The Importance of Inner Beauty in Today's Society

This blog post was inspired by a controversial beauty queen here in the Philippines, whose loss in a recent international beauty pageant was attributed by the Filipino masses to her “tactless, unclassy, rude, and arrogant attitude”. I wouldn’t mention her name because I don’t want to discredit her more than she has already been. Furthermore, she and I have the same hometown and we have a handful of mutual friends. In this post, I will share my opinion about the sudden rise and sudden fall of her career this year. I understand the sides of both her bashers and her – and I can only blame her carelessness and perhaps fate. I really do think that what happened to her was fated in order to teach her, and the people who witnessed what happened to her, a very important lesson.

If you are a Filipino, perhaps you already know who I am talking about. Nonetheless, I still refuse to name her because I am not a hater, I have nothing against her, and I don’t want to add more emotional burden to her. However I will still use her picture (as seen above) not to disgrace her but to show how pretty she is, how big her potential is, and how impactful the reputation you create is no matter how awesome and capable you are.

This beauty queen, as she was participating in an international pageant, unmindfully asked about Adolf Hitler to Miss Austria and said that our President Duterte is “doing Hitler stuff in the Philippines.” Being a believer and supporter of this current president whom I perceive to be capable of manifesting enormous changes to our impoverished country, I was obviously offended by her statement. I couldn’t understand at that time why she said that statement which destroys the Philippines’ reputation around other international delegates. I just thought that it was embarrassing to have a “national traitor” representing our country while humiliating it to the other countries at the same time. Of course it was just how I reacted, as well as other Filipinos who worry about further media-bullying of other countries to the Philippines. But this beauty queen eventually apologized using her Facebook account, saying that she is a Duterte follower and she meant no offense. Some Filipinos tried to understand her, while some are convinced of her foolishness and bad attitude.

Those things were said while the international beauty pageant was already going on.

During the coronation night, she did not make it to the top 16 – which was unusual for us because the Miss Philippines usually wins or becomes a runner-up. The Filipinos have speculated that perhaps it was because of her "attitude" for the judges also look at their hearts and not merely the beauty of their curves and faces. I have learned, shortly after the pageant, through the Filipino netizens that her “Hitler issue” that apparently made Miss Austria uncomfortable was not her only “peculiar” action during the contest. She made a Facebook post about another Filipina beauty queen, said some things that almost endangered the health of some of her co-delegates, and many more. Even the not-so-good things that she has done in pageants in the past few years also resurfaced. Honestly, I felt bad for her and thought that maybe the bad reputation that she has caused herself during that short period of time was a factor in not making it to the top 16. However…

Shortly after the announcement of the winner of the international pageant, a video of her was posted online “bashing” the winner, saying that she had cosmetic surgery procedures done to her body and insinuating that that was unfair since the winner ought to be a natural beauty. I personally felt that it was a very “immature” comment, a comment that a high school student might say, since a truly classy and beautiful woman should accept her failure with grace and be able to feel happiness for the woman that won. I really understand how she felt victimized by that because the video was captured by a random fan and she had no idea that it would be posted online for the world to see. That particular video further outraged the Filipinos, saying that it was just another evidence of her nasty attitude. However, the people who personally knew that beauty queen knew her true personality better and said that she was just quirky, candid, and hurt that’s why she behaved like that. And I agree with it too.

However, the beauty queen should have learned her lesson when she made the Hitler comments that offended the Austrians and the Filipino citizens like me who really know that Duterte cannot be compared to Hitler because he is not a racist and a mass murderer. She was already bashed for putting her foot in her mouth and yet she made the mistake of doing it again. If she is really a beauty queen, in my opinion, then she should act like one – not only outwardly but also inwardly. She also knew that she was already a public figure by then so she should have been really careful with her words. It’s because the more powerful and influential you become, the more your words can either destroy or inspire. But despite that, she reacted by saying that the beauty (or entertainment) industry was suffocating her since she wasn’t allowed to “be herself,” and that we should stop being pretentious, acting like “Princess Sarah”.

In my opinion, it’s not wrong to be ourselves. But we should not “be ourselves” at the expense of hurting other people or their reputations, especially if you are powerful or influential enough to do it. There is a thin line between being authentic and being an asshole. “Being ourselves” shouldn’t be made an excuse for our mistakes. In the first place, she shouldn’t have joined these beauty pageants if she feels burdened and suffocated by the responsibilities and societal expectations. She is really right in pushing us to be who we really are – but we should just put it into place. If that kind of “beauty queen behavior” was decided to be the standard that should be emulated, imagine how chaotic and un-classy the next beauty pageants would be.

She also blamed the “lack of the support of the Filipinos” as the reason why she lost the pageant. I disagree. The other delegates deserved to win their respective awards, and she did her best anyway. I actually think it was partly her fault, because she was the one creating her own reputation during that time. It’s not that women should be “fake” in beauty pageants. It’s just that what we have in our hearts naturally reeks out of us no matter how much we try to hide it. It just happened that she is in the public eye that’s why people noticed her immaturity and out-of-place candidness right away. I also noticed that she has the tendency to blame someone or something when something goes wrong. That is a childish trait. Perhaps she didn’t win this pageant because she still isn’t ready. Yes, her physical beauty and quick wit might make her easily snatch the crown, but her inner self just isn’t ready. She still shows signs of immaturity and she has to be refined a little bit by harsh experiences in life like what happened to her recently. Although she has already been criticized nationwide, she still doesn’t want to be accountable for her actions – in her eyes, she is still the victim. And now, the said beauty queen has resigned in being the nation’s titleholder of one particular pageant.

I have said earlier that I also blame fate for this. I think she was destined to win the pageant on a nationwide level but she wasn’t destined to win it in an international level because she isn’t ready yet. We can tell whether something is ripe or not. In her case, I think she needs to experience that kind of humiliation in order to bring herself back on the ground. She needs to learn how to be more down-to-earth, more compassionate, and stronger. She is so young, just 21 like me, so there are still a lot of opportunities that will open up for her. Things come to us when we are ready. As I have mentioned above, she has this tendency of pointing fingers to anyone other than herself when things go wrong. Well, if we can’t be responsible for our mistakes, how can we be responsible for the earth or other bigger and more important things in life?

This significant event in her life that the whole nation has witnessed is meant to teach us something. In my perception, I think it would be that physical beauty is really useless if we do not cultivate inner beauty. Physical beauty cannot be our saving grace when we repeatedly make mistakes. Also, the lesson I have also seen there is that we cannot have something that we are not ready for. It’s okay to take our time and not reap the sweet fruits of our labor right away. 

But don't get me wrong, I do not hate her. I just find the whole happening interesting, and full of lessons. I have seen her in person, and she is really beautiful and lively. And I know that a bigger form of success awaits her somewhere down the road.


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