Why Catriona Gray won't take ownership of signature pageant look

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2021 12:22 PM

Why Catriona Gray won't take ownership of signature pageant look 1
Catriona Gray walks the stage during the final round of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant in Bangkok, Thailand. Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters/File

Catriona Gray is well-known among pageant fans across the globe for her signature look in Miss Universe 2018, from her high-slit red gown and patriotic ear cuff to her "lava walk" and slow-mo turn.

And it's safe to say that at least a handful of beauty queens and hopefuls, whether in the Philippines or abroad, have attempted to recreate this style.

Gray herself acknowledged this in a virtual press conference on Tuesday for her latest single "RYF." The Filipino-Australian beauty queen said there may be a "resemblance," but she refuses to use the term "copycat" to describe those who took a similar path. 

"I don't know if I agree with the term of copycat. I understand the resemblance perhaps to my brand, because I was very consistent with the ear cuff and the turns, and the slit in the dress," she said. "My brand was very consistent, from my nationals to Miss Universe." 

"I understand maybe the resemblance in silhouettes, but I don't feel that I can take ownership of the side part, and the slit in the dress, and the ear cuff," she stressed. "It's not mine to own."

Gray believes that embracing a certain look in pageants reflects "the girl wanting to feel her most beautiful, and her most empowered, and her most confident." 

"So if that is in a style that perhaps she feels that way, then own it," she said. "It doesn't necessarily put them at a disadvantage. I mean, people may have the recall [and say], 'Oh that's a similar dress.' But each girl has her own journey." 

"If they've gone for that style, it means that they feel beautiful and confident in that. And who are we to say that, you know, it affects their journey?" she pointed out. "Because it's their decision eh. It's their journey and how they wish to portray themselves through it."

Gray won the Philippines' fourth Miss Universe crown in 2018, after Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Margie Moran (1973), and Gloria Diaz (1969).

The recently concluded Miss Universe pageant was won by Andrea Meza of Mexico. The country's representative, Rabiya Mateo, finished in the Top 21.

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