If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it makes sense that different pageants would set distinct standards and criteria to measure a contestant's appeal.
Local and international beauty pageants alike reward candidates on factors like their ambassador potential, confidence, purpose, international diplomacy, and environmental awareness. At some point, one's nationality and other factors can ultimately influence judges and beauty pageant franchise holders.
There is also a handful of beauty queens who redefine rather than subscribe to these neverending stereotypes. They managed to somehow break the mold while still finding success.
Here are Pinay beauty queens who subverted societal expectations in one way or another.
Sharifa Akeel is the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2018 and Miss Asia Pacific International 2018. She is one of the few Muslim beauty queens in the Philippines, as well as among the first international beauty pageant titleholders. She has even worn a swimsuit to compete for the crown, pushing her limits and telling others not to focus on religion.
Ariella Arida is Miss Universe Philippines 2013 and Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up. She was the only Asian to make it into the Top 5 at the time. Not to mention, she won Best in Swimsuit at Binibining Pilipinas 2013 despite not being conventionally "curvaceous."
Mutya Johanna Datul
Mutya Johanna Datul is Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2013 and Miss Supranational 2013. She is the first Asian and only Filipino to win the Miss Supranational title. A remarkable feat in itself, this is more impressive considering the self-made beauty queen was not part of any leading beauty camp at the time.
Janicel Lubina is the Miss World Philippines 2013 runner-up and Binibining Pilipinas International 2015. She once worked as a "kasambahay" (household helper) in Palawan, until a makeup artist who eventually became her handler encouraged her to join beauty pageants. She is also considered a "lucky charm" among pageant enthusiasts as she was the runner-up of both Miss World 2013 Megan Young and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
Venus Raj is the Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2010 and Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up. Her Miss Universe run was a "major major" win for the Philippines as it started the country's 12-year semifinal streak. She was selected by the Department of Social Welfare and Development as an ambassador for poor children, having grown up herself in an underprivileged community.
Pia Wurtzbach is Miss Universe 2015. She became the Philippines' third Miss Universe overall and first in over four decades. It was third time's the charm for Pia, who attempted Binibining Pilipinas thrice yet managed to win in her final try. At that time, the beauty queen was already 26 years old, which is also the pageant's maximum age limit for applicants.