MANILA, Philippines — Nova Stevens, Canada’s representative to the Miss Universe pageant, has clapped back on racial insults hurled against her, saying people who make such remarks seem to be stuck in ignorant ideologies.
On her Instagram account, Stevens posted a photo of her with superimposed racist remarks — obviously from Filipino netizens as the insults were expressed in the local language.
Stevens conveyed her disappointment as the racial slurs she received happened despite flourishing movements against racism and hatred toward Asians.
“With all that has been going on in the world ‘black lives matter’, ‘Asians are human’ you would think this would bring us together. Instead, looks like some people are still stuck in their ignorant and racist ideologies,” she wrote in social media post.
“I’m really disappointed with some Pageant fans from certain countries. Your hate takes away the fun and enjoyment from this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she added.
According to the model-turned-beauty queen, people should spread love and stop spewing hate, and be open to accepting that there are other standards of beauty instead of highlighting differences between people and races.
“Is it really that difficult to spread love instead of hate? No one is saying you HAVE to support all contestants, all we’re saying is that you support your delegate without bringing others down. You don’t need to dim someone’s light in order for you to shine,” Stevens said.
“The world is evolving, people are realizing that beauty is not exclusive to one specific group of people. The definition of beauty applies to all; because beauty can be seen in different shapes, shades, and sizes. Please see the beauty that is in this world. We don’t need to look the same, we just need to treat each other the same,” she added.
Stevens’ post has garnered over 22,500 likes as of Wednesday night. Other Filipinos including Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo have extended their apologies for the unkind and unruly attitude displayed by some Filipino netizens.
The put-down remarks that Stevens received made references to her skin color. The remarks were merely translated for her by some people. She said she did not know that most of the comments were made by Filipinos, and acknowledged that not all Filipinos think the same.
“Hi everyone, thank you for the kind comments and messages. Please know that I am ok. This post is not a generalization, which is why I said ‘some’. Also, I was not sure of the language these comments are from until reading some of the comments,” Stevens noted.
“In case it’s not clear. I don’t think all Filipinos are racist. That would be ridiculous to say. This picture with texts was constantly being sent to me recently which is why I shared it. I’m well aware that there are multiple countries that think this way. I’m sharing this as a teaching moment so that we can make Pageants fun and enjoyable for all,” she added.
Recent movements like the #BlackLivesMatter have taken the world by storm as well-known personalities from athletes to industry leaders and other civil society organizers condemned the racial abuse and maltreatment that Black Americans have experienced, including the death of George Floyd.