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‘Miss Universe amplified my childhood trauma’ – Pia Wurtzbach |

Health And Family

‘Miss Universe amplified my childhood trauma’ – Pia Wurtzbach

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo -

MANILA, Philippines — While winning Miss Universe 2015 was a dream come true for Pia Wurtzbach, it also “amplified” her “trauma.”

At her speech for L’Oreal Paris’ launch of “Sayang? No, I’m worth it” campaign in Intramuros, Manila last week, Pia opened up about her mental health struggles, which got worse after she won Miss Universe.

“Hindi madali. I’ve shared my mental health struggles. After I won Miss Universe, I thought that it would be the bandage to all my childhood trauma and all of the rejections,” she said, “but it didn’t! It amplified it!”

“I thought, OMG, eto na ‘yun. I found my purpose! I won Miss Universe and this is it! But every day, I felt I have to keep proving why I deserve to be there especially because of how I was announced as the winner.”

It can be recalled that at the Miss Universe 2015 coronation night, host Steve Harvey first declared Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez as the winner, and Gutierrez was already wearing the crown and making her winner’s walk, when Harvey retracted the announcement and admitted that he made a mistake, and then clarified that it was actually Pia who won.

While thankful for the new high, Pia confessed that she also hit a new low because of her win.

“I felt that I have to prove that I deserve to be there. It was so hard. I was so hard on myself and I’ve hit a low that I’ve never hit before and I hid it from everybody. And I thought that I found my worth and I thought that people also realize my worth.”

It has been nine years since Pia won, and thanks to the people who guided her through the years, she has been able to address her fears and trauma.

“Over the years since I won Miss Universe, I felt like I always needed to prove to others that I was worth the opportunities that I was worth the chances,” she said.

“It's been nine years now. And what I've learned is that my worth isn't measured by a crown or a title, the number of likes I get on each post or the brands that decide to work with me. These things are fleeting! One day, I won't be this young anymore. I won't be this healthy anymore and maybe I won't have this big of an audience listening to me anymore.”

While winning Miss Universe was a peak in her career, Pia avowed that her achievements would not end there.

WATCH: 'Miss Universe' is not the peak of my career' — Pia Wurtzbach

“I have decided that my worth is based on the lasting impact that I can hopefully continue to share with people who still look at my journey. I'm grateful for L'oreal, for trusting me with this opportunity, an opportunity for me to share a message that is personal and real.

“Nothing was, was ever given to me for free. I crawled my way from nothing to finally realizing my self-worth. So, no, my worth isn't defined but what but by what other people say or their expectations of me. But it's in me in my own timeline and my own rules. I am worth it because I've let myself be free from the shackles that society has put on me. I'm taking control and power to achieve my own dreams and those dreams span from career opportunities to family goals one day with my husband. But also the lasting impact that my advocacies will leave behind,” Pia said.

“There is nothing that will make me happier in knowing that my stories of struggle could somehow inspire and motivate you to also reach for your dreams… We deserve this. We deserve to dream big, we deserve to have wins. We deserve to be happy, to have a balanced life. You deserve to choose yourself and to choose your own timeline… The dreams that are keeping you up at night, that's your shining star, listen to it and don't ever let go no matter what society says, no matter how long it takes, you owe it to yourself.” — Videos by Deni Bernardo; additional video editing by Martin Ramos, Anjilica Andaya

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