Miss Universe Philippines hopeful Ayn Bernos responds to criticism
With her physical features that break the usual beauty pageant stereotype, San Juan City’s Ayn Bernos, one of this year’s Miss Universe Philippines hopefuls, has not been new to criticism ever since she announced her candidacy for the pageant.
During the weekend, Bernos posted on 14th August an Instagram story to address her bashers who said she “must have a mental health problem” for competing “against taller, smarter, and more beautiful women.”
‘It’s about time girls like me are allowed to try’
In her statement, Bernos, who is 5-foot-3 and identifies as a proud morena, made it clear that she did not join Miss Universe Philippines because she believed she possesses the physique of a typical beauty queen. “I did not join Miss Universe Philippines because I believed I was the beauty standard,” she began.
Image credit: Ayn Bernos
Instead, she tried her luck for the pageant because she knows it’s about time that standards are changed. “I joined it because I know I’m not, and it’s about time girls like me are allowed to try,” she said.
‘I needed someone like me on stage’
“Every time I start doubting myself, I always go back to my purpose: I needed someone like me on stage when I was younger. I did not feel represented. So now that I can do it for the next generation – why wait?” she continued.
Bernos also stressed the importance of representation in the conclusion of her statement: “There are kids out there who see themselves in me. If I tell myself I’m not good enough, then I’m telling them they’re not good enough. I refuse to do that. So I represent,” she said.
Miss Universe Philippines has removed the height requirement
Video credit: Ayn Bernos
Bernos took the chance to join this year’s Miss Universe Philippines after the organization removed the height requirement. In her TikTok announcement on 20th July, she said to fans that she had always wanted to be a beauty queen, and that if the opportunity to join opens, she knew that she would apply.
She has made it so far to both the top 100 and top 75 cuts of the pageant. Miss Universe Philippines will take place this 25th September with its final 30 candidates after a series of challenges.
All the best to Ayn Bernos, who’s out to not only show what a confidently beautiful Filipina is but also to break barriers.
Miss Universe Philippines candidate Ayn Bernos responds to bashers
Proving that beauty queens do not need to be boxed into a set of stereotypes, Ayn Bernos is indeed a refreshing representation for many Filipina girls who have also wanted to be under the pageant limelight but haven’t been able to realize their dreams.
We’re looking forward to Bernos’ upcoming performance!
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Cover image adapted from: @aynbernos