Michelle Dee embodies her queen role, both in title and action.
When Michelle Dee was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023, she was expected to hold the values of what it means to be a Miss Universe queen. But aside from beauty and grace, what separates queens from the girls is their character, and that’s something Michelle has in droves. The amount of attention that Michelle has experienced in the last month alone is enough to make most people curl up in a ball. But through it all, Michelle has remained steadfast as she lives her truth and continue to embody what it means to be a MUPH. Here are just a few reasons why Michelle Dee living that queen title to a T.
Coming out is a personal decision, one that becomes even harder for people in the public spotlight. There are those who will be quick to turn their back on people once they come out. Still, that didn’t stop Michelle from recently making it known that she identifies as bisexual. What’s even more commendable for the beauty queen and actress is that she didn’t want to use her coming out story as a marketing ploy or the trait that defines her.
“I have so much more to offer the world and the universe than how I identify myself. This is also the reason why I chose not to come out despite the pressure to come out during the competition,” she shared in an interview.
Being free to express herself the way she wants has always been a core part of Michelle, not a stunt she uses for clout. As she expressed, “I’ve always wanted to come out organically or on my own terms because that’s how anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community should be allowed to do. They should have the right to determine when they feel like they’re ready.”
TAKING CONTROL OF HER NARRATIVE
For a while, there was discourse on Michelle’s orientation after old photos of her during her high school days sporting a boyish look went viral on social media. It was a discussion that warped Michelle into more of how she identifies, and less of what she has to offer as a person. She did not have any of it and revealed in past interviews that the release of those photos had a malicious intent behind it. She wasn’t going to let random netizens on social media turn her into a caricature.
“When somebody takes away your story, then you should take control of that narrative. Turn it around and make it an empowering story,” she confidently asserted. The moment showed that Michelle was not going to let other people dictate her life as she took control of her own story, a trait many could apply to their own lives. , “Be more empowered and do not let other people control your life.”
When Michelle was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023, she faced a wave of hate from netizens who felt that she was undeserving of the title. But in a true showing of character, she did not lash out at her bashers. Instead, she stook to her platform of being a positive influence in spreading kindness and implored her fans and followers to do the same. “If ever we’re in a position to make changes, let’s just choose to be kind and spread love. That’s what I always tell my fans, be kind and always spread love,” Michelle shared. Michelle isn’t just saying that she wants to go through life with love and kindness, she’s embodying it.
BEING AN ALLY
Even before she came out as bisexual, Michelle was and continues to be a vocal ally of the LGBTQIA+ community. Over the years, she has proudly shown her love and support to the community she now identifies with. While other personalities just offer lip service, Michelle is the real deal. “I just wanted to stand firm with my ground and show everybody in the LGBT community that I stand with them and I am an ally for them as well,” she recently said.
SUPPORTING AUTISM AWARENESS
Over the years, Michelle Dee has advocated many causes. But the one that is closest to her heart is autism awareness, which stems from the fact that her two brothers, Mazenne and Adam, are both on the spectrum. Michelle has had to take care of her brothers and knows firsthand the challenges of those on the spectrum face in their daily lives. Her work with Autism Society of the Philippines and other continued endeavors have helped raise awareness, attention, and respect for the autistic community.
Michelle’s journey to the top wasn’t easy. Her life is filled with its fair share of struggles, from experiencing racism in the small Utah town she grew up in to the personal battles she fought after being named Runner-Up in Miss Universe Philippines 2022. Still, she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her goals in pageantry (She’s the second Filipina to win as the Philippine contender for Miss Universe and Miss World), acting (she scored her dream acting role in Mga Lihim Ni Urduja), and more. It’s that determined spirit that keeps her going and allows her to face many challenges in life.
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