Rachel Peters on Miss Universe journey: It's celebrating my individuality

Photo credit to ericjohnsalut IG

For Rachel Peters, competing on the Miss Universe stage is not just about pomp and pageantry.

More importantly, it provides an opportunity for contestants like her to bring forward and get exposed to helpful causes and advocacies, she said.

“Pageants are just more than that,” Rachel emphasized in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN.com. “They are a platform for young girls to showcase their beauty, their talent, and most importantly the platform for them to advocate their personal social causes that they want to help.”

HIV/AIDS awareness

One particular advocacy is HIV/AIDS awareness, which she shares with 2015 Miss Universe winner Pia Wurtzbach.

“I’m able to attend [events] organized by [people with causes], and speak to people who live with HIV and I get to learn things I didn’t know about anything before,” Rachel said.

“When you learn about these things, that’s when you can help spread awareness about it. And doing things like that has made me more confident and have more purpose,” she stressed.

Rachel revealed that her current journey to the Miss Universe pageant brought direction and meaning to her life.

Best thing

“This is probably the best thing I’ve ever done in my life because when I came out of the university I really lost who I was. I was in a relationship with somebody before and it was because of that that I lost who I was,” she said.

“I had no confidence with myself, like I didn’t know where I was going with life, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I had no purpose,” she added.

When she decided to make a second crack at a beauty title, all fell into their proper places.

“When I joined Binibini, I realized what I wanted to do,” Rachel noted. “This is the way on how I can make a difference. It’s really hard to make a difference in the world especially when you’re just one person with no access to help other people.”

Biggest accomplishment

But her biggest accomplishment, she said, whatever happens in her journey was that she had discovered herself, her individuality.

“It’s about celebrating my individuality and I think that’s what I’ve done,” she declared. “In the pageant world it’s really easy to get caught up and lose yourself in the glamour and all the drama of pageantry. But I think something that I’m most proud of is that throughout this whole journey I remained myself.”

And, even with a high probability of winning the Miss Universe crown, what’s essential for this British-Bicolana lass is that she never loses herself again.

“At the end of the day, I come home, I remove my makeup, and I’m still the same girl. There are many people who want to change you and it takes a lot of you to stay true to yourself, no matter what, and I have. And that’s all because I have very supportive people around me,” Rachel said.

Witness Rachel vie for the Miss Universe crown on ABS-CBN’s live telecast of the pageant night straight from The AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday, November 27 at 8am.