Binibing Pilipinas question on luxury items criticized as ‘sexist’

July 12, 2021 - 5:38 PM
Cinderella Faye Obeñita
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2021 Cinderella Faye Obeñita in this photo from the official Instagram of Binibining Pilipinas as taken by Bruce Casanova. (Photo from Instagram/bbpilipinasofficial)

Are women the only ones who are into luxury items?

This was one of the questions that some Filipinos brought up online when Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2021 Cinderella “Cindy” Obeñita was asked about luxury items in the Question and Answer segment of the beauty pageant on Sunday.

During the highly-anticipated portion of the competition, renowned fashion designer Michael Cinco asked the 25-year-old tourism operations officer from Cagayan de Oro the following question:

“How important are luxury items like bags, clothes, jewelry for a woman when the national economy is down and struggling?” 

Cindy answered by saying women always have a choice.

Here’s a full text of the Cagayan de Oro bet’s response:

“In life, we always find ourselves at a crossroad of choices. Women always have a choice whether to prioritize luxury items while we are facing a pandemic and also, we have a choice to embrace a concept of a new beautiful which is responsive to the needs of time, adaptive to the change of times.”

“And I think I will choose to be that woman who understand the problems of the Philippines, the problems of my community, so that we will be able to uplift each other and I will be that kind of woman who will comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” 

The candidate’s response was admired by pageant enthusiasts who found it “beautiful.”


However, some were critical of the question, claiming that it was “misogynistic” or something prejudiced against women.

“Napaka-misogynistic ng tanong. Para namang hindi rin bumibili ng luxury items mga lalaki. LMAO,” a Twitter user commented in response to a question for the beauty queen.

“Why would the question imply na mga babae lang maluho. LMAO,” another online user commented.

“A lot of men buy luxury brands but you don’t see them getting asked with these questions,” a different Twitter user pointed out.

Another Filipino online user shared that the question reminded her of how American singer Ariana Grande was asked by a radio DJ about makeup and phones before.

“The question is so misogynist and sexist. Reminded me of that qustion towards Ariana Grande to choose one between a phone or make-up. Anyway, Ms. Obeñita answered with grace and intelligence! I would love to see a candidate shooting down questions like this so they won’t ask this type of questions next time,” she tweeted.

Ariana in 2015 appeared in a radio station where one of the two DJs asked her the following: “If you could use makeup or your phone one last time, what would you pick?”

“Is this men assuming that that’s what girls would have to choose between?” the singer answered.

The Hollywood Reporter in the same year said that women attending the Oscars have been receiving more questions geared towards looks and appearances such as fashion and jewelry than their male counterparts.

The Binibining Pilipinas on Sunday crowned a new set of beauty queens who will represent the country in different international pageants.

Hannah Arnold of Masbate won the Miss International Philippines title, Samantha Panlilio of Cavite won the Miss Grand International Philippines title and Maureen Montagne of Batangas won the Miss Globe Philippines title.

Gabrielle Basiano of Eastern Samar was named the first runner-up while Meiji Cruz of Valenzuela secured the second runner-up title.