pia wurtzbach wearing a white top

The journey of a beauty queen often piques our interest because it’s an adventure to become a winner that we aspire to relate to in some shape or form at the end of the day. Who doesn’t want to and confident? Moreover, who wouldn’t be inspired by a woman overcomes her fears to be crowned the most beautiful in the world?

For Pia Wurtzbach, it’s been a road of self-discovery, a triumph over self-doubt, and an ongoing process of caring only about what matters. In an exclusive interview with BeautyHub.PH, Pia shares her advice on overcoming , celebrating one’s uniqueness, and being confident in your own beauty. She tells us how she goes from full glam to #nofilter with a tried-and-tested .

Celebrate Your Gifts, Embrace Your Uniqueness

German-Filipina model, actress, and beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach confidently wears many hats. It’s difficult to imagine this Pia we know being less than self-assured, but she shares that confidence was something she struggled with as a young girl. 

“I was so self-conscious about my body. I had a lot of insecurities, one of that was that I was ‘gifted.’ I was teased a lot for having big (breasts), and I didn’t see them as a gift at all,” Pia shares.

Out of embarrassment, she would cover her body by wearing oversized clothes. She developed poor posture, had to wear two back braces, and even considered doing a full breast reduction. “I’m glad I didn’t! As I got older and began joining pageants, I learned to appreciate my body more. I started doing , so my posture improved, and I gained the confidence to be proud of what I have,” she says. This is something she spoke about on her social media as well.

“So many women who are also ‘blessed’ messaged me to say the same thing. I’m glad I can make them feel like they can be proud of themselves, too.”

Care Less About What Others Think and More About What Makes You Happy

This transformative personal experience has prompted Pia to encourage others to . “I cared too much when I was younger,” she admits. “I made decisions based on how they would make other people happy, completely ignoring how I truly felt. After some time and a few life lessons along the way, I learned that the most important thing is that you are happy, the people you love are happy, and you’re not hurting anyone else in your .”

She says the advice she would give her younger self is to stop caring what other people think, brush off the haters, and focus on herself.

“As we’re seeing more representation of different types of beauty, more women are now more confident to show their natural beauty to the world. I think that’s amazing. It creates a ripple effect. You get inspired by someone, and someone gets inspired by you. So, continue being confident in your own skin and celebrate you,” she says.

Don’t Be Afraid to Express Yourself Through Beauty

For Pia, beauty, like , is a form of self-expression and should not be bound by stereotypes, prejudices, or gender roles. “There are so many that should be redefined; that women shouldn’t have short hair, that only women can wear makeup, or that if you’re not fair-skinned, you’re not maganda.”

She explains, “All that has to change. Beauty should be a way for us to express ourselves. Whether I want to have long hair or not, whether I want to wear makeup or not, whether I want to wear a skirt or not, whether I’m fair-skinned or not, maganda parin ako.”

She adds that if she could have any superpower, it would be the power to erase these negative thoughts and show people how amazing they can be. “Since Miss Universe, I’ve had so many women come up to me to ask, ‘Pia, how can I be confident?’ I think everyone can be confident, but most of the time, it’s those negative thoughts that tell you that you can’t do it, or you don’t deserve it.”

Take Care of Your Body and Your Mental Health

Apart from being an ambassador for Nature with WWF Philippines, Pia also works with UNAIDS and LoveYourself, focusing on mental health. A staunch advocate of as a means towards both physical and mental wellness, Pia makes it a point to practice this herself. “Taking care of your body is a form of self-care. I try to sneak in a workout every day. That boost of serotonin makes you feel good for the rest of the day. It makes me feel like I can achieve more things.”

“Realistically, there are days when I don’t feel like moving at all, but it’s important you fight through it,” she says.

At the end of each day, she makes sure to switch off from work. “I put my phone on silent, and I put it away. Sometimes we don’t realize that it’s almost midnight and you’re still working. It’s important to know when to switch off. Your day should be a balance of work and me-time. This is so important, so you avoid burning out,” she says.

Practice a Routine and Use Products that Make You Feel Confident

Investing time in a daily routine builds up health as well as confidence. For Pia, a good hair care routine is essential.

“Usually, after a long day of shoots, I’ll hop in the shower to take off all the product (like sprays) that's been put in my hair. I’ll end with my . Using Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Straight every day puts me in a good mood. I swear my hair is more manageable whenever I use it. I notice the difference, especially when I’m traveling and adjusting to different climates. And the scent – it smells like gummy bears to me! We have the best smelling hair conditioner in the world,” she shares.

On days when her hair needs an extra boost, she applies Cream Silk Ultra Treatment Cream and leaves it on while working out. “I let it sit until I finish my workout, and then I shower and rinse it off. I’ve also used the Cream Silk Ultra Treatment Wrap in the sauna or steam room. It works wonders!”

Be Confident in Your #NoFilter Beauty

Pia admits that every now and then, she still cringes at some “unflattering” photos of herself online. “But I just brush it off. I tell myself it’s normal to have bad days,” she says. Besides, she has posted unfiltered photos of herself on her social media to encourage more women and girls to feel confident in their own skin.

“I’ve posted many unfiltered photos of myself, and I’ve stopped caring about what the ‘bashers’ might think. Since the pandemic started, I’ve transitioned to wearing less and less makeup. I used to be all about the full glam look. Now, I love going out with absolutely no makeup on. I think it’s good for people to see that beauty queens are like real people, too,” Pia shares.

When your insecurities are making themselves felt, or you’re having a bad day, take a cue from Pia Wurtzbach and follow her useful tips. This well-loved beauty queen continues to show us that beauty is about confidence, and we all have it in us to be beautiful.

Want to read more about what beauty queens have to say? Check out our feature on .