As the daughter of beauty queen Melanie Marquez, who made the whole country proud when she got crowned Miss International 1979, it was almost natural that Michelle Dee’s journey would stir in the same direction. Yet inevitability aside, the 28-year-old beauty from Makati banked on her own beauty and talent as she took home the Miss Universe Philippines title in the recently concluded coronation night last Saturday, May 13.
Despite having a glamorous role model, Michelle had quite a simple style growing up, evidenced by her throwback pictures circulating on social media.
In fact, during her first TV appearance in the Minute to Win It game show of Luis Manzano, she was clad in a plaid polo and sported zero makeup (a far cry from her usual look nowadays). And boy, did she look stunning despite being barefaced!
In the interview, she shared her feelings about having Melanie in her life. “It feels great. I mean, not everyone can experience [having] a very famous mom, and take note, supermodel pa. So it gives me a lot of pride,” she said.
She added that she sometimes feels “pressured” to live up to certain expectations, saying she is cautious not to reflect negatively on her mom. “Oo naman, kasi malamang I have to think about my mom’s reputation din, kasi kung paano niya ako pinalaki magre-reflect kung paano siya as a mother.”
On TikTok, more photos of Michelle dating back to college surfaced and caught netizens’ attention. It also showcased her cozy photos with another girl, which naturally got everyone curious about her sexuality.
@occasionalreaderph Replying to @snickers9231 MICHELLE DEE younger days when she’s a lesbian #lovewins #fyp #foryoupage #MissUniverse #MUPH2023 #misssupranational #missuniverse2023 ? Over The Universe - Jessica Sanchez
On her Instagram stories, Michelle seems to be aware of the whispers, sending her ~subtle~ reaction by posting a Rainbow Flag, a symbol of LGBTQIA+ social movements. However, such a gesture does not equate to any confirmation of her sexual orientation, so it’s best to take it with a grain of salt, as always!
One thing is for sure, though: You look beautiful, Michelle—then and now.