In pageantry, the taller you are, you stand out better. But for some people, being tall and thin makes them conscious, until they realized that it’s an asset. For Noelyn Campos, her height, in the beginning, was something she was insecure about until it opened opportunities for her. Her so-called insecurities became her door to a sports scholarship and even competed in the National Taekwondo team.
For our latest Miss Universe Philippines profile, we put the spotlight on the Antiqueña beauty on getting over her insecurities, sports, and her favorite dish.
Qrown: What particular insecurities did you have to overcome before deciding to join the pageant?
Noelyn: I used to be very insecure with my body. I’ve always been thin and tall and would look different amongst my friends. I’ve been bullied because of that, people would call me names such as, “kapre” or “tingting” or “kawayan” and there came a point where I believed them, that it really took a toll on my self-esteem. Conquering it was a slow and steady process of reassuring and reaffirming myself that I am worthy and that I should not base my self-worth on external sources of validation.
Qrown: Given the evolving concept of beauty, what does beauty mean for you?
Noelyn: It’s inclusive, diverse, and goes deeper than just your physical attributes. It’s knowing and believing that there’s a space for you here and that you deserve to be included regardless of what you look like, the color of your skin, the texture of your hair, your ethnicity, and your background. It’s not adhering to society’s definition and standards but rather owning up to who you are and what you look like and in the process hopefully inspire others to do the same as well.
Qrown: What is one food you will always keep going back to eating?
Noelyn: Soup!!! Anything that has sabaw but I’m biased towards sopas & phó. My comfort food of all time!
Qrown: In these crazy times, how have you been able to see the humor despite situations that are not laughable?
Noelyn: We are labeled as resilient, positive, and as people who always “tries to find the good in every situation.” Yes, those are true but often times we tend to over romanticize it to the extent wherein we no longer hold ourselves accountable.
If a situation calls for serious action I hope that we would have the courage to not look away from it, I hope that we’d stop exploiting the idea of “resiliency and positive attitude” and really come up with lasting effective solutions that are rooted in selflessness, empathy, and sensitivity towards others to address and hopefully resolve tough situations.
Qrown: What is the one thing you want to share with the world about Antique?
Noelyn: Antique is a humble province filled with enormous potential in terms of its people, resources, and natural destinations, and that’s only one of the many reasons why Antiqueños and tourists all over the world would always opt to come back and come home.
Qrown: You said you were bullied for your height but height is something that is a must in pageantry. How have you made the most out of it?
Noelyn: I recognize that it’s one of the reasons how I was able to score a full scholarship grant to sustain my college education. I had the leverage to at least somehow stand out (literally & figuratively), which immensely helped me to discover who I was and what I was capable of doing. It was also a way for me to give back to my parents as it greatly helped us financially.
But I would like people to see me as someone who’s more than just what I look like because I am so much more than just my height.
Qrown: You are a taekwondo champ and I am sure you watched the recent Olympics. How have women in sports come a long way when you competed?
Noelyn: Women are brave, strong, courageous, and complex individuals, we have proven throughout the years that we are deserving and we have the capacity to pursue whatever it is that we’re passionate about. We’re constantly on the move to break more gender barriers and not conform with the social norms.
We are slowly getting there, we are getting the recognition, credit, and respect that is long overdue, the results that we have in the recent Olympics are proof of that.
Despite the challenges and the pressure, women athletes are able to perform and reap medals because of their passion, hard work, and determination. May we support more of them in the pursuits of their dreams towards bringing pride and glory to their families, themselves, and to the country.