Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray has hit back at body-shamers after a fellow beauty queen shared a meme calling her “fat”.
The 25-year-old former Miss Philippines told her 580,000 Twitter followers that she knew how it felt to be body-shamed and that it should never be tolerated.
Earlier this month Coco Arayha Suparurk, who is the newly crowned Miss Grand Thailand International 2019, shared a controversial meme on her Instagram which compared the bodies of Gray and Clara Sosa, Miss Grand International 2018.
The meme had the words “fit” next to Sosa’s picture, and “fat” next to Gray’s image. Suparurk was quick to delete the meme after backlash from Gray’s legion of fans in the Philippines and around the world.
Gray did not publicly respond to the image at the time, but during a Q&A with her followers, she made her feelings on body-shaming known.
“Body-shaming is hurtful and (should) never be tolerated. If anyone reading this too has been body-shamed, I know how it feels. I'm sorry you've had to experience that. But know that you are more than your appearance,” she told one of her followers.
Later, she added: “Obviously I stand firmly against any form of bullying and bashing – online and off. It is never, ever okay to put someone down for the sake of ‘expressing your opinion’. With words come power and we should be using those words to build someone up and not pull them down.”
Gray was crowned as Miss Universe in December after beating off more than 70 competitors during the competition, which was held in Bangkok. Since taking the crown, Gray has been residing in New York to work with the Miss Universe Organisation to carry out charity and modelling work around the world.