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Read This If You Feel Insecure or Shy

Words of wisdom from 2016 Miss Universe-Canada.
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Raise your hand if you've had days when your insecurities eat you up. Don't worry, this is a safe space and we won't judge you. You see, being insecure about something is quite normal. It happens to the best of us. Lucky for us, we ran into 2016 Miss Universe-Canada Siera Bearchell at the opening of Tim Hortons (a coffee and donut chain in Canada that recently opened its first branch at the Uptown Mall in BGC) and talked to her about something she's a little too familiar with. Having been through a lot of bashing and criticism about her weight not being the "ideal size" for a Miss U candidate, we asked her for advice on dealing with insecurities, body shaming, and people who have nothing good to say. Here's what she said:

On being insecure

"Focus on the things that you love about yourself. What do we love? What do we like about ourselves? That's what's most important."

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On body shaming

"Be comfortable in your own skin. We live in a world that tells us to change things and to focus on what we don't like and what we wanna change [about ourselves], and so as soon as we can accept who we are, love ourselves for who we are, you experience this new kind of happiness and self acceptance that allows you to experience success in so many areas of your life."

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On dealing with criticism

"No matter what you do in life, there's gonna be people who are going to criticize you and you just have to be able to kind of laugh it off because those people. I don't know what it brings people to say some of the things they do, but what I want people to recognize more is that the things that you say, there's somebody on the other side of that. I'm a strong person; I can handle that stuff, but some girls can't and it hurts, you know? I would encourage people more to not make those comments rather than how to deal with the comments. We have to first start by not saying those kind of things."

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What other personal issues would you like us to write about? Feel free to suggest them in the comments below.

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About the author
Mara Agner
Assistant Lifestyle and Features Editor
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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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