Former Bachelorette Hannah Brown revealed in an interview with the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame that her participation in beauty pageants caused her to have “stress” and “anxiety.”
She opened up about the impact that participating in these competitions had on her body image and overall mental health.
Hannah spoke to Willie, Korie, Sadie Robertson, and her husband Christian Huff, for an episode of the family’s Facebook Watch series At Home with the Robertsons.
The family spoke to the star of the 15th season of The Bachelorette about her experiences as a pageant girl and the effect the industry had on her.
They also revealed they discouraged their own daughters from participating in these types of events.
Hannah was crowned Miss Alabama USA 2018, and competed in Miss USA 2018.
Hannah spoke of the dark side of the business
In her discussion with the Robertsons, Hannah revealed that along with the glitz and glamour of the industry, there is a dark side to it as well.
She revealed that there are some good things about pageants but at the same time, there are red flags aplenty.
“I think having a strong sense of your femininity as a woman is something that should be celebrated. But there’s another side to it,” she said.
“She’s emailed me a picture of another girl’s body and said, ‘I need you to look like this in your swimsuit before this time.’ And it killed me,” Hannah admitted.
This led to a pattern of unhealthy eating in order to achieve the desired look.
Hannah said in a YouTube video that she entered a swimsuit competition at 16 years old and started her first diet. This consisted of fruit, chicken, green beans, salad and boiled eggs. It eventually led a 15-pound weight loss, but Hannah said, “I was so, so hungry.”
“I would go a year without eating carbs,” she admitted. “It really messed with me a lot. And I dealt with some anxiety and depression because of it.”
Hannah revealed she quit competing because of the intense pressure to look perfect
She told the Robertson clan, “I would spend a whole year preparing for this one pageant and then I would never make the top. And then I would do it again and I just kept being beat down and would look at the person that had won and be like, ‘What do I need to do this year?’”
“I kept changing myself. I ended up just being miserable and actually stopped because I started battling with depression and anxiety and I think a lot of it came from trying to be something that I wasn’t,” Hannah admitted.
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