MANILA — Newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo on Friday shared a decade-old photo of her which had been circulating on social media, as she addressed critics pointing out supposed changes in her appearance.
The photo shows Mateo’s page in her high school year book, where her achievements are listed, including first honorable mention, best in communication, and performer of the year.
In an Instagram Stories update, the beauty queen posted the same photo, with a caption explaining that she indeed went through positive changes after that yearbook snap.
“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 wrote.
“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.”
Mateo, who is half-Indian, did not directly confirm whether she underwent any cosmetic procedure.
“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 thing difference is now, I know better,” she said.
Addressing her detractors, Mateo added, “Stop calling anyone ugly.”
“If that’s how you see things and maybe then, it’s your soul that needs surgery.”