MANILA, Philippines – Beauty queen, mother and reigning Ms. Universe Philippines Arlene Cris Damot, all support the inclusive measures being implemented by the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) including allowing mothers and married women to participate in the edition of 2024 of the international pageant.
MUO’s recent move to allow mothers and married women to participate seemed to be met with as much resistance as lifting the age requirement, but Damot welcomed this development as women should not be pigeonholed based on ‘age , measure or length’.
“It’s actually a good thing, because whatever age, whatever size or height you are, it doesn’t define you,” Damot said on the sidelines of her press conference last September 21. “I’m happy that Miss Universe is opening.”
However, the beauty title holder and mother of two was quick to clarify that she is not considering competing in the 72-year-old international pageant, even though the doors have now been opened to her and other women regardless of size.
“I will still choose Ms. Universe. I think we share the same values,” said Damot, explaining that the international pageant focuses on the concerns of married, widowed or divorced women, the same demographic that the renamed Miss Universe aims to attract.
Damot is one of six Filipino contestants in the Mrs. 2023 Universe Pageant, which will be held in the Philippines for the first time. Unlike the Miss Universe pageant where four Philippine winners were crowned, the country has not recorded a victory in the married women’s competition.
“I really can’t promise. I am not Pia (Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015), I am not Catriona (Gray, Miss Universe 2018). I’m Arlene. But I’ll do my best. And I believe that I am unique,” Damot stated. She will compete with more than 100 international delegates during Mrs. Universe 2023 on October 9.
Mrs. Continental International
Meanwhile, another mother is trying to raise the Philippine flag on the stage of the international pageant: Loue Manuel Bozhilov, who will compete in the Mrs. Continental International pageant in India.
“I hope to win the crown, impact more women and inspire them to pursue their dreams,” the Cebuana entrepreneur told INQUIRER.net during a media event on September 18.
“I hope I can connect with more people to help in my advocacy for the children,” added Bozhilov, who will try to earn the Philippines’ first victory at the Mrs. Continental International in Mumbai on November 21, 2023. EDV