Miss Universe Philippies candidate Rousanne “Ayn” Bernos addressed naysayers questioning her decision to join the beauty pageant for supposedly not fitting in the usual physical standards expected of candidates.
The San Juan City representative bared on Facebook that she joined the competition to “represent” girls who see themselves in her and show them that they can break barriers.
“Someone commented that I must have a mental health problem for even thinking I stand a chance against taller, smarter, and more beautiful women. So let me clarify one thing. 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?”
Bernos gained traction after she qualified for Miss Universe Philippines 2021 which recently decided to scrap its minimum height requirements for the delegates last June.
The TikTok content creator stands at five feet and three inches (5’3″), an inch away from the former minimum height requirement of five feet and four inches (5’4).
“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 (raised fist emoji). Thank you to those who understand and believe,” Bernos continued in her post.
Bernos had said that it has been her longtime dream to become a beauty queen, but she felt doubtful because of her height limitation.
“It feels so surreal but this has been many, many years in the making. 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 admire them so much and I’ve always wanted to be like them,” she shared before.
“But at the same time, as a pageant fan, I also knew that I was not qualified. But because I am a fighter and I am a dreamer, I promise myself that the moment that I could apply, I would apply,” Bernos added.