Making fun of other people as opposed to sympathizing with them is perhaps one thing we learn as children that we seem to be unable to forget.
We make fun of almost every other public figure we know of. Sometimes, it’s our humorous way of approaching a harsh reality or a cringe-worthy remark. Most of the time, it’s a mean-spirited jab at someone who is doing the best that they could.
Just look at how the Internet went into a frenzy over Miss Earth Philippines contestant Bellatrix Tan and her answer regarding El Niño and La Niña over the past weekend.
Twitter went for the kill with all sorts of jokes.
Miss Zamboanga Bellatrix Tan's answer makes me think twice about planting trees. #ElNinoLaNina
This is not the first time a beauty queen got slammed, of course. In 2008, Janina San Miguel, Binibining Pilipinas World became a viral sensation with her less-than-perfect answer during the pageant.
It’s even the top trait listed on her Wikipedia page.
We forget about the months of training and the amount of pressure it takes to get up on stage, so it’s easy to make fun of them. Weird. Shouldn’t we, the people they strive to represent abroad, cheer them on?
It’s also a clear sign of how we uphold ridiculous standards when it comes to women. One fumbling answer and they are labeled for life. We put them down and berate them without mercy.
Recently, Maxine Medina, the new Binibing Pilipinas Universe had to endure the ridicule herself. Her not-so-stellar answer was also the subject of criticism and painful jokes.
Thick skin is necessary, Maxine did admit to me when she visited us at the Preen headquarters. But I could see in her eyes that she didn’t understand why people couldn’t get past just one simple thing, a few missing words.
If we live in a culture of making fun of women who always try their best and their hardest, we’ve got major things to rethink. Major, major.