Beauty queen Sharifa Akeel was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 last night, making her the fifth Filipina to win the crown. The candidate from Sultan Kudarat beat 49 others in the event held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Pasay City last night. While there are several elements to take into account for Sharifa’s win, her final Q&A response definitely got her that crown.
Host Joey Mead-King asked Sharifa about “the biggest issue of diversity that the world is facing today.” In a heartbeat, she answered that cyberbullying is the main problem because of how unaccepting netizens can be of people’s differences. “We have to accept the fact that each of us are born with strengths and weaknesses, and that we have our imperfections. Let us appreciate one’s uniqueness and relevance,” she said.
Sharifa added that “millennial values of compassion” would help in promoting “uniqueness and authenticity” in society. She then concluded her answer with this: “You are a beautiful creation of God no matter who you are and wherever you are in the world. Beauty is indeed diverse and it is visible to all of us.”
This is a good reminder for all the people who discriminate and mock based on looks and disabilities. This is just not limited to those hiding behind computer screens, but it’s also directed at people who are insensitive in the real world. So we applaud Sharifa for bringing this to light.