It's easy to paint beauty pageants as skinny-girl celebrations, but it's important to remember that the women on stage are real people (sounds obvious, we know) with real lives and real struggles. The new Miss Egypt, Farah Sedky, shared her weight-loss story, and we're huge fans of what she had to say.
As a teenager, Sedky was overweight (220 pounds at the age of 15), and because of that, she was bullied to the point that she was physically attacked by another girl. Prompted by her doctor, Sedky changed her lifestyle and went on to lose almost 80 pounds. But losing the weight wasn't her biggest challenge.
"I've learned how to love myself, which is the hardest thing I had to learn," Sedky told People.
Sedky lost the weight for her health, not acceptance, but her journey proved she could do anything. Now she's using her platform to fight against unrealistic beauty standards and encourage others to love themselves.
"It's about time that we all come together, not just for women but also for children, to make sure they grow up in a healthy environment where they won’t feel pressured to focus on fitting in and fitting a certain perception on beauty," she said.
Sedky's story hits on an important message: Living a healthy lifestyle is great, but using "healthy" as a beauty standard can be damaging. Healthy means different things to different people and looks different on different people. The more people who know that, the better.