The relevance of beauty pageants
Filipinos are making waves in the international beauty pageant scene with the recent victories of 2011 Miss World-Philippines Gwendolyn Ruais and 2010 Miss Universe-Philippines Ma. Venus Raj. But with the upcoming 2012 Bb. Pilipinas pageant this April 15, there are some naysayers who question if beauty pageants are still relevant in this day and age.
For 2011 Miss Universe fourth placer Shamcey Supsup, an international beauty pageant is relevant because it allows someone to represent the country in a good light.
“Sa akin, marami rin akong nasabi about the Philippines. They're all excited and they said they wanted to come and explore the Philippines,” she said in an interview with Yahoo! Philippines OMG!
Shamcey feels the negative notions attached to beauty pageants are mere stereotypes people still cannot let go of.
“For example, tayo, ang tingin natin sa politics, it's all corruption. But not naman everyone is. But it's the mindset,” she explained. “Just like with beauty pageants. Ganun ang tingin ng tao but not everyone is like that. For example, with politics, a lot of good people don't want to enter anymore because that's how people see it.
She added, “Kaya sa beauty pageants, a lot of beautiful and intelligent women don't want to join because people see that as that.”
If people look closely, Shamcey said they’ll see a lot of the beauty pageant contestants don’t conform to the usual stereotype of a beauty queen.
“Na-stereotype lang. Masyado lang na-generalize. Pero when you get know a lot of these girls, ma-aano ka, masusurprise ka,” she said.
Road to dreams
On a personal level, her Miss Universe journey allowed Shamcey to achieve her dreams at a much faster pace than she expected.
She said, “When I first joined, I was hesistant. Will it slow down my career as an architect? Will I be stagnant? Will I be left behind by my friends? Kumbaga, I said, ano kaya gagawin ko sa buhay ko? A lot of them are exploring, a lot of them are trying to challenge themselves. Trying to reach their dreams. So ano kaya yung akin?”
“And then I entered Binibining Pilipinas nga. I was really hesitant. Feeling ko I will be left behind by my friends. But you know what? Through the pageant na hindi ko naman na-plano, all of my other dreams are following. Mas fast-paced pa.”
“I didn't know I'll be able to do it and it's because I joined the pageant.”
The pageant also made people look at Shamcey beyond her beauty.
“Now people are listening to my opinions, to my ideas. Ang dami ko kasing ideas, ang dami kong gustong i-share,” she said.
Inspiring young Filipinos is also one of the most fulfilling parts of being a beauty queen, Shamcey added.
“Lalo na sa mga bata. Nakakatuwa. Sa mga letters or messages, sinasabi nila, 'Ate, mag-aaral na akong mabuti kasi gusto ko maging katulad mo' or 'Ate, uunahin ko ang pag-aaral, magtatapos talaga ako.' Nakakatuwa. Parang, kahit papaano, may mga naiipluwensyahan ka in a good way,” she said.
The Bb. Pilipinas 2012 coronation night will be aired live on ABS-CBN on April 15. A primer will be aired on ABS-CBN’s Sunday Best on April 8.