Catriona Gray denies romanticizing poverty at ‘Miss Universe’

Gelo Lasin

After her final answer at the Miss Universe pageant was labeled as ‘problematic’ and a ‘romanticization of poverty’, Catriona Gray has clarified that it was not the case.

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‘I was not romanticizing poverty. I’m not saying that it’s beautiful there.’ she said in an interview with GMA’s Jessica Soho.

She went on to clarify that she was actually referring to the beauty of the people and their admirable will and determination.

‘There’s nothing beautiful about poverty but in the people that you talk to, the teachers that I’ve met, the children who I’ve heard their stories of, and the families that I’ve heard stories of.’ 

‘There is something beautiful about their spirit, their will, their determination and that’s what I was referring to.’

Her answer during the Final Q&A was as follows:

‘I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very…poor and it’s very sad. And I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty in it. To look in the beauty in the faces of the children and to be grateful.

And I would 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 could teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster and children could have a smile on their faces.’

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