Ms. FMU 2019 shines light on body shaming


Photo by: Elodi Breg

Alexa Williamson smiles after being crowned Ms. FMU 2019.

Five contestants came together to compete for the title of Ms. FMU and share their stories at the Ms. FMU pageant on April 4 in Chapman Auditorium in the McNair Science Building.

Alexa Williamson, who won the pageant, said she participated in the event to get involved in the community and shine light on body shaming.

“Body shaming is real for both women and men,” Williamson said. “I wanted to show that we all have a similar story and we are all warriors with a confident stride.”

Ms. FMU has stood as a university tradition that has highlighted young women who have distinguished themselves among their peers. It focuses on contestants’ academics and character as well as the typical beauty aspect.

Each contestant had a different platform that they chose to focus on, such as mental health, self-worth or cultural awareness. Eira Sabido, one of the contestants, incorporated culture with her red flamingo-inspired attire and traditional Day of the Dead makeup.

“I’m Mexican-American from Texas but I grew up in Florence with Spanish as my first language,” Sabido said. “There are not a lot of Hispanics in Florence, or at FMU either, so I feel like I’m in the middle of fitting in with everybody. I feel like if they had more diverse events, more diverse people would come to FMU.”

With this being Sabido’s first pageant, some things were quite new to her, especially with competitors who had experience in the field.

“It was really challenging because the other girls had been in pageants before,” Sabido said. “I had no training, and this was my first pageant. It was fun. I was really nervous; I felt intimidated, but then I realized there’s no reason to be nervous. There is no reason to feel intimidated because I’m there to tell my story and show who I really am.”

All of the contestants displayed different talents, including song, dance and an empowering speech about confidence given by Williamson. The contestants said they left with more than they expected and that the experience was an eye-opener and a confidence builder.

“I feel like my confidence level went up; I’m not nervous when I do presentations anymore,” Sabido said.