If you've been following the Miss Universe Philippines competition, you know that content creator Ayn Bernos has been a fan favorite as early as when the Top 100 delegates were announced on July 19. In an Instagram post addressing her fans, she shared, "When I was a kid, I would always stay up late to watch major pageants. I looked up to these beauty queens. I have so much respect for them. I admired them so much and I've always wanted to be like them. But at the same time, as a pageant fan, I always knew that I was not qualified." As we all know, height has been a major factor in pageantry—that is, until the MUP organization removed the minimum height requirement this year.
Ayn landed a spot on the Top 100 and has since been training with beauty camp Kagandahang Flores. She was also a part of the Top 15 of the MUP's "Intro Video" challenge and was one of the candidates who dominated the "Headshot" challenge.
Ayn Bernos responds to negative comment
Unfortunately, pageantry has its dark side. The morena beauty took to Instagram to address a comment she received. Ayn wrote, "Someone commented that I must have a mental health problem for even thinking I stand a chance against taller, smarter, and more beautiful women."
She continued, "I did not join Miss Universe Philippines because I believed I was the beauty standard. I joined it because I KNOW I'm not, and it's about time girls like me are allowed to try, too."
"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?"
"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."
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.