Black Woman Crowned As Miss Universe Philippines For First Time Ever

Photo: Miss Universe Philippines

A Black woman has been crowned Miss Universe Philippines for the first time in history.

On Wednesday (May 22), Filipino American Chelsea Manalo, 24, earned the title of Miss Universe Philippines at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, per CNN.

Manalo, who has a Filipino mother and African American father, made history as the first Black woman to receive the Miss Universe Philippines crown. She represented Bulacan, a province North of Manila, and competed against 52 other contestants for the title.

Before being crowned Miss Universe Philippines, Manalo was asked how she would empower others with her beauty and confidence.

“As a woman of color, I have always faced challenges in my life. I was told that beauty has standards, actually,” Manalo said on stage, adding that she was taught to “believe in my mother, to always believe in yourself, uphold the vows that you have.” “Because of these, I am already influencing a lot of women who are facing me right now."

In a YouTube video on Empire Phillippines, where the competition was live-streamed, Manalo detailed how she dealt with insecurities from a young age.

“I grew up having insecurities as I was always bullied because of my skin and my hair type,” she said. Manalo credited her loved ones for helping her “realize that I am beautiful in my own extraordinary way.”

Manalo is now set to compete in the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico in September.

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