Before she won, the Miss Universe pageant got political with some contestant’s national costumes
Long-delayed, the Miss Universe pageant crowned its 69th annual winner Sunday: Miss Mexico Andrea Meza. The competition was delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the weekend, 73 contestants gathered for the competition held in Hollywood, Florida, and broadcast live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, CNN reported.
- Only 21 contestants made it to the final round of the competition.
- Miss Brazil Julia Gama was named runner-up and Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo was named second runner-up, according to CNN.
- The 2019 Miss Universe winner, Zozibini Tunzi, passed the crown to Meza. In 2019, Tunzi became the first Black woman from South Africa to win.
The final round of the competition also included statements of social and political protest from numerous contestants.
Meet the new Miss Universe: Mexico’s Andrea Meza
- “We live in a society that more and more is more than advanced, and as we advance as a society, we’ve also advanced with stereotypes,” she said.
- “Nowadays beauty isn’t only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirit, but in our hearts and the way that we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you’re not valuable,” Meza said, according to Fox News,
From Chihuahua City, Mexico, Meza is a model, make-up artist and activist working to end gender-based violence, CNN reports. She has a degree in software engineering and serves as a tourism brand ambassador for Chihuahua.
According to CNN, Meza will move to New York City to continue working with the Miss Universe organization for the duration of her reign.
The contestants who addressed social and political issues
During the national costume segment, three contestants used the stage to advocate for social and political issues.
- Miss Myanmar Ma Thuzar Wint Lwin wore a traditional ceremonial costume, bowed to the audience then unrolled a scroll saying “Pray for Myanmar.” Her message supported ongoing opposition to the military junta who took control via a February coup. More than 790 Myanmar protesters have been killed by security forces with over 5,000 more arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners and CBS News.
- Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong sent a message to “Stop Asian Hate” with her caped outfit, CNN reported.
- Miss Uruguay Lola de los Santos advocated for “no more hate, violence, rejection, discrimination” against LGBTQ communities with her rainbow skirt, CNN reported.
Miss Myanmar went on to win the national costume segment.