That title above is only one of my thoughts about Megan Young being crowned the first Filipina Miss World. Perhaps it’s an obvious idea based on common sense. Of course, when you say Miss India won because she was Indian, or Miss Japan won because she was Japanese, that would sound funny. But there are still some bigots whose minds run this way.
Breast-beating may certainly be happening wherever there are Filipinos, happy that another Filipina championed a beauty pageant. Problem is, some Filipinos will idiotically use it as a springboard for bigotry and claim that Filipinos are superior, or that Filipina beauties are superior to everyone else’s. They’ll call anyone who might like another nationality (like Miss France, I know someone bet on this one), or at least anyone with a critical opinion, like me, a traitor.
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Well, in fairness, it is a nice thing to see a Filipina win an international beauty contest. But the thing is, while it is a good thing, it’s still something that even we should not overrate. Gogs does right to question the value of it at all. We should put it in the right context.
There’s an infographic being passed around that says Filipinas finally won in all major international beauty pageants: Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International, Miss Supranational (I didn’t know this existed) and now, Miss World.
But to repeat my colleague Paul Farol’s comment: so what?
Another thought that crossed my mind: so we make beautiful women who win pageants. Seems to make sense when one thinks of the other common impression of Filipinas… you guessed it… prostitutes.
Filipinas may have won beauty pageants… well and good… but that doesn’t bring people out of poverty. I argue that that it does not really uplift the country. It perhaps provides only a temporary respite and escape from our country’s problems. But it does not seem to have any lasting value for the country. It seemingly does little to inspire people to rise up from their own problems and do something about them. Let me repeat my comment on Gogs’ article to stress this point:
I think the significance of Megan Young’s win, as with any similar “Pinoy Pride” thing, is that it represents the Filipino desire to get something for nothing. That’s their impression of beauty queens – they’re just born that way, so they’re beautiful already without doing anything. And they get fame, glory and admiration because of it. Filipinos are like that, they believe they’re entitled to fame, glory and admiration without doing anything.
Also, when manifested with Pinoy Pride, some Filipinos seem to like to trample on other countries. They will immediately say, “Filipinos are superior beauties,” “we’re the best in the world” and all that arrogant baloney. These Filipinos may condemn the US and other countries for imperialism, but the attitude they show is itself imperialism. That is something I believe is called hypocrisy.
Many Filipinos want this section’s title: Glitz and Glamour. Worse, they believe they deserve it. It points to the notorious false sense of entitlement of Filipinos. No, I say Filipinos don’t deserve glitz and glamour. They deserve a verbal drubbing like this blog gives because they refuse to clean out their faults that cause to them to want glitz and glamour without doing anything.
For me, beauty pageants have lost their relevance as world-connecting bridges. They’ve become mainly commercial or celebrity activities, with sponsors, stars and all that. Yes, countries get together peacefully, but it’s all for a temporary show.
Also, I asked before, what’s so Filipino about a name like Megan Young? Isn’t she half-American? What happened to the “Brown Power” people who would complain about the Azkals being half-breeds? They seem all quiet now that Half-American, non-brown Megan Young has an international beauty title. What if someone said, she couldn’t have won if she were brown; would they get butthurt?
Oh yes, what was her answer to the Q&A portion that helped her bag the win?
“I treasure a core value of humanity and that guides people why they act the way they do. I will use this to show other people how they can understand each other… as one, we can help society.”
Oh. A motherhood statement. Kinda like, “Can’t we all get along and make love, not war.” Well, not really a bad answer, but it sounds…. cliched. Could have been better, but anyway, it bagged Megan the crown.
So Megan Young won an international beauty contest. Well and good. But for me, it’s her achievement and not the achievement of the country. It’s like Manny Pacquiao. Boxing Filipinos like him are usually in it for themselves or their group, not for the country. When he wins a fight, he – not the Filipinos – goes home with the winnings. And when he wins a fight, only he can do it. Put an ordinary Filipino in the ring, he’ll be out like a light in 1 second. But Filipinos can just look at it and pretend to be happy by free-riding on the victory. A Filipino won. Hooray (with a period, not an exclamation point).
Same with Megan Young. When she won for her beauty, it doesn’t mean all Filipinas are like her, look like her and act like her well enough to earn a crown. It means only she can do it. Congrats to her… not to the Philippines.
ADDENDUM: To put my message in plain words, a single summary, just because Megan Young is beautiful doesn’t mean all Filipinos are beautiful. This is the free rider problem: because one Filipino is a good achiever, others try to claim that they’re the same and boast their “goodness” to the world. Unfortunately, if their own example shows otherwise, they only help to bring the Filipino identity down, not up.
Megan Young is actually our latest candle in the dark. But as that idiom implies, there’s still a lot of dark to overcome. I just hope Megan’s fellow Filipinos get the right message: that they should light their own candles and not hang on to hers. Because if they do so, they won’t make it brighter, but they’ll snuff it out.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.