Ariella Arida takes the stage in a yellow Alfredo Barazza dress at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia during the Miss Universe preliminary competition. Darren Decker, Reuters
MANILA – Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida reacted to negative comments about her evening gown in the competition, which many Internet users believe is the reason she failed to bring home the crown.
“Actually, I like my gown,” Arida briefly said in an interview on “Mornings@ANC” on Wednesday. “Nag-complement siya doon sa skin tone ko. And sakto lang na naka-straight ‘yung hair ko.”
The Laguna-born beauty wore a bright yellow tube long dress during the Miss Universe 2013 evening gown competition.
Many Filipinos referred to the gown designed by Colombian Alfredo Barazza as “tacky” and “underwhelming,” with some saying it derailed Arida’s chance of winning the Miss Universe title.
An online petition was even made to urge Stella Marquez Araneta of Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. to let the country’s next Miss Universe bet wear locally made gowns.
Shamcey Supsup, who also won third runner-up in Miss Universe 2011, earlier commented that there is nothing wrong with Arida’s outfits during the international pageant.
“It’s a matter of preference and iba’t iba tayo ng gusto. Kung baga, kung mananamit tayo, iba’t iba tayo ng gustong suotin,” said Supsup, who also asked the public to stop questioning the results of the Miss Universe 2013 pageant.
Arida said that in the end, the Miss Universe pageant is not much about clothes or physical appearance, but how the contestants present themselves on stage.
The Filipina beauty made the statement after she was asked about the Miss Universe candidates who allegedly have undergone plastic surgery.
“During the competition, hindi ko naman naisip na unfair dahil sila may ginawa tapos ako wala. Kasi ako, talagang sinabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘hintayin na lang natin sa stage, doon na lang ako babawi,’” she said.
“’Yung mga judges naman iju-judge ka nila based on the way you walk on stage, the way you perform,” she added.
Addressing the Philippines’ future representatives to the Miss Universe pageant, Arida particularly stressed the importance of looking “fierce” as opposed to “pa-cute” on stage.
“Iba kasi ‘yung performance ko sa prelims kaysa sa finals. Na-feel ko lang na more pa-cute ako noong preliminary. [Sabi ko] Anong nangyayari sa akin, more pa-cute ‘yung ginawa ko? Noong finals, fierce na talaga ‘yung labanan.
“Sabi kasi nila, Miss Universe is more fierce talaga, parang strong woman, ganyan,” she said.
When asked to give some tips on how to look “fierce,” Arida said: “It’s in the way you stare sa camera. Talagang parang may something kang sinasabi. Ako, I don’t smile na full, more on parang half-smile or smiling with your eyes lang.”
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