Chelsea Manalo: First Black Miss Universe Philippines Winner

Chelsea Manalo, a Filipino American, made history by becoming the first Black woman to win the title of Miss Universe Philippines. Born to a Filipino mother and an African American father, the 24-year-old’s victory was widely celebrated on social media for challenging traditional beauty norms in the Philippines, which have often favored Eurocentric features and lighter skin tones.


Representing the province of Bulacan, Manalo stood out among 52 contestants in the competition. Her win has sparked discussions about expanding beauty standards in the Philippines where lighter-skinned individuals have traditionally dominated media and entertainment, and where skin-lightening products are prevalent.


During the final round of the competition, Manalo was asked how she would use her beauty and confidence to empower others. She responded by sharing her personal experiences as a woman of color, emphasizing the importance of believing in oneself and upholding personal values.


Manalo’s journey in the pageant world began at 14 when she started modeling. Despite facing bullying for her skin color and hair type, she found strength and confidence through the support of her friends and family, which she shared in a YouTube video on Empire Philippines, the platform that live-streamed the event.


Her victory is considered a significant step towards diversifying beauty ideals in the Philippines, marking a shift away from colonial-era preferences and embracing a broader spectrum of beauty. Manalo is now set to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico in September.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.