Miss Universe Singapore 2018: Soh Qiao Ying empowered by speaking out about being molested
Qiao Ying Soh
Business development manager, 23
Miss Soh Qiao Ying describes herself as outgoing and friendly, and she will not hesitate to stand up for herself.
At 16, she was a victim of molestation that took place in a HDB lift while on her way home. Outraged, she cried for help and reported the perpetrator to the police.
The 23-year-old business development manager believes that it is important for sexual assault victims to voice out and come together, as acting in a collective will be more effective.
She was a finalist in modelling competition The New Paper New Face last year and joining Miss Universe Singapore has always been her dream as she grew up watching the pageant on television.
What cause do you want to champion in MUS 2018?
I believe that sexual assault and violence against women must never be tolerated. I want all women and girls who have had similar experiences (as me) to know that they are not alone. I want to use my voice in this pageant to increase awareness surrounding the challenges women face in their daily lives, be it professional or personal.
Discipline, punctuality and empathy are just some of the qualities that I have picked up along the way (in taking part in MUS).
This year's theme is The Beauty of Empowerment. What is the most empowering thing you have done in your life?
It was to speak up when the molestation happened. After the incident, I was in shock, but with the help of my dad and other family members, we were able to catch the attacker and report him to the police. I heard insensitive comments from my neighbours, who implied that it was the clothes that I wore that caused the molestation. If I had kept the incident to myself, the attacker would have got off easy and there might have been a second victim.
I strongly believe that sexual assault and violence against women must never be tolerated.
Who are your personal icons of beautiful and empowered women?
Former US first lady Michelle Obama, singer Beyonce and tech executive Marissa Mayer. These women have done work with various charities and championed numerous causes. They have a successful career to boot and most importantly, they seek to empower other women and girls through health, education and justice.
What is the proudest achievement in your life?
Getting into the top 15 of MUS 2018. I have learnt so much from this pageant. There is so much more going on behind the scenes than just looking good in pictures. Discipline, punctuality and empathy are just some of the qualities that I have picked up along the way. Through MUS, I got to know 14 beautiful ladies. Listening to their stories made me more emotionally resilient and ready to overcome tough situations.
WATCH THE FINALE
The Miss Universe Singapore 2018 finale will be held on Aug 31 at One Farrer Hotel. It is a ticketed event, and tickets can be purchased at tnp.sg/mus2018tickets. Individual tickets are from $250, and a table of 10 from $2,000.