We should place the same high standards we have for pageants on our public officials

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Following the recent conclusion of the highly-anticipated Miss Universe 2022 pageant, the Internet again reopens the conversation: we should place the same standards we’re looking for in a Miss Philippines on the leaders of our country.

We expect so much from the pageant representatives and place so much pressure on them, sometimes forgetting to apply the same criteria to the politicians we vote for.

Dubbed as one of the powerhouses for pageantry, the Philippines continues its legacy of sending delegates to various beauty pageants with the goal to bring home the crown each time. Often, our candidates put on their best face and come home indeed successful with the title, while there are also chances when we fail to secure a victory. With the pageantry fanbase ever-growing in the country, it is also inevitable for Filipinos to share their sentiments about our Miss Philippines representatives online.

This includes the high expectation we have for the ladies. Not just the fans, but the organizations that hold the yearly competitions to search for the next Miss Philippines as well.

With the sign of the times, pageants try to evolve along with it. First by allowing transwomen to join pageants that initially caused a stir online. Spain sent their first transwoman candidate Angela Ponce to the Miss Universe 2018 pageant making history.

Locally, a change we saw was the removal of height requirements that barred a few pageant hopefuls from their dreams before. Content creator Ayn Bernos has been very open about this during her Miss Universe Philippines 2021 journey, thus also inspiring girls who would not have qualified for pageants before due to their height to join and follow their dreams.

@aynbernosPromise fulfilled. We have a long way to go. 🇵🇭♬ original sound / IG: @aynbernos – Ayn Bernos

Just last year the Miss Universe organization also announced the ushering of a new era as the seventy-year-old pageant will now be allowing married women and mothers to join the pageant on their 72nd edition, opening their doors to more inclusivity.

However, their age bracket remains the same, allowing women aged 18-28 to join the pageant. Something Miss Universe 2022 R’bonney Gabriel of the USA actually addressed in the Question and Answer portion of the recently passed 71st Miss Universe noting that she would like to see an age increase in the competition.

These are just among the standards women have to or, at least used to, adhere to when joining pageants. However, despite these changes aimed toward inclusivity, such as having relatively “plus-sized” candidates joining through the years as well, comments sections of posts about these women are still swarmed with so much negativity, plagued with extreme expectations of these women. About their looks, their weight, their stance, how they answer questions, and how they talk. There will always be something the comments will see negatively about the ladies.

The Internet then took this opportunity to speak about applying the same expectations and standards to public officials. The same grace, wit, and careful nitpicking of politicians running for positions’ attributes, advocacies, and more important qualifications should also be practiced.

Both beauty queens and public officials can be avenues for change, be a voice for those who need them, and more importantly use their platforms for good. We should always remember to entrust these positions to those who are worthy with careful examination of how true they are to their purpose.

banner by: @pitchiedesigns

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