Not Miss Universe enough? Catriona Gray defends Zozibini Tunzi

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has only kind words and admiration for her successor, then Miss South Africa and now Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi.

The Philippines’ most recent Miss Universe responded to criticisms that the South African beauty queen did not fit the typical Miss Universe mold or description that audiences were accustomed to.

“I feel like there's no stereotypical beauty that makes you a beauty queen. We are all representing something,” Catriona told Philstar.com in a recent interview.

Zozibini bested 89 other formidable contenders with her "natural look," rejecting comments from peers and critics alike for her to don a wig or weave instead.

“We represent different countries, and across the world, there are differences in people's conceptions of beauty or perceptions of beauty. So I think it's very unfair for someone to qualify someone based on look alone because we as Miss Universes are so much more than a face,” Catriona explained.

“And I feel like she brings such a fresh voice to the organization as a Miss Universe.”

RELATED: Newly crowned Miss Universe 2019 touches on gender-based violence

After making the top three cut, Zozibini won viewers over during the Q&A with this timely and relevant message for young girls worldwide, clearing any doubts that the crown was hers:

"I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking young girls and women for a very long time. Not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labeled women to be,” Zozibini answered when asked about the most important thing that we should teach young girls today.

“I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity. And that is what we should be teaching these young girls to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself."

RELATED: FULL TEXT: Miss Universe 2019 Top 3 Q&A

A public relations student, Miss Universe 2019 even shone a spotlight on problematic beauty standards in society during her final statement.

"I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine... I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful. And I think that it is time that that stops today," she said.

Catriona, known as well for her advocacy work, also said that Zozibini is the type of forward-thinking person that would serve as a brilliant role model for many young girls.

“She's challenging those very people who said she's not fit for the role. She's challenging those opinions because imagine how many young girls could look up to her and see themselves in her and say, ‘You know what, I was never considered typically beautiful but I can accomplish my dreams'.” — Video by Kat Leandicho

vuukle comment






  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with