Miss Idaho Uses Insulin Pump to Remind Girls Everywhere They are Beautiful

by Emily Robinson

Though our nation’s tradition of beauty pageants has been hotly debated as being both pro/anti woman, one Idaho beauty queen is using her platform to de-stigmatize the insulin pump for those affected with diabetes

Sierra Sandison rocked her insulin pump throughout the Miss Idaho pageant, but her especially visual placement of the pump during the swimsuit competition made the image and her activism go viral.  

After winning the Miss Idaho crown, she took to Facebook to endorse the #showmeyourpump trend – which has yielded impressive results. As of July 22nd, her insulin pump bikini picture has received over 6,000 likes and numerous comments and personal photos, many of which are from young girls, proudly holding their own pumps. 

Just skimming through the comments section shows how much love and support the body-positive movement is attracting. And now, some inspirational quotes from Sierra: 

  • “Honestly, it is terrifying walking out on stage in a swimsuit, let alone attached to a medical device. My message to everyone, diabetic or not, is that we all have something that doesn’t ‘measure up’ to the beauty standards set by the media–and that is okay! … Don’t let your challenge hold you back or slow you down. Use it to, not only empower yourself and grow as an individual, but to serve and influence other people as well.” 
  • “This is not limited to just girls, or to people with pumps–I want to see YOU and whatever your daily battle with diabetes looks like.”
  • “It seems that insulin pumps and diabetes devices are now a symbol of community. It is becoming more and more common to see them widely displayed, because of the opportunity that brings for connection to others. In the diabetes community, we use the visibility of our devices as a badge of courage and a connector. There is a pride in successfully managing the condition and surviving. One hundred years ago there were no survivors of Type 1 diabetes.” (In an interview with NPR)


Do you have an insulin pump? Show off your strength and pride with the #showmeyourpump hashtag! 


Images courtesy of Susan Hessing Photography (via Sierra Sandison’s Facebook Page), Drew Nash (via Times News)

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