Well & Good
There was something a little different about Sierra Sandison's bikini when she walked the catwalk in last week's Miss America competition.
The young woman took out the title of Miss Idaho after pairing her bathers with an unusual accessory - her insulin pump.
Sandison was diagnosed with diabetes in 2012, and says pageants have enabled her to develop self-confidence and accept her condition.
She was encouraged to reveal her medical device after hearing of Nicole Johnson, who wore her own pump while competing in the competition in 1999.
"My whole perspective changed," Sandison has written on her blog in an entry entitled 'Defeating Diabetes', where she calls for the stigma against the disease to end.
"That decision took me two long years to make, " she explains. "When I first started competing, I was using injections rather than a pump. I didn't want people to see a weird-tubey-machine-thing attached to me all the time, and could not wrap my head around having a medical device on my body for the rest of my life. Then, I heard about Nicole Johnson..."
Sandison's pump pride has started a hashtag sharing craze, with #showmeyourpump seeing women, men, kids, all showing off pictures of their device.
Sandison is not the only one redefining beauty and serving as a positive role model for other young women and girls. Recently, aspiring model Bethany Townsend made headlines for her decision to reveal her colostomy bags, while America's Next Top Model contestant Chantelle Brown-Young fulfilled her modeling dream despite suffering from incurable skin condition, vitiligo.
- Daily Life
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