Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle on dealing with criticism after her win
MANILA, Philippines – Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico said that has learned to deal with backlash from last year's pageant, after many pageant fans questioned her win.
In an inteview with Rappler after the Miss World press conference on Friday, September 1, Stephanie said that she herself was surprised by her victory.
"There were quite a few people [who asked] on why I won, and honestly, I’m not going to lie, I was one of them because I wasn’t expecting it all. Like it was a complete surprise to me. [But] not to my father – my father was like ‘she’s going to win,’" Stephanie said.
"In part, I understood why people maybe got confused. Some not very nice things were said [by] people all over the world. But honestly, I just kept in mind that sometimes I would read them, sometimes I wouldn't. But I just kept in mind that I did everything in my power, like I represented Puerto Rico. I did everything that I could to do a good job and I was proud of everything that I achieved and how I represented my island."
Stephanie said that at the end of the day, it was the decision of the judges and that all of them are winners. She believes that one does not need to wear a crown to continue their advocacies. An example she gave was Miss World Philippines 2016 Catriona Gray's work on the Paraiso the Bright Beginnings Project she established.
Catriona was part of the Top 5 contestants in the pageant last year.
When asked about using social media in her reign, Stephanie confessed that she rarely posts on the Miss World accounts and her own. But when she does share, she wants it to be important and meaningful.
"Like all the girls mentioned earlier, social media is a very strong platform to promote everything and so I feel like I don't know, maybe it's an old school way of thinking, but I feel like saving it for kind of important things," she said.
Miss World Organization presence
Aside from Stephanie, Miss World Organization chairperson Julia Morley and the rest of the Continental queens are in the country for the pageant and the charity visits. Aside from the ladies, Mandla Mandela or Chief Mandela, the grandson of the late South African president Nelson Mandela is also in the country.
Mr. World Rohit Khandelwal and the Beauty with a Purpose executives Scott and Gina Holmes are also in Manila to watch the pageant and visit the benefiaciaries.
As this is the first time for many of them, Stephanie said they are looking forward to tasting Filipino food and the charity work they will be doing. The ladies visited the Tuloy Foundation under the helm of Fr Rocky Evangelista on Saturday, September 2 and will also visit the Philippine General Hospital, the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital, the beneficiary of the Miss World Philippines, and the Paraiso Bright Project of Catriona.
With the Philippines set to pick a representative on Sunday, September 3, Stephanie also shared the qualities she's looking for in a Miss World representative.
"I think other than being herself, being confident, and relaxed, you definitely have to be passionate and very compassionate. So obviously you have to be passionate in what you’re doing in representing your country and the dedication that you need to get to the final and of those things. And also compassion because the work that you do, whether it be for the Miss World Pjilippines or whether be worldwide, it can be difficult," she said.
"You realize how blessed you are because you see children who don’t get to eat at night or don’t have a home to go to or whose parents left them on their own. That’s why compassionate is neccessary," she said. – Rappler.com