Miss Universe 2013 contestant Miss Philippines Ariella Arida has had to seriously test her body to get in pageant-ready shape. In a new interview, Arida explains the strict diet and exercise regimen she has herself on so she can be considered fit for the pageant.
“I have to really cut my carbs and rice. No rice, no carbs, no sweets since December last year. I’m naturally thin, but I have to lose some weight still and I have to tone my body,” she explains.
While Arida’s exercise routine doesn’t seem too extreme — she attends core classes, lifts weights and has been running and attending fun runs — her food intake is severely limited. Though she allows herself one cheat meal a week, the rest of the food Arida eats is a pretty strict diet.
“I’m so strict with my foods right now. All should be steamed. No salt, no carbs, no sweets, nothing like that. I’m basically eating steamed broccoli, fish, chicken, without taste,” she says. Yes, this naturally thin woman has been eating like that since December 2012.
Arida says that she is 5’7″ and weighed 115 pounds the last time she checked, which gives her a BMI that’s solidly underweight. The interviewer notes that Arida will probably lose more weight when she gets to the Miss Universe pageant, but Arida admits that her focus isn’t on weight loss right now.
“I just have to tone my body but not to lose any more weight,” she admits.
While it’s not news that many pageant contestants, models and actresses have to drastically change their diets to be considered in good shape for their respective jobs, isn’t this sending the completely wrong message? After all, if the requirement for being the universe’s most beautiful woman is that contestants basically starve themselves to drop unhealthy amounts of weight, maybe the definition of “beauty” should change.
The Miss Universe Competition will air on NBC on Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. ET.