The Miss Universe pageant is about more than just beauty. It is also a forum where tales of inspiring journeys of the contestants emerge. Miss Egypt has set an example for millions of young people who struggle with obesity by narrating her own journey from being a "morbidly obese teen" to a beauty queen.
Farah Sedky told People that she was "brutally bullied" by her classmates in a girls-only school for being overweight at 220 lbs. "Growing up in an all-girls school wasn't the easiest. I was brutally bullied and to the point that I was once beaten by one of my peers. To this day, I still remember her looking down at me on the ground and saying, 'I'd love to wake up tomorrow and not see you at school, no one will miss you if you'll be gone forever,'" the 23-year-old Egyptian beauty said.
It wasn't merely the social insecurities in school but also the health warnings by the doctor that prompted Sedky to change her lifestyle. "This was the first time that I saw my father cry, which motivated me to lose the weight and begin to maintain a healthy lifestyle."
"What clicked with me on an emotional level to start my journey was the fact that I knew I wasn't living up to my full potential. Also seeing how sad my father was pushed me to make these changes," she added.
Sedky added plenty of lemon to her diet and adopted a healthy lifestyle to get fit. The one thing she learned amid all the bullying and struggle was to keep loving herself, which according to her is the "hardest thing ever".
"I want to be a role model for little girls, just as I needed to have at their age. I want them to know that nothing is their fault; challenges will pass and they'll go on with their lives to become successful individuals. They key is to learn to love and accept themselves," she added.