Kylie Verzosa on what pageants are looking for and her mental health advocacy
If you aspire to be an international beauty queen, there’s nobody more credible to talk about the dos and don’ts of pageantry than titlists like Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa.
The 29-year-old beauty icon is a very busy actress these days, shuttling from one Vivamax film (“The Housemaid” and “Bekis on the Run”) to another (“My Husband, My Lover” and, her latest, “Sisid”).
Knowing that pageants are very popular in the Philippines, particularly the coveted Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International beauty tilts, we asked Kylie what she thought was the ideal “peg” for contestants to do well in these eagerly anticipated competitions. She said: “For Miss Universe, I think they’re looking for this sexy bombshell type of girl. On the other hand, for Miss International, which is a Japan-based pageant, they like someone who’s ladylike, just like my character in ‘The Housemaid.’
“She may be very quiet and demure, but she’s strong inside. She isn’t so loud, but is very intelligent—you know that there’s ‘something’ in her. Also, she has to be a good spokesperson, so every Miss International should be a good speaker.”
But what drew Kylie to acting?
“Acting is a form of release for me,” Kylie explained to us. “Aside from being an outlet for my emotions, acting is a craft that you really have to hone—kailangan mo talaga s’yang pagsikapan. And just like in pageantry, when you fail, you just have to strive harder if you want to get better. That’s also how I would define my acting career.
“And because I’m relatively new to this, I want to do so many different things—like perhaps a rom-com or psychological thriller.
“I would love to do a good material, something cerebral … But my dream really is to do a film about mental health, something that can be shown to the youth that isn’t hard sell. I hope to do one that’s deep, meaty and with substance.”
Speaking of mental health advocacy, we asked Kylie to share with us not just her thoughts on anxiety and depression, but also to tell us more about Mental Health Matters, the nongovernmental organization and online support group she put up in 2017 to raise awareness for mental health issues and remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.
“Mental Health Matters recently collaborated with KonsultaMD. We give one month mental health counseling and psychiatric treatments on the Konsulta.md app for free (just enter the code KMDKYLIE on the app).
Seeking professional help
“There are times when we can’t seem to handle our problems any longer, and talking to our parents, friends and loved ones isn’t enough, right? That’s the time when we need to talk to a professional about what we’re going through.
“Here in the Philippines, there’s still a stigma when we tell people that we’re seeing a psychiatrist. They’d say, ‘Ay, baliw na ‘yan!’ But it’s common practice in the US. It doesn’t hurt to have someone help you organize your thoughts and sort out your problems.”
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