Miss California Nadia Mejia made a bit of a gaffe Sunday night at the Miss USA competition, but there’s more to her story than meets the eye.
Mejia is the daughter of Rico Suave (real name Gerardo Mejia) and Kathy Eicher, who was also a Miss USA contestant in 1989.
What few would know by watching the beauty strut on stage in a flowing dress is that she suffered from anorexia.
Tomorrow I compete at Miss USA…how…what…holy moly…God is way too good 🍊✨🙌🏼 Go to Missusa.com and vote for Cali to secure a spot in the top 15 & watch on Fox at 7pm eastern (west coasters watch online liveeee at 4pm so you can participate in the live voting) DREAM BIG EVERYBODY XX #misscaliforniausa2016
She shared her story earlier this year on the blog “Not So Private Parts.”
“Being a full time model, I’m constantly being judged based on my appearance and measurements. Breaking into the entertainment industry so young without my parents being there to keep me grounded and sane was extremely difficult,” Mejia writes, explaining that her parents were going through a separation and weren’t around. She admits, “I dealt with my anger and resentment a bit differently than probably most.”
She explains what she turned her attention toward her work to keep her distracted. As a model, however, the pressure to be thin can be immense, and result in body image issues. Mejia’s case is no different.
“I counted calories endlessly and refused to eat over 1000 cal a day. I ran 4 miles a day and feared food more than anything in the world. Eight months of my life, I struggled with this.”
She dropped from 132 lbs to 102 lbs in only two months.
There was one thing that kept her grounded, however.
“But with the support of my family and my faith in God, I was able to overcome what the devil was telling me.”
She relied on her faith to pull her through:
Upon realizing that my self worth should not come from someone else’s opinion of me but that it should come solely from the Lord, I was given a new freedom. I am perfectly made in His image. I am never alone because He is always by my side. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. My life isn’t perfect, yet I’m not ashamed to share my “not so private parts.”
Mejia currently leads worship at her church and works alongside the National Eating Disorder Association. She promotes a message of self love and self empowerment.
“Remember as woman, we are all worth more than any precious pearl or jewel to the Lord, and we must remind each other of one another’s beauty every single day. We are all His unique creation. Embrace who you are.”