Rabiya Mateo, a proud morena, has admitted that she used to be obsessed with whitening her skin.
In an interview shared on Missosology’s Instagram account, Rabiya said Filipinos loved pageants because they had an “appreciation for beauty.”
“We do love pageants because we used to think that we wanted to be included in the world,” she said.
“I have to be honest, in the Philippines my skin color used to be not the standard of beauty,” she added.
The Filipina beauty queen said she “was obsessed with whitening [her] skin because these are the kind of beauty queens we see on the mainstream.”
However, “things are different now,” she said.
Now, Rabiya said she was “proud to be a morena. In the Philippines, we call it morena, it’s brown skin girl and to be able to represent my color, my identity, as a true Filipina.”
In the same interview, Rabiya said she started in the local competition as a “dark horse.”
“Nobody noticed me, nobody knew I was in the competition up until the preliminary and coronation night,” she said.
“And when I won I received different comments. There were people who didn’t expect me to do well who thought that I cheated. That’s why I need to redeem myself in Miss Universe. I really need to do well in this competition,” she dded.
Rabiya said she loved pressure and criticisms. “I get better every day with that. You tell me I can’t do that? I turn to you and I’m gonna say that no, I can do it for myself,” she said.
“I will be honest that there was a moment that I lost my identity because I was put under pressure because I was in that position in which I feel like I’m not good enough and I’m not a good representative of my country,” she said.
“But I was able to bounce back stronger and if I was able to do that for Miss Universe I will be able to do that in life. That is my greatest takeaway in Miss Universe,” she added.
Rabiya will be representing the Philippines at the Miss Universe pageant which will be held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, on May 16 (May 17 Philippine time).
Filipinos can watch the Miss Universe 2020 pageant live through iQiyi app and website. – Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/RC, GMA News