MANILA – Nova Stevens, the beauty queen representing Canada in the upcoming Miss Universe competition, has cried foul over the racist comments she has received from some pageant fans from certain countries.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Stevens lamented how some people "are still stuck in their ignorant and racist ideologies."
"Your hate takes away the fun and enjoyment from this once in a lifetime experience. Is it really that difficult to spread love instead of hate?" she asked.
"No one is saying you HAVE to support all contestants, all we're saying is that you support your delegate without bringing others down. You don't need to dim someone's light in order for you to shine," she added.
Noting that beauty is not exclusive to a specific group of people, Stevens said that it should be seen "in different shapes, shades and sizes."
"Please see the beauty that is in this world. We don't need to look the same, we just need to treat each other the same," she said.
Although Stevens' post came with screenshots of Tagalog comments, she stressed that her post is not a generalization of all pageant enthusiasts from the Philippines.
"In case it's not clear. I don't think all Filipinos are racist. That would be ridiculous to say. This picture with texts was constantly being sent to me recently which is why I shared it. I'm well aware that there are multiple countries that think this way. I'm sharing this as a teaching moment so that we can make pageants fun and enjoyable for all," she said.
In a separate post, Stevens apologized to her Filipino supporters if her post caused any harm.
"My post wasn't intended to incite more hate; rather shed light on the toxicity that sometimes hails from fans (from all over the world). The last thing I want is for anyone to experience hate so please don't bash or generalize the Filipino fans; not all are racist," she said.
Stevens also shared that of her closest friends are from the Philippines, and they happen to be some of the nicest people she knows.
To end her post, the Canadian beauty encouraged her followers to go back to spreading love and making the Miss Universe pageant fun for all contestants.
"Root for the girls, they deserve to be celebrated and spoiled with lots of love. They've worked so hard. Give them the best gift you can give anyone; if you're not sure what that gift should be, I'll help you out. Give them love. Nothing else. Just love," she wrote.
More than 70 candidates will be presented to the public at the event leading to the May 16 (May 17 in Manila) Miss Universe coronation at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Florida.