What is Miss Universe?
We've seen them in their best swimsuit and long gown attires as well as their grandest national costumes. We've also heard them speak about their advocacies and tell us their heartwarming stories of triumph over life's challenges. But who are these Miss Universe 2016 candidates really behind the camera?
We have been given an incredible opportunity to see the girls rehearse and prepare for the biggest and most beautiful night in the universe and to be honest, it's no joke.
Ever since the girls got into the country, their schedules packed with several activities have been as crazy as crazy can get. Flying in and out of provinces and towns, waking up early and ending the day very late at night, it's actually amazing how these girls dress up and show up with smiles and enthusiasm despite the back-to-back-to-back rehearsals, shoots, luncheons, meetings, and dinners sometimes all happening at the same time.
The Miss Universe Stage ¡¡¡¡All ready!!!! @missuniverse #MissUniverseSpain #MissUniversoEspaña #MissUniverse #MissUniverso #65thMissUniverse #Ready #Listo. #RoadToMissUniverse #Madrid #España #Spain #Manila #Filipinas #Philippines #BeautyPageants #ConcursoDeBelleza #GoSpain #VamosEspaña #OrganizacionBeMiss #TeamBeMiss #EquipoBeMiss #MabuhayPhilippines
They may not say it out loud but we're sure that these girls are already stressed and exhausted with pressure.
And that is what is being a woman in this society has always been about, hasn’t it?
As shallow as it may seem, people still see women as just physically beautiful creatures meant to walk the earth, expected to look their best all the time without taking into consideration the strength and effort we put into becoming the women we want to be. People judge instantly based on what they see upfront.
I have never imagined myself walking on the halls of the Malacañang Palace. That childhood dream happened today. What's more inspiring is that the leader of the Philippines wished me good luck. Thank you, President Duterte. I'm a proud Filipino and it is a great honor to represent our country, the Philippines! 🇵🇭 Maraming salamat po at sana po ay patuloy ninyo akong suportahan sa laban natin. Isang karangalan po na maging mukha ng Pilipinas sa Miss Universe. #Parasabayan wearing @edwintan_designer
But what they don’t realize - and what we think this pageant stands for - is how underneath it all are the extra hard work, perseverance, and courage women have to carry out to be able to be seen to the world as respectable beings deserving to be put on a high pedestal. That we, too, can play with the big dogs on top.
It’s not really about who dresses the best and who carries the most beautiful gown. This pageant is all about proving the world, or heck the universe, that women are powerful, kind-hearted, and intelligent beings - because we can still exude beauty, grace, and elegance all while striving and enduring the hardest and most challenging tasks brought to us.
And these girls are doing their best to make that point.
Just like us, the women of the world - the mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends - who have been fighting for years for our rights and power, the Miss Universe presents candidates who continuously inspire us by winning the crown not just for themselves but for their generous advocacies and the countries they represent.
That is what makes women confidently beautiful.