Beauty has never been a quiet issue, moreso for women. Be it of height, facial features, nose, lips, skin color, hair, boobs!, body shape, belly fat, and so many others that need not be mentioned but have always been a source of “insecurity” for many.
Women have long been coerced and conditioned to conform to a lot of standards society thinks we must comply with, as if they own women’s body. And as if women have control over something that is so natural to them.
On the recent Miss Philippines Earth pageant, three candidates were disqualified midway through the competition because of their height. It is ironic that organizations with great advocacy and platform such as beauty pageants like this make it limiting for people, edit: for women!, who want to voice out the same advocacy they are promoting to mere height criteria.
Height, something a woman does not have control over, has been the reason that the three were reportedly cut to use the pageant’s influential platform to promote eco-related campaigns. These three queens turned to social media their thoughts over this.
Beauty queen Renee Coleen Sta. Teresa of Ibaan, Batangas said “[…] my journey has been cut short because I learned a while ago that I did not meet the height requirement. […] I hope that somehow I was able to instill my advocacy to you.”
Beauty queen of Antipolo, Cess Cruz, said in a Facebook post: “Unfortunately, I will no longer be competing this year’s Miss Philippines Earth due to not meeting the height requirements. […] It was the advocacy of Miss Earth that inspired me to put my passion for environmental change into action. The time, costs, and efforts I’ve dedicated up to now, only to be told that I’m ineligible before the announcement of the Top 20 delegates tomorrow, is disheartening.”
Beauty queen Angela Okol posted her thoughts: “I was told that my height does not fit their pageant’s standards […]. Nevertheless, I hold nothing against Miss Philippines Earth’s advocacies and queens,”
The journey of these three queens in promoting such great advocacy has been cut short all because of something genetic and this makes us think why such criteria has to be there, in the first place. Do height issues make them less qualified of being a beauty queen? A beauty queen with such great advocacy, for that matter?
Tiktok creator, entrepreneur and and beauty queen, Ayn Bernos, who made the cut in Miss Universe 2021 pageant despite being a standing 5’3” woman showed support for Angela Okol. They both were candidates for the legendary Miss Universe Philippines 2021, where MUP dropped the height requirement.
She penned her thoughts where she said, “I find it ironic that an organization claiming to advocate for the flora and fauna of the Earth can’t hold the same compassion towards the women that walk their stage and promote their cause. How many more years of this—limiting the opportunities of women simply because of GENETICS? Because of what’s NATURAL to them?”
Support for the candidate and dismay to the height requirement in pageants were seen under said Bernos’ Instagram post.
Screenshots taken from Bernos’ Instagram post.
During the MUP 2021, hopes were held high, where requirements that women have no control over be dropped, and influential platforms such as these pageants continue to be more open, compassionate, and progressive on their views of what women should aspire to be, not how they should look. That way, more platforms for these women to showcase their individual beauty and important causes would open their doors.
Discussion over what is considered beautiful, most specifically for women, has been around for so long. It also goes outside influential platforms such as the beauty organizations. Why do people, most specially men, have so much to say about a woman’s body and overall beauty? They set up standards for women, but once women take control over their own body they have much more to say.
On a recent Facebook post by voice-over artist Inka Magnaye, she received unwarranted comments from people about her natural big boobs. The video is a sarcastic, fun take on how women with heavy tops relieve pain andwhenever they are in front of a table.
Screenshot taken from the comment section of Inka Magnaye’s Facebook post.
Over many women finding the video relatable, an online user commented on the post saying, “So maganda to para sa mga batang nakakakita ?” implying something about the creator’s breasts making “controversial” airtime. That as if there is something wrong with a woman’s chest being shown (it’s not even being shown as it is covered with clothes). Aside from sexualizing her chest (this is another struggle women unnecessarily receives from the society), the comment stinks of unnecessary hide-your-big-boobs energy.
Magnaye, of course, fired back saying, in conclusion, that this is not sexual but rather a real situation among heavy topped women and the bigger issue is how women and their body parts have always been sexualized over standards set eons of ages ago.
And to no shock, people and men also have a say over small breasts. Acclaimed actress, Florence Pugh, on the recent Valentino’s Haute Couture show, gave us a serve by wearing a pink sheer dress.
“Technically they’re (pertaining to her chest) covered?” was written as a caption but that did not make the men stop in giving unsolicited comments. These comments, to which by now are either reported or are buried deep down the supportive comments under her Instagram post, made Pugh question “Why are you so scared of breasts? What. Is. So. Terrifying.”
She also expressed, “So many of you wanted to aggressively let me know how disappointed you were by my ‘tiny tits’, or how I should be embarrassed by being so ‘flat chested’.” But what’s more interesting on Pugh’s written thoughts were her empowered self being shown:
“I’m very grateful that I grew up in a household with very strong, powerful, curvy women. We were raised to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable. It has always been my mission in this industry to say ‘fuck it and fuck that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive. […] Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans. Life will get a whole lot easier, I promise.”
Women do get a lot of assignments from society: 1. Your boobs should be smaller than that., 2. Your boobs should be a lot bigger than that. But with all these unnecessary standards thrown at women, it is important that we make a stand over our own body and what we consider beautiful for ourselves.
Women get bashed for having big boobs. Women get bashed for having small ones. Women get disqualified over being “too short”. But to think of it, it is something of natural with these women. They didn’t get to choose being 5’3” or having to wear bigger bra sizes or the smaller ones, but they are being “judged” over it.
Women should be the only ones having a say over what they consider beautiful for themselves. We hope there comes a day where women’s beauty is not defined by something other than what these women think is beautiful for themselves.
In a very patriarchal society, the stand of women on the liberation over their own body and beauty have come far from a time when even women, themselves, allowed themselves to succumb to these standards, deliberate or not. But we still have a long and difficult way to fight for. But all these women’s small steps in taking solidarity and speaking up for themselves is a lot bigger step than what it seems.
May all women find their own beauty that is so liberating for them.