Clarisse Joy Bucao Fernando: School girl-turned-beauty queen

Hers is a beauty that does not need to conform to standards of the society to standout. At an early age, Clarisse Joy Bucao Fernando already conquered her way to the pageant stage breaking barriers dictating how a woman should look like and ought to be.

True enough, she did not allow society to dictate her just to fit in and feel accepted. But rather, she made a move to change everyone’s perspective about beauty, and alas! She made it, as she becomes one of the young influencers of today.

 The seventeen-year-old darling from Toronto, Canada is a full-blooded Filipina and a proud Kapampangan from the town of Guagua. Clarisse grew up in Canada, though she was brought up there, she was stillborn and raised like a Filipino.

 According to her, they only talk in Kapampangan and Tagalog at home and wasn’t allowed to date boys until she graduates because her parents want to make sure that Filipino values are instilled within her as she grows up.

This Pampanga native surely is proud of her home country as she claimed herself as a ‘morena’ beauty and brought this confidence into the stage of Miss Teenager in 2018. Recently, she was crowned as Miss Teenager Asia 2018 last July.

As the titleholder, she will be representing Asia and will compete with over more than 20 teenage girls from all over the globe for Miss Teenager Globe this coming August in Paraguay.

She also won Miss Teenager Philippines 2018 and Miss Manila 1st runner up before she became Miss Teenager Asia in 2018. Clarisse doesn’t only standout on beauty pageants; this 5-foot-7 teen queen also excels on her studies and other professional interest.

As a matter of fact, she is an accelerated Grade 12 student and a consistent honor student from Notre Dame High School.

Consequently, this teen queen also turns into a very dynamic radio broadcasting trainee at the Canadian Ethnic Web Radio (CEWR) every weekend.

Clarisse on beauty

According to Clarisse, she was inspired by a lot of beauty queens like Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray to stand up and live by her own principles in life.

 The young beauty queen is an advocate of eradicating colorism and beauty standards. For her part, women shouldn’t feel less about themselves if they do not conform to the beauty standards set by society.

 “You don’t need to be white just be labeled beautiful. But rather, women should be proud of their skin color and feel beautiful no matter what they look like and what they are”, the teen queen exclaimed.

Clarisse thinks that there is no real definition of beauty because everyone is unique in their own ways and one will only be beautiful if she feels confident about herself.

“During the pageant, I was a little bit anxious because other girls were taller than me, others were also whiter. Those ideas did not stop me from reaching my goal. Indeed, it even helped me gain more confidence to stand up the stage and proudly present myself just the way I am” Clarisse shared. Clarisse also mentioned that as teenagers, they can already help in addressing these issues through the help of social media. She believes that social media could be an effective avenue in raising awareness to help other people feel contented.

 “Just by merely posting inspirational posts and selfies, it could already really make a huge difference to affect other people’s perspectives”, she said. Clarisse was not as experienced as the other candidates when she won Miss Teenager Asia in 2018. As she would recall, she was very fond of watching Miss Universe when she was a kid. Clarisse even shared that she has always dreamt of being on the same stage wearing those pretty gowns that beauty queens wear.

Eventually, this dream turned as an inspiration for her to become a young beauty queen at the age of sixteen. In fact, her most recent win was just her third pageant stint, after emerging as Miss teenager Philippines in 2018.

Training and preparations

Clarisse is part of a talent agency called International Professional Entertainment Network (IPEN) where she met Edgar Sulit, the president of the said agency.

According to her, Edgar and her mom have been very hands-on in training and supporting her during pageants.

They always help her solve her dilemmas about Q&A’s and ramp walks to make her feel confidently beautiful whenever she’s on stage. International Professional Entertainment Network (IPEN) is a production company based in Toronto Canada, who’s known for producing quality shows and talents for pageantry.

 In our world today, there would always be people who will tell that you are not enough because you do not conform to the standard. Only a few appreciate the real essence of beauty. Clarisse’s story was no different.

 Her journey is living proof that real beauty can’t be found from the outside, it comes from a confident and contented heart.

The provincial government headed by Governor Lilia ‘Nanay’ Pineda also pledged support for the Kapampangan teen queen as Clarisse represents the country for Miss Teen globe this coming August in Paraguay.

 (Contributed Photos from Clarisse)

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