I didn't mind the swimsuit competition when I was in pageants. But it was used to body shame us.

And then, a few days before the pageant, Miss Dallas USA said to me, “I hope we have a judge that appreciates athletic bodies. “

“We both have athletic body types,” she explained, “and that usually doesn’t fly with them.”

Still, I was confused: I naively thought the swimsuit competition was about how healthy I had become, how I had lost 120 pounds and was in the best shape of my life.

The divide between how the swimsuit competition was marketed and actually functioned became crystal clear after the Miss Texas USA dress rehearsals, when our chaperone preceded to body shame certain girls.