An Unexpected Lesson In Gracefulness

So all of us saw the Miss Universe 2015 fiasco.

A lot of us felt bad for Miss Colombia. Her glory lasted but a few minutes.

Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was crowned Miss Universe 2015 amidst confusion and embarrassment.

The rationality of participating in a competition that judges you based on your looks and body for the most part of it, escapes me. Yes, they test your intellect, but we all know they don’t care! How the winner works for noble causes, is unclear. At least to me.

A Miss Universe would be a woman who’d be a shining example for the rest of her kind. She is someone who doesn’t compete to be tagged the most drool-worthy object on stage. She is not shallow. She doesn’t tie her self worth to her physical beauty. And, most important of all, she has made a difference in the world. Now that person can  be crowned Miss Universe, and fittingly so. But then this is my opinion.

Now that my contempt for such competitions is established, let’s get back to the women of Miss Universe 2015.
How? How could women allow themselves to be objectified like that? To be graded like that?! I thought, as Pia and Miss Colombia nervously awaited the result.
When Miss Colombia won, Pia didn’t miss a heartbeat when she congratulated her, gracefully accepting defeat and taking her place as the first runner up. Her smile was intact. Not a hint of sadness. But then, defeat wasn’t new to her. She’d lost the Miss Universe-Philippines crown twice, before winning it the third time round. But in my mind, it makes defeat in a broader stage like this, more difficult to digest.
But then, The Universe decided she deserved the title anyway. So Steve Harvey comes back on stage, announces the correct results again, and everyone is dumbstruck.

But hey, not many noticed how well the women reacted. Especially the comforting back rub that the Former Miss Universe (dunno her name) gave Miss Colombia (Ariadna? Adriana? No clue). Pia was nonplussed too, and it took her a while to realize what was happening. Again, for someone who has looked defeat in the eye more than once, this should mean celebration. Exhilaration. But she was sensitive. She managed to restrain herself from celebrating. She was happy, that much was visible from her smile. She accepted the crown in a tizzy, and she was also feeling bad for Miss Colombia. She didn’t jump, or scream in delight. In fact, you could see the rest of the contestants cheering her on.

Look at that endearing expression of disbelief:

She wasn’t acting cool and composed. She couldn’t believe she won. She had totally accepted her defeat as natural. And her triumph did surprise her. If that’s not letting go of the ego, what is?
Well done, Pia! I am not for the kind of competition you just won, but I definitely appreciate what you taught the world that night- to be humble in victory, and to be stoic in defeat.

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