Miss Universe 2021 contestants share their struggles with cyber bullying

08 Dec 2021 | Camilla Suarez

The Miss Universe Organization (MUO) is an inclusive organization that supports women from all cultures and backgrounds and helps them to achieve their goals via fostering their self- confidence and providing them with life altering opportunities and tools to utilize them. Breaking stereotypes and bringing a positive change through effective volunteering, fundraising and advocacy is just another day in the MUO.

In a recent interview, with the UP FRONT series of Miss Universe 2021, the delegates talked about pressing issues such as combating fast fashion in today’s environment, cyber bullying, entrepreneurship and women representation, among various others on the organization’s official YouTube channel. In October 2021, reigning queen Andrea Meza and Tanya Selvaratnam, an expert on domestic violence and the author of Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence, a book based on her personal experiences, discussed gender-based violence at length. All of which goes on to prove that pageantry is much more than what we get to see on stage.


Miss Universe 2021 contestants share their struggles with cyber bullying


The queens got visibly emotional while talking about how cyber bullying affects them and sharing their own struggle with it. “Receiving mean comments online is kind of like the norm. The negative comments that people throw towards you are more of a reflection of them, than it is of you,” said Emma Collingridge who is representing Great Britain at the competition. “They told me that I will never amount to anything, they told me I was too tall, that I would never be good enough. it really took a toll on my confidence and my self-esteem,” shared Miss British Virgin Island 2021 Xaria Penn.

“I am not thin enough, I am not beautiful enough, I am not Latina enough, I am not Panamanian enough. Proud to stand in every single part of myself and embracing intersectionality of my identities,” stated Brenda Lezma Smith of Panama. “Well, I actually got one last night that said that I was a pig. I talk about celebrating YOU as an individual, celebrating your individuality and what makes you unique. And it’s beyond shapes and its beyond sizes. Those comments are the exact reason why I am here. To break that standard, to break that norm,” Anchilee Scott-Kemmis, Miss Universe Thailand 2021, said with grace and confidence.



“ It was really hard because it make me feel insecure, I even had eating disorders and it was really shocking for me,” Ecuador’s Susy Sacoto choked up while talking about her struggles.

The bullying did not end here, contestants divulged some more painful comments they received online going as far as suggesting them to take their own life. The online world is filled with such menace because of the anonymity that is promised with it but people fail to realise that their ‘harmless jokes and fun’ are not really harmless. Hurtful, criticising, and unnecessary commentary has prominent negative impact on an individual. We should be mindful of the impact we might have on others, not just in real life but also in the virtual world by commenting politely and respectfully. You may not feel it, but on the other end of that device is an individual who is just as human as you are.