Newly-crowned Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo has defended herself against criticisms that she is “retokada” (has undergone plastic surgery) after a photo of her from her old High School yearbook started making rounds on social media.
On Instagram, Rabiya shared the old picture and talked about how much she has changed in the 11 years since then — both physically and emotionally.
“This is me 11 years ago. I still didn’t have my braces. I don’t know how to put make up. I’m not aware of what angle flatters me most but that is still me,” she began.
“A lot of things happened in that period of time. I grew up and became more mature. I was able to invest in myself and practice self-love,” she continued. “If there would be one thing that I want other people to know about me is that I’m beautiful then and now. The only [difference] is now, I know better.”
She then addressed her critics: “Stop calling anyone ugly. If that’s how you see things and maybe then, it’s your soul that needs surgery.”
Rabiya is a Filipino-Indian model who represented Iloilo City in the recently held Miss Universe Philippines beauty pageant. She will be representing the country in the global competition scheduled later this year.
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