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Miss Universe pageant partner backs new rule allowing moms, wives to compete

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star
Miss Universe pageant partner backs new rule allowing moms, wives to compete
US-based skin expert and O Skin Medspa proprietor Olivia Quido-Co holds the Beauty Day in Manila at the Garden Room of EDSA Shangri-La Hotel.

MANILA, Philippines — The recent announcement made by Miss Universe Organization (MUO) allowing mothers and married women to compete beginning in 2023 has drawn mixed reactions from pageant enthusiasts and netizens from around the world, including the Philippines.

Prior to the said announcement, only single women between 18 and 28 years old and who never had children were eligible as Miss Universe contestants.

O Skin Medspa proprietor and US-based Filipina skin expert Olivia Quido-Co, whose skincare brand The Olivia Quido Skincare is the official beauty partner of Miss Universe, said the new rule is a show of equal opportunity.

“For me, it’s okay because you’re giving opportunity to those — from 18 to 28 — who wish to join but already have children. Now they have the chance. I think, it’s more of an equality and an opportunity, pantay-pantay,” said Olivia, also fondly called Miss O, who flew to Manila from L.A. to hold the second beauty event dubbed as Beauty Day in Manila at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel which took place last Aug. 13. The first Beauty Day event was in 2019.

Although some quarters were doubtful of the “inclusive” change, reasoning that moms and wives might not live up to the hectic schedule during the pageant, Olivia stressed that nothing is too hard for anyone who is aiming to realize a dream.

“There are lots of women who are wishing to become a beauty queen, so I think giving them the opportunity na kahit married at may anak na is a beautiful thing. I’ve also met women of that age (bracket) who wanted to join but got pregnant. Ako, I’m okay with that (new rule). Gusto ko silang mabigyan ng chance to be on that stage and showcase their beauty and talent globally,” said Olivia.

The new rule will take effect beginning 2023 or the 72nd edition of Miss Universe pageant.

Meanwhile, Olivia remains the partner of Miss Universe in providing skin care to candidates in the pageant’s new edition. Since her tie-up with the international pageant in 2019, O Skin Medspa has become a premier spa destination for Miss Universe delegates.

During the Beauty Day in Manila, Miss O looked back on her humble beginnings. Her story can serve as proof that success, indeed, comes to those who dare and act.

In 2003, she put up her first clinic — a tiny space that can only fit her and one client — in Artesia, California. “’Yung bangko nakadikit sa wall, ‘yung feet ng client nakadikit sa wall. So, you can imagine the size of the place ko for five years. We can only sit face to face at parang halos mag-kakabanggaan talaga ‘yung tuhod namin pag nakaupo,” she shared. “So, I’m very grateful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity and blessings. When you pray and say to the Lord all the desires of your heart and trust in Him, blessings will truly pour.”

Olivia also recalled how she would tirelessly put flyers on car windshields in hopes of getting more clients. “Pero sa 50 flyers na nailagay ko, walang tumawag. Sa 100 (flyers) naman, meron isang tumawag kaya talagang ginawa ko ang lahat at may masahe pa kasi natuwa ako may isang pumunta,” she said.

She kept on persevering and praying until she was able to afford a bigger space in 2007 and set up a spa business.

“Nag-aral rin ako paano gumawa ng nails but every time our topic is skin care, super excited ako that’s why from cosmetology, I went to skincare alone. It was 2012 when I started my second branch and then I started a TV show on The Filipino Channel called Beauty By O. It was a five-minute segment about beauty, the latest technology and the latest beauty treatment. The show was also featured on Balitang Amerika and on Rated-K.

In the US, Olivia was featured in Forbes Magazine for her popular product in the market called Secret Gold. She has also been featured in Elements Mag New York/Los Angeles, Contour of Luxury Beverly Hills, The Code of Style Los Angeles, Luxury Lux New York and Luxury Lifestyle, among others. In 2017, she was invited to the 46th Emmy Awards Academy Lounge Gifting Suite.

Her celebrity clientele includes American R&B singer Patti Austin and Michael Jackson’s son Prince. “Si Prince Jackson doon s’ya nag-celebrate ng birthday sa spa,” she shared. In the Philippines, her first celebrity clients were Ruffa Gutierrez and her mom Annabelle Rama.

At present, Olivia has her hands full with activities in connection with her skincare line and as an official partner of Miss Universe. On Aug. 19, she’ll be flying to Bangkok for a dinner hosted by Miss Universe Thailand and at the same time meet its candidates.

She will then fly to Ecuador in September for an interview and product promotion to the Latin America market. “I just came from Paraguay because a department store there opened a door for us na magiging headquarters to reach Latin countries,” she revealed.

On Sept. 23, she will be in New York with Boy Abunda for Private Conversations with Boy Abunda and Miss O. According to her, she invited Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Saur Kandhu to be the guest.

In October, she will be heading to Dubai to attend inquiries about her brand. “I am really, really thankful to the Lord for the wonderful blessings and the opportunity to be with Miss Universe in providing skin care for the beautiful ladies around the world.”

When asked for details about the upcoming edition of the Miss Universe pageant, Olivia said the organization does not have a particular country in mind yet, and she’s mum on the rumor that it will be held in Vietnam. “The next country will be announced soon. Wala pang place but I’ll be flying with them wherever they go. This is my fourth year as the official skincare partner of Miss Universe,” she concluded.

MISS UNIVERSE

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