Catriona Gray’s journey remains a defining moment in pageant history, showcasing her as one of the best Miss Universe queens we have ever had
They say that the true test of a queen’s mettle lies not in the dazzle of the stage, but in the chapters that follow, when the world’s gaze shifts away. Catriona Gray, crowned Miss Universe 2018, epitomized this truth. Even as the curtains fell, her influence soared, reinventing the essence of pageantry over the five years that followed and portraying the lasting sovereignty that defines a true queen.
Since claiming the Miss Universe title, she has been celebrated as the woman who didn’t just win a crown, but redefined the pageant narrative. Her ace? Displaying exceptional preparedness. She meticulously curated her presence for every challenge the competition posed. With a strategic fusion of visual storytelling and her personal charm, the beauty queen ignited a movement, inspiring the contestants that followed her to embrace a similar approach and injecting each successive year of the competition with newfound vigor and anticipation.
Flames of inspiration
Who could overlook the breathtaking moment when Catriona graced the finals in her fiery red gown? Since that night, countless women have drawn inspiration from her, mirroring the lava-like patterns and daring high-thigh slits in their own ensembles. Yet, it’s not just about style; it’s about substance. After her reign, various beauty pageant aspirants, both near and far, have embraced a trend of infusing deeper meaning into their evening gowns. From Gazini’s phoenix-inspired attire to Michelle’s homage to Apo Whang-Od, the Miss Universe 2018 started a fashion conversation where stories intertwine with style, adding a profound layer to its visual appeal.
Catriona always wears her heart on her sleeve, and more notably, on her wardrobe. Cast your memory back to Miss Universe five years ago, where she boldly paraded our nation’s fabrics and patterns. Fast forward to today, and her commitment remains unwavering. Whether on a local stage or an international platform, she continues to wear her culture with pride, reflected in her thoughtful fashion choices. This influence has rippled into the Miss Universe arena, where contestants now shatter the mold of traditional pageant looks. Instead, they weave threads of tradition and culture from their respective countries, proudly embracing their local textiles and designers. The former beauty queen undoubtedly left behind a remarkable legacy—one that looks like it will blossom beautifully in the years to come.
Words that reign
In the realm of eloquence, Catriona Gray commands a strong presence. Her journey over the past five years has seen her evolve into one of today’s most influential hosts. Whether it’s her steady role at Binibining Pilipinas or her annual appearance as a Miss Universe host, her speaking abilities remain in high demand. Interestingly, with the passage of time, it is quite evident that after 2018, questions posed to contestants seem to delve deeper, and expectations keep on reaching new heights, often prompting comparisons to her skills as an outstanding speaker. While pitting women against each other is never the right path, it clearly underscores the former Miss Universe’s enduring influence and communication prowess, which are appreciated by many.
Legacy in action
Lastly, but of utmost significance, Catriona’s crowning distinction as one of the best Miss Universe queens ever lies in her dedication to causes close to her heart—a commitment that has only expanded since her reign’s conclusion. From forging partnerships to raise HIV awareness with LoveYourself Philippines to turning personal celebrations into fundraisers for organizations like Make a Wish Foundation and Smile Train, the Miss Universe 2018 exemplifies the essence of giving back. Her actions over the past five years echo the authenticity she declared when she was competing, revealing a regality that defies time. Reflecting on this retrospective journey, our anticipation mounts for how Catriona Gray will continue to embody the timeless beauty and grace of a Filipina in the unwritten chapters of the years to come—an influential force, ready to conquer the universe in the pages that await.
Photos: CATRIONA GRAY (via Instagram)