The decision of the Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) organization to remove the minimum height requirement for applicants this year caught the attention of many people, and among them is Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil.
Maria, who made it to the Top 10 in the Miss Universe 2020 competition, praised the MUP organization “for challenging exclusive beauty standards.”
“Woke to the great news that [Miss Universe Philippines] removed the height requirement in the [Miss Universe] competition. [Miss Universe Australia] never encouraged me to ever perceive it as a barrier. In fact, my Director [Troy Barbagallo] would often remind me it was my power,” she said.
The Australian beauty queen said that she hopes to see other national organizations do the same after this move from the MUP organization.
“With the MU organization not imposing a height requirement, I’d love to see other national organizations follow suit. Why? It’s simple. Miss Universe is a powerful global ambassador. All the delegates are too, and have the opportunity to ignite global change for good,” she said.
She even cited herself as an example, saying that her height didn’t hinder her from joining and winning beauty pageants. “Look at me – at 5’3, I did exactly that. And I did it as the shortest candidate in my cohort, one of the shortest in MU’s seven decade history… and in the top 10.”
“The number of [centimeters] you stand tall doesn’t dictate your ability to be a leader and change maker. Less barriers to access for all women – here is to progress,” she added.
Maria ended her post by encouraging people to use the hashtag #HeightIsNoBarrier and share their stories as well. “If you agree, share with #HeightIsNoBarrier – your voices matter 🖤 #MissUniverse #MissUniverseAustralia #Inclusivity.”