In 2017, Mariel de Leon was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-International. But she recently posted on her Instagram Stories that she has "closed that chapter" in her life. She explained that she believes being labeled a "beauty queen" limits women, and that shouldn't be the case. However, she also said that she is thankful for her past pageant journey "because I wouldn't have had the opportunities I've had if I didn't win BbP International." Read her full statement below. (

This isn't the first time Mariel has opened up about choosing to stay positive amid toxicity. In a previous interview with, she once admitted that, "I’ve been a victim of body shaming and bullying.

“It does take time to learn to love yourself, but you’ll get there one day. Trust me.

"It took time for me but I learned to truly love myself, be happy, and not give a damn about what other people think of me.

“Ladies (and gents), it’s time we love ourselves for who we truly are. Never be ashamed of yourself. Never be ashamed of what or who makes you happy.

“It’s time to show the media and everyone else that we won’t be swayed by their standards and the crazy standards set by society.

“No matter what color, race, religion, shape, or size."

With additional reporting by the editors.

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* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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