A pageant queen slammed men who cat-called her in the street.

Maria Thattil, former Miss Universe Australia 2020, was leered at as she walked through a carpark in Melbourne.

Opening up about the “terrifying” experience on her Instagram Stories, the 29-year-old said she was “howled” at “like a dog”.

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The strangers also asked her “why you so fine?”, which the model didn’t take kindly to.

She told fans: “Another day, another incident… I literally just turned around and I’m like, ‘I just want to let you know I don’t appreciate being catcalled because it literally doesn’t make me feel safe’.

“And you know what? They actually apologised. They were like, ‘you know what, no, actually we’re sorry’.”

While Maria appreciated the apology, she was disappointed to be accosted by the men in the first place.

She added: “It’s great that they apologised because they could have turned around and been super-aggressive.

“It could have gone any which way.

“But I’m not gonna applaud, like, mediocre, basic behaviour.

“I just think we see enough, we hear enough women and people talk about it enough, that I think you have enough access to information to know catcalling isn’t f***ing cool, and it makes people feel unsafe.

“It shouldn’t take someone verbalising their discomfort for people in this day and age to know catcalling is a form of street harassment that isn’t cool. So don’t do it."

Maria also warned her followers to be careful calling out street harassment – as it doesn't always end well.

She said: “There’s one really important point I want to stress.

“There are a number of different ways you can respond to catcalling and I think it’s really important to stand up to street harassment, but if it compromises your safety, don’t do it.

“You are under no obligation to engage with people who catcall you.

“For me, I made a judgment in that moment that, okay, it was daylight, and I had enough space between myself and those gentlemen to say what I wanted to say.

“But, for the most part, sometimes it is unsafe, and you shouldn’t put your safety at risk.”


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