Why Miss Universe 2018 Pageant Is The Most Progressive One Yet

Filipinos rejoice for another crowning moment for the Philippines.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is now among the likes of Gloria Diaz (Miss Universe 1969), Margie Moran (Miss Universe 1973), and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015). But this is not the only reason for this year’s Miss Universe to be the netizen’s favorite. Our winner, Catriona Gray, is not the only beauty queen that stood out in the pageant; Miss Spain, who broke the society’s gender norms, and Miss Vietnam who redefines the Asian beauty standard.

Miss Universe 2018 proves that it’s more than just a pageant, but also a movement that can inspire both social and political change.

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My National Costume in Miss Universe is a traditional Spanish "bata de cola". This is an iconic piece in Spain, also known all over the world; it is a precious reference of my country. To make this wonderful National Costume, @luisfernandezdisenador was inspired by a number of things. The first one being the white villages of Andalusia, since we wanted to honor where I come from (Seville). The white of the villages, of purity… White representing peace, the peace that I bring as my message hand and hand with equality, respect, inclusion and love. A white 'bata de cola' that crosses a river of beautiful red carnations made by @hatsbyroiz. Secondly we had the carnations as inspiration because they are the most typical and recognizable flower of my beautiful country. For that reason I wanted this flower and its color because it represents the love that, as Miss Universe Spain 2018, I'm transmitting to the whole world. That is the motivate behind a river of red carnations shaped around my head and body, almost as a Spanish flag. As complements, I carried a fan to expand the scent of our land, a beautiful tortoise-shell & Swarovski clip that crowns my head as Miss Universe Spain 2018.

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“I don’t need to win Miss Universe, I only need to be here.” Miss Spain Angela Ponce says.

For the first time in Miss Universe history, Miss Spain knocked down the barriers to be the first transgender woman to compete in the pageant. The transgender community feels proud and acknowledged as they watch Miss Spain walk the stage of Miss Universe. Though Miss Spain was not able to take the crown home to her beloved country, her groundbreaking appearance made history.

Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie’s distinct style and inspiring story

H’Hen Nie is the first ethnic minority to win Miss Vietnam. On a stage full of beautiful women from all over the world, sporting long locks and skirts, Miss Vietnam’s beauty and style is the oasis. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a beauty queen defying the pageant tradition by wearing pants in the final stages of the competition with her fierce pixie cut.

Moreover, H’Hen Nie has decided to donate 100% of her prize from winning Miss Vietnam to provide scholarships for poor students in her village and to finance ‘Room to Read,’ a project that aspires to build more libraries in rural areas.

As posted on Miss Universe Vietnam’s Instagram, “Growing up, H’Hen Nie chose to focus on education, which helped positively change a difficult childhood. She has tried her hands in several jobs such as a maid, tutor, leaflet deliverer, and model to help pay for her studies and life in the city. The Miss Universe Vietnam crown is not only the result of her hard effort but also changed the definition of a beauty queen in Vietnam.”

Miss USA’s mistake teaches us the lesson to not mock non-English speakers

Miss USA made headlines earlier on in the competition for the controversial statement she made in a video toward Miss Vietnam and Cambodia which was deemed as racist and xenophobic by many.

She says, “She’s so cute and she pretends to know so much English, and then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she goes…” At this point, Sarah Rose Summers does an imitation of Nie by smiling and nodding implying her lack of understanding in English, “She’s adorable.”

Later, Miss USA says she feels bad for Miss Cambodia, Rern Sinat, who according to her, “don’t speak any English and not a single other person speaks her language.” After the incident sparked debates, she quickly took to Instagram to apologize.

The Question and Answer portion that shed light on some important global issues

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray eloquently dedicates her answer to the state of poverty in the Philippines, notably in Tondo, Manila. Other questions concern the subject of legalization of marijuana, the global refugee crisis, and the political correctness in the world’s discussions which from this, the contestants briefly articulate their answers.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?

“I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is poor and very sad. And I’ve always taught to myself to look for the beauty of it and look in the beauty of the faces of the children and to be grateful. And I will bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. And this I think if I can teach people to be grateful, we can have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster and children will have smile on their faces.” – Miss Philippines

Canada recently joined Uruguay as the second nation in the world to make marijuana legal. What is your opinion on the regularization of marijuana?

“I’m for it being used for medical use, but not so for recreational use. Because I think if people will argue then what about alcohol and cigarettes? Everything is good but in moderation.” – Miss Philippines

Do you think countries should limit the number of refugees allowed across their borders?

“I think that every country should have their own rules and regulations but for a thriving society and for all of us to stand together, we have to understand that we are all human. We should be open to loving, accepting each other.” – Miss South Africa

The #MeToo movement has sparked a global conversation. In response, some have said the world has become too politically correct? Do you think the #MeToo movement has gone too far?

“I don’t think that it has gone too far. Protecting women and women’s right are the right things to do. Women need protections and rights.” – Miss Vietnam

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When I was 13, my mum told me "Honey, I dreamt of you winning @missuniverse in a red dress." At that time I thought nothing of it, and today my mother's dream came true. ✨ Where do I even begin? Lord God, I lift everything up to you – to glorify and honour you. 🙏 Philippines 🇵🇭 what an amazing honor it has been to carry your name across my chest and to embody you in all aspects. I may now carry the sash of Miss Universe, but I'll forever be your Miss Philippines. ❤️💙💛 To my team @carlosbuendiajr @bragaisjojo @mitagray @binibiningnicolecordoves @jololuarca @justine.aliman19 @ton_lao @vheecostyle @francischee_ @styledbypatrickhenry @visionerickson @ardelpresentacion @mackycombe @harleybarleyyy @jellyeugenio @hairbybrentsales @memayfrancisco @mimsqiu @momoisupe @tesserajewelry @maktumang @jearsond @theaiveeclinic @empiredentallounge @jed_jimenez I wouldn't have been able to do any of this with all your time, effort and love 💛 #MissUniverse @missuniverse

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Miss Universe 2018 revolutionizes pageant as the celebration of powerful women

There is a ‘truth’ about pageants that is not often talked about in the media. Pageants have been criticized to use women as objects and commodities. Putting them in tight gowns, swimsuits, high heels, and an overly done hair and makeup; a form of glamorization that perpetuates an unrealistic beauty standard and body image to young girls.

But with the presence of Miss Universe Catriona Gray, Miss Spain Angela Ponce, and Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie, Miss Universe 2018 comes down to history as the most inclusive, diverse, and revolutionary that will hopefully transcend in the following years of pageantry.

Do you think Miss Universe 2018 is revolutionary? Share this post to celebrate the success of these powerful women!