the name of it?
I wish! Probably something super cheesy like “Seas the Day” or “Unsinkable.”
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were first starting your career?
That our physical body is NOT an indication of health- including physical and mental health. Skinny does not equate to health. A smile does not indicate happiness. We are all unique and our personal health is not defined by what we look like on the outside. We also will not find health and happiness if we try to reach a particular weight or body shape. Happiness starts within and it is truly a practice of self-acceptance. We need to practice self-validation rather than seeking validation from others.
What is the best piece of advice you have received now that you are in your career?
“There will be haters. There will be doubters. There will be non-believers. And then there will be YOU, proving them wrong.”
Red, white, or rose?
Red! (all of the above really..)
When I dance I look like….
Well, I like to think I look like Beyoncé, but probably more like those hilarious 80s workout videos that you see circulating to songs like "Humble" to Kendrick Lamar. (see me here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfKV8ZG0gXU)
Who do you channel when you’re about to do something that scares you?
Myself! We are all so much more powerful and strong than we initially believe. We are capable of so much and we are often stopped by our own fear of failure or of disappointing ourselves or others. A firm believe in ourselves and our strength and ability is so important.
What is your favorite destination to visit?
I love Banff! I am also a big fan of the Philippines- the beaches are simply stunning and the people are so unbelievably kind. See the amazingness of the Philippines from my Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd6M4qspBMM
What is your favorite meal to eat?
This is not a meal, but NACHOS! (I have definitely made it a meal many times)
What is the most fulfilling part of your career?
When I'm speaking to a crowd of women and sharing my journey of struggling with my body image and self-esteem and I look around and see nodding heads and eyes filled with understanding. In a way, it is sad to know so many of us have struggled so much and for so long with appreciating and loving our bodies and loving the skin we are in. I receive messages and comments every single day from women around the world who say things like, "You have changed my life," or "You have helped me finally love myself, thank you." These are the kind of things that keep me going!
I also feel very fortunate to represent women in different fields. I am in my last year of law school and have had many years in the pageant/beauty industry. What I find very interesting is that women in both fields face very similar insecurities and self-doubt!
Where is your favorite place to draw inspiration from?
I look up to models like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence who have totally smashed through barriers in their field. I also seek inspiration from brands like Brunette the Label who promote and support women supporting women (Babes Supporting Babes!).
What is your guilty pleasure?
Enjoying various baked goods and sweets while watching anything Kardashian.
What quality are you working on yourself right now?
I will always be working on loving and accepting myself and my body at the different stages of life. One thing I always try to talk about is that our bodies may look and feel different depending what is happening in our lives at that time, and that is okay! There are times where I may be training for a half marathon and have more time to be more active and therefore, be more lean. There may be other times where I only have time for a few yoga sessions or short runs and not feel as “fit.” And that’s okay too! We are so hard on ourselves and have this strange belief that we need to be fit, fashionable, successful in business/career, financially stable and everything else ALL of the time! It is just not realistic. I will always be working on self acceptance and positive self-talk.
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in business?
Right now I have been trying to balance law school with travelling every single weekend for speaking engagements! I had 87 flights in 2017 and 2018 is looking pretty similar. It can be challenging to balance, but I do a lot of work on planes and I have become very good at time management!
I would say my biggest hurdle though, has been believing in myself. I could have given up so many times due to self doubt. I am so grateful I have kept pushing through! Pushing self-doubt to the side can be super challenging, but is absolutely essential for success!
Coffee meeting or drinks meeting?
I looooove coffee. Perhaps too much. So, coffee meeting all the way!
If you’re going out for a cocktail you’d order…
A moscow mule or some kind of lemon martini.
If you had unlimited budget for 2 hours shopping where would you go?
Holt Renfrew! I would acquire many Burberry, Valentino, YSL and ACNE pieces!
What is your favorite movie?
Check out our website www.brunettethelabel.com and put together your favorite outfit!
I have the Brunette Florence Vegan leather jacket and it is truly one of my favorite pieces in my closet. It is so versatile and so cute. BUT, I think my favorite pieces right now are from the Velour collection. I don’t have it yet, but I want the pink velour hoodie and joggers. Ultimate travel attire!