While she may not be one of the crowd favorites, Miss San Leonardo (Nueva Ecija) Leslie Ann Pine in the ongoing Miss Philippines Earth 2014 hugged the spotlight recently when she collapsed while the contest’s swimsuit competition was underway. Reports stated that the girl has been skipping meals of late and is actually one of six girls under weight watch by the organizers for gaining a little too much for their own pageant good.
And this brings me to the question: When is a contestant’s weight alarming enough to be placed under watch? Is it based on a standard set of numbers or on the proportions of a particular individual?
I’m pretty sure the organizers are coming from a reasonable standpoint when it comes to reminding the ladies to watch their figure and go easy on the food intake. But advises like that can be taken by the targetted recipients differently. One can opt to exercise more diligently and be more conscious of what she eats, but another might interpret it as a warning to lose weight or else. The latter has the tendency to skip meals altogether and instead, go the dangerous route of getting electrolyte imbalance (like what Leslie suffered) or develop a bad case of ulcer.
Weight notices in pageants should not be addressed to a group for fear of sending the wrong signals. An in-house nutritionist (or a commissioned one) should be around to take each case as unique so as not to generalize on the possible body chemistry of everyone. Each person’s reaction to weight-loss methods should be studied in order to find the most suitable alternatives.
I find it eyebrow-raising in a way that of all our national pageants, Miss Philippines Earth is the one where something like this would be news-covered. I was of the impression that they are the most liberal-minded and would just let the ladies independently stand for the consequences of what they do to their own bodies. After all, the schedule imposed to all the wannabes is punishment enough to leave them craving for food when hunger pangs go beyond tolerance.
Calling the handlers of Leslie Ann Pine and/or whoever is attending to her health/fitness concerns. I hope you will guide her accordingly so that a situation like this can be avoided. Find time to sit down with her so that the proper recommendations can be given. We don’t want her finishing the competition with a sick body instead of a crown.