Inihayag ni Michelle Dee na taliwas sa iniisip ng ibang tao, hindi siya “privileged” kid at hindi rin naging madali ang kaniyang kabataan. Katunayan, nakaranas umano siya ng racism at na-bully din noong nanirahan siya sa Amerika.
Sa special edition na “Back to Back Talk” ng “Fast Talk with Boy Abunda” nitong Miyerkoles, tinanong ni Tito Boy si Michelle tungkol sa kaniyang game plan ngayong muli siyang sumali sa Miss Universe Philippines.
“Ako kasi I am my worst critic eh, I appreciate constructive criticism through and through and I take it to heart. Pero last year kasi I really feel na I felt short sa relatability ko. Hindi ko na-share ang stories and struggles ko and kung bakit ako matapang, or bakit ako strong like my mom. So there is a side of me that I really need people to see. That I’m not as privileged as people think that I am. That I do had a hard childhood also,” kuwento ni Michelle.
Dahil dito, tinanong ni Tito Boy si Michelle tungkol sa naranasan niyang hirap noong bata siya.
“Hindi pa uso ‘yung social media then. I don’t know if alam ng mga tao na my mom and my dad had a rough marriage. So kaya kami lumipat sa States, is to get away from that drama. That’s why I grew up in the States, ‘cause my mom wanted to protect us from the noise. But of course it’s marriage, laging nag-aaway ‘yung mom ko and my step dad. And I actually grew up with parent figures or people around me that will criticize every move that I make,” anang beauty queen.
Magulang ni Michelle si Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez, at ang dating action star na si Derek Dee.
Sa kaniyang paninirahan sa Amerika, doon nakaranas ng mga pagsubok si Michelle, tulad ng racism at bullying.
“People don’t know that me and my sister, we were the only two Asians in Utah, so we were subject to a lot of racism, " lahad ni Michelle na sinabing mayroon pa siyang dalawang kapatid na special child.
Kinumpirma rin ng Miss World Philippines 2019 na na-bully siya noon.
“Siyempre kasi hindi pa ako ganoon katangkad before ‘di ba? I wouldn’t say as far as like being beaten up,” paglinaw ni Michelle.
“We live in a very small paper town in Utah. So they really didn’t understand Asian culture, didn’t understand why do I have values, why do I say prayers, why do I have these routines of, I love eating with my hands growing up. Nobody understood the culture,” saad niya.
Sa kabila ng mga pinagdaanan, pinasalamatan pa rin ni Michelle ang kaniyang mga magulang at lola, lalo na ang kaniyang ina na nagturo sa kaniya na maging matatag.
“I’m so grateful for my mom, so grateful for my dad, my grandmother, especially my mom because she the one who really taught me how to stay strong. To believe in the goodness and your worth, and to show that to people,” sabi ni Michelle.
“Just like my mom, I really just want to inspire people to achieve their best self and to take that struggle and turn it into your strength,” dagdag niya.-- FRJ, GMA Integrated News