Filipina Miss Universe titleholder Catriona Gray has banded together with Miss Universe 2020 candidates to speak out against cyberbullying.
Gray recently went on Instagram to remind fans to be kind to one another online and in real life in solidarity with Miss Universe’s campaign to stop harassment on the internet.
“So many use social media as a consequence-free way to attack, put down and degrade others,” Catriona Gray wrote using her Instagram stories feature on May 16, 2021.
The Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe shared that she herself received hateful comments online and together with the country’s third Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach urged others to be mindful of what they post on social media.
“It is never, ever okay to degrade someone or to harass them in the name of sharing your opinion,” Gray adds. “Words have power to both pull down and pull up. I hope we would choose the latter.”
The Miss Universe organization uploaded a video of several contestants sharing negative criticism they received from netizens to raise awareness and eliminate bullying.
“I was scrutinized because of how I dress,” said the Philippines’ Miss Universe 2020 candidate Rabiya Mateo in the video which is part of the organization’s “UP FRONT” series.
Some of the candidates who appeared in the video include Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo, Miss Canada Nova Stevens, Miss Argentina Alina Akselrad, and Miss Denmark Amanda Petri.
“Having received many hateful comments regarding my skin color is hurtful and just shows that we have a lot of work to do,” shares Miss Canada Nova Stevens.
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray also commented on the video post to support the contestants.
“Thank you @missuniverse for taking a stand. Cyber bullying and bashing is never, ever okay,” Gray wrote.
The 69th edition of Miss Universe was held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, United States on May 16, 2021 (US time). Mexico’s Andrea Meza brought home the crown from the prestigious pageant.
Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo finished at the top 21 spot, ending her Miss Universe journey in the semifinals of the competition, continuing the 10-year semis-landing streak of the country’s candidates.
Mateo earlier rocked the Miss Universe stage in her Philippine flag-inspired outfit crafted by the late Filipino international designer Rocky Gathercole during the national costume competition.
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