Miss Universe Canada 2020 Nova Stevens urged the public to spread love and positivity after baring that she received racist and nasty comments from some Filipino pageant fans online.
The 26-year-old beauty queen on Tuesday appealed to the public to refrain from generalizing all Filipinos as “racist” following her previous post where she shared some of their scathing comments about her physical appearance, particularly her skin tone.
“Let’s end things on a positive note. To my Filipino fans: I’m sorry if my previous post caused you any harm. My post wasn’t intended to incite more hate; rather shed light on the toxicity that sometimes hails from fans (from all over the world),” Stevens wrote on Instagram.
“The last thing I want is for anyone to experience hate so please don’t bash or generalize the Filipino fans; not all are racist. Some of my closest friends who also happen to be some of the nicest people I know are Filipino. In every group of people; whether black, white, green, yellow, red, purple, there are always a few bad apples,” she added.
Stevens then urged the public to continue “spreading love, celebration and making pageants fun for all” by rooting for the candidates who she said all “deserved to be celebrated.”
“They’ve worked so hard. Give them the best gift you can give anyone; if you’re not sure what that gift should be, I’ll help you out. Give them love. Nothing else. Just love,” she said.
The Kenya-born Canadian beauty queen ended her post with the hashtags “#spreadlove,” “#love” and “#strongertogether.”
She also included some screengrabs of positive comments she has received from Filipinos.
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Stevens’ latest post came after she called out some racist and nasty commenters who previously made fun of her physical appearance on Facebook.
Most were from Filipinos.
“With all that has been going on in the world ‘black lives matter’ ‘Asians are human’ you would think this would bring us together. Instead, looks like some people are still stuck in their ignorant and racist ideologies,” she wrote in an Instagram post before.
“I’m really disappointed with some pageant fans from certain countries. Your hate takes away the fun and enjoyment from this once in a lifetime experience. Is it really that difficult to spread love instead of hate? No one is saying you HAVE to support all contestants, all we’re saying is that you support your delegate without bringing others down,” Stevens said.
Some believed that she “generalized” Filipinos as racists in her post.
“So in order to get enough attention, call out the bashers from Filipino pageant fans. I find this as a publicity stunt for Miss Canada. If she really wants to shed light (on) racism, why not call out all countries doing this and not highlight only the PH,” a Twitter user said.
In the Philippines, there is still a preference towards fair or light skin tones, a prejudice that may have stemmed from Spaniards who associated dark-skinned Filipinos with poor laborers in the colonial era.
Stevens, who grew up in Canada, was born in Kenya.
Reports note that her parents fled the civil war in South Sudan and decided to send her to Canada at the age of six with the hope of providing her a better life.
She is now a co-founder and spokesperson for the “Freedom March Vancouver” and “Black Freedom Society” whose mission is to eradicate hate and racism experienced by black and indigenous people of color.
Stevens has an affinity for acting and modeling and has made appearances on productions in the film industry in Vancouver.
Her official gown designer for Miss Universe 2020 is Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco.
The Philippine’ bet to the prestigious beauty pageant is Rabiya Mateo, a 24-year-old Filipino-Indian teacher from Iloilo City.