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MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach has been living the dream of every beauty queen since taking the title last December.
She has family and friends to lean on, in spite of being based in New York. She has even admitted that she is happily dating.
While she’s occupied with photo shoots and TV appearances, she is also able to champion the advocacies close to her heart. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Pia Wurtzbach at New York Fashion Week)
Indeed, Pia is out to achieve a clear goal while she is reigning as Miss Universe: that is to change how the world perceives a beauty queen like her and to embody authenticity.
“I want to change the idea that we’re not human. I understand; I was the same way,” Pia told Cosmopolitan Philippines, as the magazine’s cover girl for April, in a feature. “I want to be as natural as possible, and be relatable and approachable. I want people to see themselves in me.” (READ: Miss Universe PH Pia Wurtzbach: Work around your weaknesses)
Pia also shared with the magazine how she had been dealing with haters on social media, which she admitted could be quite a challenge.
“I actually find it entertaining for myself to deal with them because I like a good challenge,” she said, as she never resorted to retaliation and often responded with as much poise as she could muster. (READ: Pia Wurtzbach recalls ‘awkward phase,’ being bullied in the past)
From a position of influence, Pia also has been using her voice to champion HIV/AIDS awareness, a topic which she believes many Filipinos must speak about without fear.
She told Cosmopolitan, “There’s a stigma around HIV/AIDS. A lot of people are so afraid of those afflicted by the disease that they don’t even want to hug them.”
“I think it’s silly. For the people who have it, they automatically think it’s the end of the world, that they can’t live normal lives, which is not true. I don’t think a lot of people know how easy it is to get tested.”
She said that the key message here, that she ultimately wanted to express, was becoming fearless.
“Let’s be fearless. Let’s get past the days when we have to follow the rules,” she declared. “I know I’m a beauty queen and I shouldn’t be saying this, but at some point, we have to break the rules to progress.”
She asserted, “I think the modern Filipina is fearless. She knows what she wants. She’s sure of herself, and knows how to get what she wants without putting aside her principles. She’s fearless, she’s brave, she’s strong.”
Pia said that she also wanted to spark discussions about cyberbullying and disaster relief. “The more I talk about them, the more people become aware of them, and they start forming their own opinions. And that means I’m doing my job,” she said.
“As long as I get people thinking, that’s good enough for me. I can’t control what they do, I can’t control if they get tested or go out there and protect themselves, but at least they know. Hindi na ako nagkulang doon (I have not been lacking in this regard).”
In her recent trip to Manila, where she graced the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 press presentation and attended to various commitments, Pia showed that she is also “Queen of Hearts,” as she took time to bond with the kids from Kanlungan sa Erma in Manila. One little girl even gave her another crown.
PIA WURTZBACH WINS ANOTHER CROWNMiss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach is also crowned Queen of our hearts by Jollibee and kids at a party she hosted for the orphans of Manila's ERMA Foundation at Jollibee's Bautista cor. Buendia branch. #PiaWurtzbachMU2015 (Official)
PIA WURTZBACH WINS ANOTHER CROWNMiss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach is also crowned Queen of our hearts by Jollibee and kids at a party she hosted for the orphans of Manila's ERMA Foundation at Jollibee's Bautista cor. Buendia branch. #PiaWurtzbachMU2015 (Official)Posted by Mark Christian Parladé on Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Although she is only a few months into her reign as Miss Universe, Pia has said that she hopes to leave a different kind of legacy.
“I want to be remembered as the unconventional beauty queen, natural, humble, approachable, and somebody people look up to but can see themselves in. I know how beauty queens are perceived, and I’m trying to change it little by little.”
She said, “I want people to feel like they’re part of the success, they’re part of the victory, they’re part of it all even when I pass on the crown.” – with reports from Alexa Villano/Rappler.com