Breaking Barriers: First Black Filipino Crowned as Miss Universe Philippines

Breaking Barriers: First Black Filipino Crowned as Miss Universe Philippines
Credit: Instagram @themissuniverseph

For the first time in history, a black woman has won the title of Miss Universe Philippines. Chelsea Manalo, a Filipino-American, was crowned Miss Universe Philippines on Wednesday. The 24-year-old's victory was celebrated on social media as a significant step in reshaping traditional Filipino beauty standards.

According to CNN, the daughter of a Filipina mother and a black father competed against 52 contestants from across the archipelago and abroad at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Representing Bulacan, a province north of Manila, Manalo took to the competition stage. When asked how she would use her beauty and confidence to empower others, she expressed her hope to inspire other women through her beauty and confidence.

In a tribute to her mother, Manalo added that she was always taught to believe in herself. 

Starting her modeling career at the age of 14, she faced significant challenges during her teenage years due to unfair treatment regarding her skin color and hair type. However, she remained resilient and determined.

Manalo has an ambitious goal to redefine beauty in the Philippines, where beauty standards often reflect Western ideals. Despite the Philippine media's bias toward light-skinned beauty, Manalo is determined to promote diversity on a larger scale.

As Miss Universe Philippines, Manalo will represent the Philippines at the upcoming Miss Universe pageant in Mexico in September. She is determined to bring home the fifth crown for her country, competing against contestants from more than 100 nations.

Previously, five Filipino women have successfully won the Miss Universe title. They include Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 (after Steve Harvey incorrectly declared the winner), and Catriona Gray in 2018.

Thank you for reading until here