“Morena Queen” Ayn Bernos continues to break barriers in the beauty pageant world. Now that she is among the 28 individuals vying for the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) 2021 crown, she is using her platform to trumpet her message of self-love and fearlessly face and stand up to society’s abrasive beauty standards.
The 26-year-old TikTok content creator turned beauty queen is no stranger to criticisms, which was amplified when she joined MUPH 2021, a way to fulfill her dream of joining beauty pageants.
But some pageant fanatics and observers, who may have a conservative view of what a beauty queen looks like, threw daggers at Ayn, criticizing her height (5’3”), pointing out the color of her skin, and even her resemblance to certain personalities that was meant to be an insult. These comments just fuel the fire in her to stand up to the bashers.
On Sept. 29, a day before the MUPH 2021 coronation night, Ayn, who is representing San Juan City in the pageant, posted on Twitter photos of her wearing a shirt with graphics in front that said on one side “Embrace your flaws” and the other “what flaws?”
We really need to stop calling our features “flaws.”— Ayn Bernos (@aynbernos) September 29, 2021
When I embrace my thick thighs, my round face, my arms; my skin color, I am not embracing “flaws.” I am embracing things that are natural to me. They’re not wrong at all. They’re not problems. pic.twitter.com/rXWTYrZ1tb
At the back was a clapback statement, “That’s really cute of you to shame me for something I’m not ashamed of.”
In her caption, Ayn explained. “We really need to stop calling our features ‘flaws’.”
“When I embrace my thick thighs, my round face, my arms; my skin color, I am not embracing ‘flaws’,” she continued. “I am embracing things that are natural to me. They are not wrong at all. They’re not problems.”
In succeeding tweets, she revealed that she was the one who designed the shirt and those words written on it were her own.
View this post on Instagram
Ayn said she was inspired to make the shirt, which is available for sale under her Morena the Label, after she experienced body shaming.
“I made this a few months ago when I was body shamed for having a flat chest. It was for a music video and the comments were disgusting,” she said in another tweet.
After the MUPH 2021 Swimsuit prelims, Ayn tweeted her photos, describing her as a “Short queen with thick thighs.” She added, “I was waiting for representation so I signed up and showed up.” This year’s MUPH removed its height requirement for applicants, which traditionally, for beauty pageants is at least 5’4”.
In another tweet, Ayn emphasized her stance on embracing one’s features and not treating these flaws and mere insults.
“When people call me Eugene Domingo for our similar face shape, or Hidilyn Diaz for my arms, I don’t take them as insults,” Ayn said.
“What I share with them are not flaws. They are features of strong, beautiful Filipina women, and I will never apologize for existing this way.”
Banner and thumbnail photo from @aynbernos on Twitter