#MissUniverse2015: We don't know how to be winners
As quickly as Steve Harvey was condemned for his error on Sunday did we forget he even made one, dismissing it as an "honest mistake" anyone could make, as if it had no effect on anyone and it should simply be shrugged off. Let's get over it, right?
As swiftly as the country rejoiced at Pia Wurtzbach's victory did we not waste time before holding knives against anyone who might have expressed anything less than a glowing reaction to the new queen of the "universe, rather" who brought back a crown we've been deprived for 42 years.
Of course we have a right to be proud, and there is nothing more obvious than physical beauty and poise to highlight our humble country's existence in the international scene. It is a symbol of something we already know but have fought hard to make others see - that we truly are a beautiful people, not only on the outside and in our grace, attitude, and intelligence. "Confidently beautiful with a heart," as Miss Universe 2015 said.
We already got the crown, the sash, and the proverbial scepter; the modeling contract, the international exposure, and the bragging rights. Generations to come will speak of this victory over and over, highlighting the accompanying drama that just added to the story's memorability.
Why are we so mad?
So why are we so mad? Why are we studying each contestant's reaction post-announcement, as if one's immediate response to a chaotic, confusing, and incredibly awkward moment defines their innermost character? It was an absurd and unprecedented situation. I doubt anyone would know how to act properly in any of their places.
Here come the Monday morning quarterbacks, the post-game reports, the video analysis of who kissed Miss Philippines sincerely and who was Judas who did not. Who reacted immediately to urge Wurtzbach to take her cue on the stage, and who stood stumped and unsure what in the world was going on? As if we know exactly how we would be after decades of training to be still, composed, and silent. As if we would know that we would be judged for consoling someone who had her dreams come true for a minute and then yanked from under her feet before she could even cramp from her smiling.
Hindsight is always 20-20, and all of a sudden everyone is an expert on Philippine pageantry. We compare this outcome with all the others' outcomes, as if judges, questions, dresses, competitors, venues, and criteria were constants in this highly subjective contest of "beauty." It's so classic how if we lose, we say luto (we were cheated), and even if we win, well, there is always room on the exciting nega-train. Get on board.
So quickly after we applaud Wurtzbach's grace do we criticize her Q&A answers, saying they should have contained this detail or have shown more intelligence and wit. She already won the crown, for crying out loud. Obviously the answers were enough for the judges to declare her the winner. I am personally glad the words "HIV awareness" was spoken for the first time in a beauty pageant. At least someone is not ignoring the fastest growing epidemic in the world.
As if exposing all the imaginary attacks on one's favored candidate will make her victory sweeter, as if losing the crown for a second wasn't enough of a challenge aside from going on this exhausting trajectory three consecutive times without losing faith. Aside from her handlers, this victory is truly Wurtzbach's alone. The rest of us are only spectators who feel pride and admiration, but in the end we had nothing to do with her success. If we can't celebrate it, we simply should try to be kind.
Harvey has walked scot-free without this incident affecting him or his career. What's done is done and he believes he did his best to repair it. Having no one to turn our disappointment to, we attack the women who were subjected to his error. As if to make up for the absence of a dramatic victory walk, we play the scene over and over - checking the list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice...
Enough. There will be many victory walks in Wurtzbach's lifetime. This achievement doesn't mean more or less depending on the number of fabricated detractors we come up with and decide to openly hate.
Take cue from the winner
It's a beauty contest. The show Toddlers in Tiaras reveals what many of these women have to go through from childhood in order to get that far. Most of them do it out of financial necessity, knowing their physical attributes have a shelf life and they may or may not have invested in other marketable skills for when they're no longer in the spotlight. They are aware it's a superficial but necessary endeavor, where they are judged by the absence of extra flesh around their bathing suits, to how they maneuver their impossible gowns, to how firm their smiles are planted on their faces regardless of the situation. Let's give them a break.
It's not even a war, and yet for whatever it's worth the fates have declared that this year the Philippines has won it. It's unfortunate that we are so deprived of victory we no longer know how to accept it, that we have to make it sweeter by exposing all the possible sources of negativity. We have to make ourselves feel better about what we believe was taken from us by rubbing it in the faces of those who have different opinions. We have to wage wars in comment sections, again showcasing how mean we can be as a people while defending our pride. If only we felt as protective of our reputations when it comes to issues that are truly important.
Can't we just take our cue from the true winner in all of this, in how she smiles and waves and accepts her well-deserved victory? We are shortsighted when it comes to our heroes. We are pikon when we don't get our way. The least we could do is use this rare moment as an inspiration, instead of another reason to be at each other's throats, just because it feels better to quarrel than be content in united celebration - the way winners should be. – Rappler.com