After Miss Earth candidates Jaime VandenBerg of Canada, Emma Sheedy of Guam and Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown of England took to social media their disgust about a sponsor whom they alleged to have made inappropriate advances during the pageant’s activities.
Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago and Miss International Philippines 2017 Mariel De Leon took to social media their thoughts about sexual harassment in beauty pageants.
For Bea Rose, “sexual harassment is real not just in pageants but everywhere.”
Mariel posted on Twitter that, “Sexual harassment in pageantry is real. Just like how it is in any field of work.”
Confession of a Victim
Santiago opened about how she has experienced sexual harassment from childhood up to when she was already a beauty queen.
Continuing her confession, she reveals that a male pageant winner said this of a 12-year old Bea Rose,“‘why are you born too late! or sus sayang ka Bea, kong napanganak ka lang mas maaga’” The pageant winner was 21 then.
“I was once touched inappropriately by a well known businessman.” Santiago confessed. “This guy is a well known CEO of a big company (companies pa nga e) he even organized parties for girls who didn’t win with his friends.”
“The next time I met him, I was a candidate and the organizers were there. He couldn’t interact with us because the chairwoman was present and so were the chaperones. Still he was talking nonsense to us.”
Santiago cites that another instance of sexual harassment that happened within the confines of a government office. “We were at the Congress or Senate when a Queen was touched (in her behind) while taking a photo’
“She immediately told me (with a help me look) so I put my hand covering her back protecting her from the old well-known perv.’
Bea Rose says that not even an international honor could shield them from being harassed.
“We just won an international pageant but still I was working when I posed with a middle aged man (I had a feeling he was a perv) so I put both my hands behind me. He still managed to ‘accidentally swing her hand touching my behind;’
Mariel De Leon Confirms Sexual Harassment in Beauty Pageants
“It doesn’t matter what she is doing, where she is, what state she is in, and it especially doesn’t matter what she is wearing. No is no.” says Mariel De Leon
In her Twitter post, De Leon confirmed that sexual harassment in beauty pageants exist.
Santiago and De Leon’s Message
“It is never okay to blame the victim,” De Leon said.
“It happens. No matter how careful you are. No matter how big/popular/old/ ‘religious’ a person is. He can still be a pervert. I still feel guilty for not speaking up and file complaints or slap the hell out of them. I guess speaking up now will help the future Queens. I am honestly really scared to speak up. I hope I wont regret this,” puts Santiago. 👑