Miss Universe S’pore’s ‘Stop Asian Hate’ Costume Is Inspired By Our National Flag & What It Embodies
Covid-19 is still ravaging the world almost 1.5 years since it first emerged, and it’s unfortunately caused a rise in attacks on Asians.
Aware of these hate crimes, the woman who’s representing Singapore in the Miss Universe pageant this year is making use of her platform to denounce them.
She’s printed a bold statement – “Stop Asian Hate” – and shown it to the world by way of our “national costume”.
Explaining her design choice, she said she’s proud that Singapore has stood for multiracial unity. Thus, the message is fitting for a costume inspired by our flag.
Making a point during National Costume segment
Miss Bernadette Belle Ong is representing Singapore in this year’s Miss Universe pageant in Miami, a city in the United States’ Florida state.
On Friday (14 May), she took part in the national costume segment, which was broadcasted on YouTube.
Previous Miss Singapore Universe’s national costumes have gone down in meme history.
However, this one seemed almost tame in comparison – from the front.
As she walked, it seemed like she was wearing a general poofy red-and-white outfit.
However, Miss Ong elicited cheers from the audience when she turned around to reveal her cape and make her point loud and clear: “Stop Asian Hate”.
Watch a snippet of her catwalk on Instagram, and listen to the audience reaction.
She’s proud of Singapore’s unity & social harmony
In posts on Instagram, Miss Ong said she wanted to use her platform in this way to put across her message.
Her costume is inspired by Singapore’s national flag – hence the red and white, of course, which represents equality for all and everlasting virtue respectively.
It also symbolises unity for all and social harmony in a multiracial, multicultural and inter-religious country, she said, and she’s very proud of that.
Thus, what better way to showcase Singapore’s racial harmony by making a literal statement with her national costume?
Miss Ong said the dress was created with Filipine designer Arwin Meriales, who despite going through exams at the same time made this and 2 other dresses for her.
Although he only had 2 days to make it, Mr Meriales said he accepted the job because it wasn’t just a national costume, but a statement to stop Asian hate, and “who wouldn’t want to be a part of such cause”.
Despite the slim timeframe, he managed to send from the Philippines to Singapore before Miss Ong left for the US, and a legendary moment was created.
Miss Singapore Universe took 5 days to fly to Miami
Miss Ong left Singapore for the US on 1 May smiley and chirpy, but her journey wasn’t too smooth.
According to her post on Instagram, she had a “slew of mishaps”, including missing her connecting flight to Miami.
She ended up spending 24 hours in the Business Lounge of the airport in Istanbul.
Her total journey ended up being a total of 5 days, and comprised 3 long-haul flights and 1 connecting flight, not to mention the overnight airport stay.
Then of course, there’s the fear of likely getting Covid-19, which is still raging in the US.
However, she finally reached Miami in one piece and ready to shine for Singapore.
This year’s final will be on 18 May, broadcasted on the iQiyi app, so do check it out to see how she’s doing.
Wishing her all the best
Miss Ong’s journey till now has been tough, but she sure makes up for it in fighting spirit.
All the trouble was worth it for her shining moment on stage where she let the world know what Singapore’s all about.
We wish her all the best for the pageant. May she shine and put Singapore on the map.
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