The most beautiful candidate should always win the pageant—turns out, this is not necessarily true.
As the pageant scene is filled with a lot of confusing myths that hold back aspiring queens, pageant experts broke down these misconceptions and more during the second part of PhilSTAR L!fe’s Beauty and the Queen webinar series on Sept. 22.
Armed with their expertise, Missosology.org editor Drew Francisco, Miss World Philippines director Arnold Vegafria, celebrity makeup artist Albert Kurniawan, and Miss Universe 1999 first-runner up Miriam Quiambao discussed the qualities of a beauty queen and how aspiring candidates prepare for pageants.
A beauty queen is the ‘total package’
According to the experts, a beauty queen is more than her physical appearance. She’s also someone who uses her platform for good.
Kurniawan revealed that while pageant fans get attracted to beautiful and sexy candidates, being a beauty queen entails a lot of responsibility.
“The public will get attracted sa mga magagandang candidates lang, sa mga sexy. But being a winner is more than that, it's more on the responsibility. Besides the external looks, kailangan i-consider natin kung kaya ba niya i-fulfill ang duties niya,” said Kurniawan.
He also added: “It's a total package. Dapat someone who can lead, who includes others. She should be able to use her reign and platform to give the best message to the people.”
For Francisco, aspiring queens need to undergo physical, mental, and social media preparations before joining a pageant.
HOW TO BE A QUEEN? 101— PhilSTAR L!fe (@philstarlife) September 22, 2021
Francisco: First, they must undergo physical preparations. Learning to do the proper hair and makeup and clothes. Not necessarily getting thin and making sure that you have the strength.
Vegafria also raised the topic of beauty queens having a worthy cause to share during their reign, while stressing that being “organic” with an advocacy is a must.
“Learning the PR and social media relations is important too. Finally, the most important thing is to find a worthy cause or advocacy that you have to present to the world. Nafi-feel naming organizers kung organic, or if she's just doing it for the requirement. The most important thing when you do your worthy cause, it must be coming from your heart,” he added.
Plastic surgery, height requirements, and more
Of course, beauty is important when it comes to deciding who will represent the country in the international pageant scene. With this in mind, the experts addressed popular myths about the industry.
Kurniawan admitted that he has nothing against candidates who undergo plastic surgery. “In the past, it was a taboo. But I guess as long as it's making the contestant more confident on how she looks, why not? Nothing against it,” he added.
Francisco echoed Kurniawan’s statement, stating that some candidates “enhance themselves” to feel “confident.”
On the other hand, Vegafria said women can still look more beautiful despite their flaws.
“I believe that women can still look beautiful even with their flaws. It's a matter of how well they carry themselves. The bottom line here is there's nothing better than natural beauty. Self-acceptance is the key to self-confidence,” he said.
Francisco also opened up about pageants having height requirements, saying that it should be “inclusive” for aspiring queens.
“To make women feel that whatever their height is, they are all included and accepted in a beauty pageant. That's what makes Miss Universe confidently beautiful… Your height should not hinder you from joining beauty pageants. We should respect the girls that want to join the pageants despite being not so tall,”
Meanwhile, Vegafria revealed that the “palakasan system” is not an effective way for a candidate to win in pageants.
“Walang palakasan. Hindi effective. For me, kung sino ang best representative ng country, siya dapat 'yun. Mas effective sa akin to show your talent and your capability,” he added.
Quiambao went on to reference Miss Universe 1999 Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana, who was considered as a “dark horse” prior to being crowned.
Kurniawan also said that at the end of the day, a candidate’s performance on social media and in-person are different.
“Fans based it kung sino 'yung frontrunner. Ang nakikita lang nila ay nasa social media. I always believe na iba kasi kung makikita natin in person lahat ng girls. Sometimes kasi we are brainwashed by social media,” he added.