WATCH: Miss World 2013 Megan Young’s Opening Speech at Oxford University

Miss World 2013 Megan Young spoke before a crowd of students at the Oxford Union and defended the Miss World event from detractors who say it demeans women.

“If you asked me to join a beauty contest 3 years ago, my answer would have been ‘no.’ I just could not see myself in the shoes of those girls onstage. I would have been terrified. But something completely just changed my decision around. What you see in Miss World today is totally different from what Miss World was before,” Megan said.

The first Filipina to win the crown delivered the opening speech at the  Oxford University for the Oxford Debate. Young was joined at the debate by competitors for the Miss World 2014 title. She opened up about her experience this past year as Miss World, including a memorable visit to rebuilding projects in Haiti. She also shared her unforgettable experience in Haiti where she fell through the second floor.

She also described her experience winning the pageant shortly before super typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines. The desolation brought by typhoon Yolanda to the Philippines made her realize what her purpose really was as the crown bearer.

“Six weeks after I won Miss World, typhoon Haiyan happened in the Philippines. It was then that I realized what my purpose really was. Maybe my mind was meant to be changed to do better. Maybe I was supposed to be in this position to raise awareness for my countrymen,” she said.

Megan Young got emotional as she recalled what the hardest part of being Miss World has been.

“And what… it hurts really, it really does hurt and sometimes you just can’t help but cry. I’m sorry I’m getting really emotional because you know I’ve been through so many countries and it’s just so difficult seeing them in this position and you know people are saying you’re Miss World you should save the world, and to be honest, we can’t really save the world as a whole, we’re doing it part by part. We’re not Superman. We’re human too,” said Young.

Miss World 2014 takes place on December 14 at the ExCeL Arena in London, where Megan is set to turn over her crown to winning candidate of Miss World 2014.