Besides poise, stature and a face that can trigger of a million camera flashes, newly crowned Miss Universe Catriona Gray is here to prove that beauty in its myriad of forms will amount to nothing if it is not backed by other admirable traits.
Here we highlight five of Gray’s uncommon qualities, which rightfully set the Miss Universe crown upon her head at the end of Monday’s beauty pageant in Thailand.
At 22, Gray speaks with surety and a confidence that is natural and unrehearsed.
In her many media interviews, she is able to field a wide range of questions with meaningful answers, with a tone that expresses vivacity, sincerity and humility at the same time.
Most people would be tongue tied when put in front of a camera but Gray simply lights up.
She always seems to know what she wants to convey and does a stand-up job with the deliveries.
The style factor
Blessed with a figure most women can only dream about, Gray knows how to accentuate her physical qualities with her fashion of choice with aplomb.
Whether she is meeting the press in a satin blue trouser suit or wowing the judges with the dangerous looking lava dress, it is obvious that this is a person who knows how she wants to be seen and what would give her an edge, even if it means taking risky chances.
Beauty with a heart
Sometimes beauty pageants are such tiresome affairs with all of their tacky pretensions and delirium for world peace, but every once in a while, a contestant such as Gray comes along to show how it should be done.
Having worked to raise awareness for HIV-Aids in the Philippines and with disadvantaged children in the slums of Tondo three years before this year’s pageant, Gray talked about her work with conviction and proved that actions really do speak louder than words.
Oozing confidence and intelligence
Far from being a vase or a wallflower, Gray comes replete with a string of accomplishments that is no mean feat for a person of her age.
She has a music certificate in music theory from Berklee College of Music in the United States and a black belt in the martial art Choi Kwang-Do.
With all her answers at the pageant being thoroughly well-considered and fluently delivered, she is clearly a beauty with a brain.
If there is a visage that epitomises feminine intelligence, it will be one that speaks with conviction while maintaining modesty, like Gray’s.