Miss Representation

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - May 18, 2021 - 12:00am

Yesterday's morning was full of glum. When the Miss Universe host announced the last country in the Top 10, it wasn't the Philippines. Rabiya Mateo, who trained hard to clinch the crown, was not favored by the judges. Filipino pageant fanatics went back to their daily lives after the road to the crown was short-lived.

I watched the show not because I liked pageants but to understand the need for it. You see, I think that it sets out a different set of standards of beauty especially to the young. Girls who are still in their teenage years are programmed with the mindset that they should grow up skinny and tall, like a model. The harder they try, the more inauthentic they become. We have forgotten what real beauty is, and that is from within.

The old adage goes, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" or how the person positions himself or herself in a certain situation. These are not just day-to-day situations but societal problems that we face. In my Development Communication class, we discussed that there are seven major problems that are rooted in poverty. It goes around in a vicious cycle that should be addressed by those who care beyond their own agenda.

The concept of beauty is devoid because it can be subjective across cultures. One's being beautiful may be seen differently by others across the globe. Placing them in one arena is rather unfair and spells a different definition of how women should be. A deeper issue is the question if only women should be the ones fighting over beauty, what about men? It is rather very inclusive but brings out the entertainment and fun of it all.

I think this drives home to equal representation and the eradication of stereotypes. The focus must be shifted now to their causes and what they want to do with the influence that they will be having with the crown. Everyone must consider how deep their hearts are into being compassionate for others and which community they want to help. It is how a small voice can transcend into a million ripples that could eventually change the world, if not a small community to start with.

But still, we wish Rabiya would have won and there would be some positivity to celebrate in our country today. Albeit unnecessary, but it would be a change of scenery on the newscasts for the week. I just hope we could inculcate in the minds of the young ones that beauty isn’t only glitz, glamor, and being skinny but the character of one person. More than that, it’s the cause that one forwards to help their fellowmen.

As for Miss Universe, there is still next year --another round of criticizing and setting new standards for beauty. It will be an exciting year for the winner especially in this pandemic.

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