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Today’s beauty pageants: Time for new normal winners?

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Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo

Most Filipinos regard beauty pageants as a personal, important life event. For many women,  joining a beauty pageant is a childhood dream, and a mother’s wish for her daughters.

Beyond the klieg lights and glamour, pageants aim to empower women to build their confidence and create opportunities to grow and evolve.

It is a welcoming environment that paves the way for women to pursue their goals with passion and commitment. After all, a confident and successful woman has the power to initiate real change around her, her community, and even a global audience.

In these times, when the pandemic pushes us back to the simplest, most basic of things, where many are struggling to survive, is it also time for a new normal winner for beauty pageants?

If beauty pageant judges will take the cue from the rise of social-media bloggers and so-called influencers, some candidates are completely outside the stereotype of “star material,” but are famous because they don’t look intimidating.

These are individuals whom people from all walks of life can relate to.

Beyond physical attributes, what matters are the words and thoughts they impart. Although most beauty pageants still follow the typical criteria for choosing winners, the judges may look beyond the candidates’ walk, face and whistle-bait figures.

May they dig more on the women’s character, views and opinions, and listen closely to their voices. The challenge, then, lies not only among the candidates, but also among the judges.

At a time when “in person” interactions are limited and people wear masks to ward off a lethal virus, will we see the best version of a new normal winner?

A newbie or a nobody in pageant circles may yet turn out as the most compelling and persuasive person to assume the role of an ambassador of goodwill and cooperation.

Whoever wins the crown will speak for the nation. Filipinos deserve not just a beautiful, sexy, tall muse with an extraordinary walk — but rather “the one” who can best represent the Philippines to the world.

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