Breaking the traditional image of a beauty queen, Miss Universe Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez is living her authentic self–tattoos, sexual orientation and all.
In the history of beauty pageantry, contestants would usually cover tattoos or “imperfections” with makeup or wear clothing to hide it to fit into the ideal look of a beauty queen. Especially in the Philippines, where contestants are held on a pedestal, having the wrong ink could potentially compromise not only the beauty queen’s image but also possible deals with brands and fan following, thereby also hurting their chances for the crown.
But proving that being your true self is the only way to be Miss Universe, Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City decided to be no ordinary queen. Bringing pride to the LGBTQIA+ community by winning the crown as a proudly bisexual woman and winning the Best in Swimsuit and Best in Evening Gown awards while showing off her armband tattoo.
Traditionally, a black armband tattoo can represent the loss of a loved one with the black to represent death and mourning. The wrap-around design then symbolizes the act of wearing the memory of the deceased on one’s sleeve.
However, Gomez worked with Cebuano artist Jello Talaboc to details hers with cherry blossoms which is a sign of new life. In an interview, she explains that she had it done on her 23rd birthday to commemorate her “blossoming into a woman.”
“It is important that we shine in whichever field we are in as a woman. The person you are, you are not only representing yourself but the people that are like you. You should embrace it whatever you believe in. You need to talk about it because people will be inspired by your experiences.”
Fun Fact: Her tattoo was also done at Redeemed Tattoo in Cebu City, the same shop who inked Margielyn Didal’s Olympic rings on her bicep.
During the Q&A round of the Binibining Cebu 2020, Gomez also stated that her body art is a part of what makes her beautiful. “I guess what makes me beautiful is my bravery and being true to myself. To tell you guys, honestly, I have a girlfriend. I have tattoos, and I am proud of my imperfections. I guess that is what makes me beautiful,” she says.