Do beauty pageants objectify women? Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach weighs in

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Philippines' Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach during the Miss Universe 2015 swimsuit competition last December 21, 2015.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — When the world's most beautiful women parade in their swimsuits and form-fitting evening gowns in beauty pageants, some see it as turning women into commodities and objects, but Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach views it as bait for people to open their eyes to issues.

On the heels of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach's Miss Universe win last December 21, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines issued a statement on their website saying the youth should aspire for higher values instead of focusing on good looks.

Educational psychologist Gabriel Abayon said that more than a face of beauty, the youth should aspire for the "face of mercy."

Wurtzbach, during a one-on-one interview with CNN Philippines anchor Mitzi Borromeo on Sunday (January 24), said that beauty pageants do not market women as objects.

She defended that when beauty pageant contestants go the extra mile to dress in elegant dresses, wear makeup, and go out well-dressed, is to get people noticing to affect positive change.

 

 

"The reason why we dress this way, we have to put on make-up, we have to look good, is to get people's attention."

She added that getting the public's attention is only the first step, because what follows is the important part.

"I guess you could say it's bait. Now that we have your attention, here are our advocacies, " she said.

What Pia fights for

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During the Miss Universe 2015 final question and answer portion Wurtzbach publicly expressed the advocacy that she would actively support, should she become the next queen, a campaign to raise HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) awareness.

Related: Pia Wurtzbach's Miss Universe final Q&A

Now that the world — the universe rather — is looking at Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, she is doing everything in her means to help familiarize the public of how much HIV affects a person, including the stigma surrounding it.

That is why Wurtzbach said during a press conference on Sunday (January 24) that she will undergo a public HIV testing in New York.

"I will have myself tested in New York to show how important and easy it is," she said.

Another advocacy Wurtzbach backs is the fight against cyberbullying.

The newly-crowned queen has had her fair share of cyberbullying, mostly especially after the Miss Universe crown was mistakenly given to Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez first.

Related: Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach effigy burned in Colombia

Instead of retaliating and confronting her bashers, Wurtzbach would rather turn the other cheek and be the better person.

"I'll shake their hand. I'll introduce myself, and hopefully we can have a fresh start," she said.