Harnaaz Sandhu finds ally in Miss Universe ‘sister’ Beatrice Luigi Gomez
MANILA, Philippines — Reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu found an ally in normalizing conversations revolving around menstruation and menstrual health and hygiene in her pageant sister, Miss Universe Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez.
The two shared the stage at the #BeNextPeriodReady event organized by feminine care brand Modess, in partnership with the Miss Universe Philippines organization (MUPH) and the ABS-CBN Foundation, at the ballroom of Hilton Manila in Pasay City on April 26. Sandhu and Gomez encouraged the high school students among the audience to normalize talking about their monthly periods, share experiences and provide support for one another.
The young girls, dubbed #GenFree by the feminine care brand, were joined by the 32 delegates of the 2022 Miss Universe Philippines pageant.
Sandhu has just recently appeared before a group of young Filipinos who participated in a workshop on menstrual equity, the advocacy she has been championing even before capturing the Miss Universe crown.
The Indian actress shared with the audience that she is currently having her period. “A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. We got this!” she exclaimed.
The reigning queen said nothing should stop women mentally in achieving their goals, and that menstruation is a normal part of a woman’s life. “I am a woman who menstruates,” Sandhu declared.
Gomez, for her part, admitted that her every pageant coincided with her monthly period. And Sandhu said her friend shared with her this bit of information.
“I think it is like a lucky charm!” the Filipino beauty said. For her, having a regular period became useful, because it helped her prepare herself for the competition.
“I did exercises to minimize the period pains,” she shared.
Sandhu also lamented the condition in impoverished communities where women are made to choose between food and pad.
“They should never be made to choose because both are important,” she said.
Gomez, meanwhile, appealed to those concerned to consider feminine pad essential, and include them in provisions during emergency situations such as natural calamities.
When the Inquirer asked the two how to involve men in the conversation, Sandhu said, “When we think that we might be uncomfortable talking about periods we need [men] to say that it’s okay to menstruate, that’s all that we want.”
Gomez said she considers it a “huge help” for men to attend talks about menstruation: “Especially that not all daughters are guided by their mothers. So it’s very important for men to also educate themselves because you could be guiding your daughter when they have it.”
The two beauties will next be seen together at the 2022 Miss Universe Philippines preliminary competition which will be staged at Cove Manila at Okada Manila in Parañaque City on April 27.
On April 30, Gomez will crown her successor at the national pageant’s grand coronation night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Sandhu will be one of the judges. JB
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