Kathryn Lindsay
June 06, 2016 10:44 am
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On Sunday, Miss California Nadia Grace Mejia earned a spot in the Miss USA pageant’s final five. While the beauty queen was all smiles on stage, her interview package revealed her past struggles with body image, starting such an important conversation.

Nadia had anorexia and it’s something that affects to her life to this day. She explained this struggle in greater detail over on, Not So Private Parts, a blog dedicated to removing the stigma from women’s issues, back in February.

“‘My name is Nadia Mejia, I’m 20 years old, I’m the current Miss California USA. I frequently lead worship at my church in Los Angeles,” the post began. “I’m a full time model and I love the Lord more than anyone will ever be able to comprehend.’ That introduction makes it seem like I’ve got it all together doesn’t it?” she asks.

It’s true. Seeing Nadia on stage, you would never think she was anything other than confident and happy — and she is! But like all of us, she has her own demons, and she had to overcome so many to stand where she is today.

“As women, we need to keep it real so that we are able to support and empower one another when things get rough,” the model wrote, going on to reveal that she suffers from depression and has recovered from anorexia, an eating disorder that caused her to eat very little and run every day. She explained how the pressures of the modeling industry (including being body-shamed by her bookers) caused her weight to drop drastically in a matter of months, putting her health severely at risk.

Through her family and her faith, Nadia realized that her self-worth shouldn’t come from “someone else’s” opinion, and now, she’s back at a healthy weight and using her words to “inspire young girls to love the skin they are in.”

It’s so important when women in the public eye speak up about body image struggles. We know Nadia has definitely inspired us, and while she didn’t take home the Miss USA crown, she’s forever a winner in our hearts.

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