On January 30, 2017, the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world (or in the universe, rather) held its coronation in #MissUniverse 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach's home country, the Philippines. Steve Harvey served as host again this year, and his hosting was filled with jokes about what he did last year...
You may recall that in 2016, the coronation was like the announcement of the Hogwarts House Cup where Slytherin nearly won, but Dumbledore stepped in and added points to Gryffindor. If you don't remember — or just want to relive the moment in all its awkward glory — check out the clip below.
I felt bad for Miss Colombia, but damn, that moment spawned my favorite meme:
If it weren't for Steve Harvey's momentous fail, we would've missed out on an abundance of jokes and memes — but we would've missed out on a great Miss Universe too. #MissUniverse 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach proved that she deserved the title more than anyone else, and throughout her reign, she has become an inspiring role model for everyone. Below are the life lessons we learned from her best moments as the most beautiful woman in the universe.
1. When She Emphasized the Value of Hard Work
Queen P didn't make it big the first time she tried. She had to join the Binibining Pilipinas pageant three times before she even qualified to represent our country at the Miss Universe pageant. But as they say, third time's a charm. Her dream since childhood was to become a Miss Universe, and despite the many hurdles, she never gave up achieving that dream.
2. Thrones Before Bros
The one who wears he crown has some major, major (*wink*) duties to attend to. The price for the crown is blood, sweat, and buckets of tears, and a lot of strong, beautiful and intelligent women are after it, too. Pia rose above them all, and in every interview when she was asked to choose between a love life and a crown, she only answered what we all were hoping to hear:
“True love waits. Haha. I’ll take the crown.”
Pia knows that love will come and go, but the Miss Universe crown is a once in a lifetime blessing.
3. When She Advocated for AIDS Awareness
In #QueenPia's award-winning answer, she spoke about her advocacy for AIDS awareness, raising an issue which is particularly prevalent in the Philippines. Back in the '90s, when HIV/AIDS was still a widely misunderstood disease, the late Princess Diana was one of the figureheads to destigmatize the illness by shaking hands with a patient without gloves. She was even quoted saying:
"HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it."
By showing compassion, Princess Diana reminded us that practicing empathy will not make us HIV infected. Back to the present day, Pia knows that only does HIV/AIDS affect hundreds of thousands in the Philippines, but in the rest of the world as well. The lack of knowledge in poor countries about this disease makes it an even deadlier epidemic that can slowly kill men, women, and children of AIDS-infected parents. Pia's advocacy to raise awareness and her encouragement for everyone to get tested will be beneficial in the long run.
4. When She Put Someone in Their Place
When this person called out Pia for just posting about 'modeling', he tried to discredit her by saying that she should focus more on doing humanitarian work. Pia responded by saying that she'll be at the United Nations the next day. She also followed it up by positing a photo with a lengthy caption that gives us more information on how hectic the job of a Miss Universe really is.
The fact that she doesn't post everything that she's working on proves that she's really working, instead of just taking pictures all day.
5. When She showed Support to a Body-Shamed Aspirant
We only see long-legged, super fit women in the pageant, and we forget how hard it must have been to get in tip-top shape like that. In retrospect, we can only imagine the drastic time it would take to truly live up and proudly say that we're 'confidently beautiful'. One aspirant from the Binibining Pilipinas was ridiculed online for her body shape, and though we know it takes a lot of guts and courage to get up there and do that, the mean comments can really get to you sometimes. Pia's show of support really melted our hearts.
Want to read more Miss Universe stories?
- This Is What It Looks Like When You Crown The Wrong Miss Universe On Live TV
- The Right Way to React to Steve Harvey's Miss Universe Mistake
Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach truly embodied what it means to be a Miss Universe and proved to the whole world that she's truly confident, beautiful, and has a big heart.She has become iconic not just because of the crown-switch, but because throughout her reign, she has been genuine, kind, and a great role model for everyone. She even left some words of encouragement to her successor:
To the next Miss Universe, fasten your seatbelt. At the end of your reign, you will grown in confidence, maturity, and faith. For me, the title was a dream come true, but the work continues.
The new Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere has a pretty big shoes to fill, but if she follows Queen Pia's advice, then she'll be just fine.
Who's your favorite Miss Universe? Let me know in the comments!