With her beauty, talent, and intelligence, it’s like Catriona Gray never fails to leave us in awe. Just last week, we welcomed the Miss Universe 2018 back home from New York with a grand homecoming celebration where she looked like a true goddess on her parade float, smiled for the cameras, answered questions from the media, among other things that got us asking: “How to be you?” Many people look up to her and we can totally see why.
[related: In Focus: This Is How Catriona Gray’s Life Has Changed Since Her Miss Universe Coronation]
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Is it also your dream to become a beauty queen? Here are some tips our first ABS-CBN Lifestyle Inspo shared with us at her homecoming press conference!
Be true to yourself. “We’re so lucky here in the Philippines to be surrounded by amazing teams of people who lift you up and carry you through the preparation but once you get there to compete, you’re all alone in a sense that you’re by yourself. You may have them on social media but essentially, you are by yourself,” she said, adding that it’s also important to be true to your vision. “This is really important for me, pursuing pageantry this time, entering into Binibini, keeping true to my vision and that meant for me to be really hands on in all aspects—wardrobe, presentation, national costume, everything. I was so blessed to be surrounded by a team who really allowed me to bring my vision to life.”
Know why you’re doing it. “Is it for you to gain more opportunities? Is it a stepping platform to something? Is it your advocacy? Is there another motivation? You need to find a purpose for why you’re doing things because throughout your whole journey, you will need that purpose to hold on to and that’s what’s gonna carry you through,” the 25-year-old continued. “You kind of have to have that strength and whether you draw it from advocacy, from your supporters, from your family, you need to have that strength because through those moments in the pageant when I was overwhelmed, when I was feeling doubtful, that’s where I drew strength from. It carried me all the way through. I always remember why I’m here and it keeps me going.”
Stay strong mentally. “Mental fortitude is the term that I use but some people are like, ‘What’s fortitude, Cat?’ Mental fortitude just means that being a Filipina or a Filipina beauty queen, you’ll be bombarded on social media—good and bad—and that’s just a part of it,” stressed Catriona. “That’s a part of the arena that we’re in but you need to be strong in your mind to know how to filter or how to not let it affect you or get you down to the extent that you’re hindering the pursuit of your dream.”
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Photographs taken from instagram.com/catriona_gray