Continuing her U.S. media tour as Miss Universe, Catriona Gray appeared on AOL’s Build, a live interview series set in New York City. It’s one of her most in-depth interviews so far, and they covered a wide variety of topics including the online buzz about her Australian heritage.
With a Scottish father and a Filipina mother, Catriona was born and raised in Queensland, Australia, and moved to the Philippines in her teens. Asked if it was “weird at all” to compete with Miss Australia Francesca Hung considering Catriona’s Australian upbringing, Catriona said, “No, because I really feel like a Miss Philippines. I am a Filipina. It just so happens that when I was growing up, I was very much an Australian. I think you can be both because I did grow up in those two sides of the world.”
“I just thought that it was funny that there was kind of a war, like, she’s ours, she’s practically a Miss Australia. But I am a Miss Philippines. But I can’t blame them for being excited and feeling the high spirits of the season, too, so we’ll let them have that,” Catriona said with a laugh.
Beyond the competition aspect of pageants, Catriona is all about seeing pageantry as a way for women to lift each other up and to further their causes. Talking about some people’s negative perception of pageants, Catriona said, “I feel like that’s drawn from a surface perspective. They don’t really see the journey of the girls or what they represent. These women all have causes or a bigger reason for wanting to be Miss Universe. Usually it’s about the platform, which is amazing because it shows that women are so multi-faceted… I think when you see what we’re trying to do and represent, that will kind of change some people’s perspectives.”
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