On December 17th, the world turned its attention to the annual Miss Universe Competition held in Thailand as more than 90 women competed for the title. This year, Catriona Gray from the Philippines won the crown and the title of Miss Universe. And as always, people start to criticize the competition for how it presents women to the world and our social standard of beauty.
But for me, the competition is more than just a runway for women to strut their stuff in a fabulous evening gown or a brightly-colored bikini. It's more than judging their walk, their hair, or anything about their appearance.
It's about the opportunity to serve our world in the capacity as Miss Universe. You may not see her at all after that famous and glamorous evening, but she will be out in the world, serving in a capacity that helps people, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, or their economic status.
It's about representing your home country with pride and coming together in unity instead of against each other in conflict. Today's news is full of conflict with countries battling against one another, arguing about how to handle the world's problems. But when I see these women come together in one place, talking about how to work together instead of counter, it makes me believe that we are taking strong steps towards progress in our world.
Surprisingly, people still make remarks against the Miss Universe competition every year, criticizing their bodies, their smiles, or their response to the questions that the judges pose. We as a society are trying to make big moves to not criticize each other for their looks or their character, yet they still have the audacity to judge these women.
I am a feminist and the fact that people still want to ridicule women who are serving as a symbol for their nation, wanting to better our world through acts of service is mind-boggling to me. They are doing no harm to our world, only improvement.
If people truly wanted to change our society from hate into love, they wouldn't shame women for participating in Miss Universe. They would celebrate their decision and hard work.