Chelsea Manalo Makes History As First Black Filipina Crowned Miss Universe Philippines

Chelsea Manalo Makes History As First Black Filipina Crowned Miss Universe Philippines

Bulacan, Philippines
– History was made as Chelsea Manalo, a Filipino American with African American heritage, was crowned Miss Universe Philippines. The 24-year-old’s victory shatters traditional beauty standards in the Philippines, where Eurocentric features and lighter skin tones have long been favored.

Manalo’s win sparked a wave of celebration on social media. Many Filipinos lauded her victory as a sign of progress.Comments like “Filipino beauty standard shattered into pieces” flooded the Miss Universe Philippines’ Instagram page,reflecting the joy of witnessing a broader definition of beauty take center stage.

Representing Bulacan, Manalo triumphed over 52 other contestants at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. During the competition, she was asked how she would leverage her beauty and confidence to empower others. Her response resonated deeply.

“Growing up as a woman of color, I’ve faced my share of challenges,” she declared. “I was told beauty has limitations.But I was also taught to believe in my mother, to believe in myself, and to uphold my values.” With a determined gaze at the audience, she added, “Because of that, I already influence many women here tonight.”

Manalo’s victory reflects a broader conversation about diversifying beauty ideals in the Philippines. The nation’s colonial history has undeniably shaped its perception of beauty, making lighter skin and Western features more desirable. This is evident in the dominance of light-skinned actors and models in media, and the prevalence of skin lightening products.

In a pre-recorded interview with Empire Philippines, Manalo opened up about her own experiences with insecurity.”Growing up, I was bullied for my skin color and hair texture,” she shared. However, with the unwavering support of her loved ones, she learned to “embrace my unique beauty.”

Manalo, who started modeling at 14, will now represent the Philippines at the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico this September. She carries the hopes of a nation, aiming to secure the fifth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines,following in the footsteps of iconic winners like Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran, Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray.

This year’s Miss Universe competition promises exciting changes. Over 100 countries will be represented, and the age limit for contestants has been eliminated, paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse competition. However, the Miss Universe organization recently faced criticism due to allegations of mismanagement and a toxic work environment within the Miss USA organization.

Despite these challenges, the Philippines celebrates Chelsea Manalo’s historic win

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