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The 69th Miss Universe is from Mexico

Miss Mexico, Andrea Meza, 26, was crowned as the 69th Miss Universe on Sunday in Florida.

 Andrea Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th installment of Miss Universe. 

She succeeds South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi, whose reign was extended after the 2020 pageant was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The runners up of the 69th Miss Universe are as follows:

  • 1st runner-up: Julia Gama, Brazil
  • 2nd runner-up: Janick Maceta del Castillo, Peru
  • 3rd runner-up: Adline Castelino, India
  • 4th runner-up: Kimberly Jimenez, Dominican Republic

During the question and answer round, the question asked to Andrea Meza was: 

“If you were the leader of your country, how would you have handled COVID with the COVID-19 pandemic?”

To which she answered, “I believe there’s not a perfect way to handle this harsh situation such as COVID-19. However, I believe that what I would have done was create the lockdown, even before everything was that big because we lost so many lives. And we cannot afford it, we have to take care of our people. That’s why I would have taken care of them since the beginning.”

Andrea Meza on beauty standards. She said, “We live in a society that is more and more advanced. As we have advanced as a society we’ve also advanced with stereotypes. Nowadays, beauty is the only 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.”

Miss India Adline Castelino at 69th Miss Universe

Miss India Adline Castelino’s sturdy statement in the question and answers round

“Should countries lockdown due to COVID-19 despite the strain on their economies, or should they open their borders and risk a potential increase in infection rates?”

To which Adline Castelino stated, “Good evening universe. Well, coming from India and witnessing what India is experiencing right now, I have realized something very important that nothing is more important than the health of your loved ones. And you have to draw a balance between economy and health. And that can only be done when the government works with the people hand in hand and produces something that will work with the economy. Thank you.”

 In her final statement, Adline was asked to talk about ‘free speech and the right to protest.’ 

She said, “The right to protest. We’ve seen many protests in recent days. Especially I want to point out the protests that women have made throughout the years with equal rights. Until today, we lacking them. Because protest helps us raise our voice against what’s happening against inequality. It helps minorities in any democracy to raise their voice. So the protest is very important. But what’s not important is when you use it, because with every right comes responsibility for the use of it with power. Thank you.”

Adline Quadros Castelino won Liva Miss Diva Universe 2020 and took the crown home. During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, she contributed essentials like food supplies, sanitisers and face masks to a non-profit voluntary organization called Desire Society, which cares for children infected with HIV in India. Other than spreading awareness about the acceptance of the LGBT community, she also advocates conducting leadership programmes for women.

Adline served several gorgeous looks at Miss Universe 2021 pageant, sharing her experience of competing at the prestigious competition through social media posts, she wrote, “What a feeling to represent the essence of a truly authentic Indian woman at the National Costume segment of @missuniverse.”

Prestigious Platform to Make a Powerful Statement

Furthermore, Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, Thuzar Wint Lwin, used the pageant to urge the world to speak out against the military junta, whose security forces have killed hundreds of opponents since it seized power in a military coup in her country.

Reigning 27-year-old Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Wu Ong used the prestigious platform to make a powerful statement against racism. Adorning a red and white cape with the words “Stop Asian hate” painted on it. “What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence! Thank you #MissUniverse for giving me this opportunity!” she wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of the look.

Bernadette’s national costume was inspired by Singapore’s national flag, which, she said, symbolises unity for all and social harmony in a multi-racial, multi-cultural and inter-religious country.

The costume, hand-painted by Paulo Espinosa was designed by Arwin Meriales. The colours red and white also had a symbolic meaning, the pageant winner revealed. “The red represents equality for all. White symbolises everlasting virtue. Singapore is a place for all races and they are very proud to be Asian.”

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