The 69th Miss Universe pageant was held in 2021. The title went to Mexican model Andrea Meza, who is a software engineer and the third woman of Hispanic origin to win the crown. The event took place in Hollywood, Florida, on May 16.
Hollywood is known for its peace and tranquility and is home to gorgeous beaches and historic landmarks like the Cape Florida Lighthouse, according to an article by US Local Guide. The show was held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and was jointly hosted by Mario Lopez and Olivia Culp. The event returned to television after it was cancelled in 2020.
Here are a few things which made this pageant truly iconic in the history of beauty contests.
Changing Beauty Standards
One of the most important topics was how to break free of the stereotypes of society. Miss Mexico shared that beauty is not about how we look. It is something that radiates in our spirit and heart, and how we present ourselves. Further, she believes that we must never allow anyone to tell us that we are not worthy of love or valuable. She added that we should teach young girls leadership, which could help them become strong and powerful. This pageant was less about objectifying women and more about women’s empowerment.
“Pray for Myanmar”
This sign was held by Ma Thuzar Wint Lwin, the contestant representing Myanmar, during the national costume segment of the event. She requested the world to speak up against the military junta whose security forces have killed hundreds of people in the country, according to an article by Reuters. She did not make it to the last round but Ma Thuzar definitely won the hearts of the people by representing her country on the global platform.
Handling the COVID Situation
Pageants are not solely about beauty but the active role of contestants in social causes. Social responsibility is a major part of the event. So, the final question to Andrea was how she would have managed the COVID situation. She promptly answered that she would impose lockdowns even before things turned out to be this big. She added that we cannot afford the loss of so many lives and providing such extensive healthcare. So, early lockdowns could have been a practical solution.
Beauty queens from 74 countries and territories competed but only 21 contestants moved to the final round, according to an article by NBC Universal Media. All the participants extended their gratitude for being able to connect with people across the world virtually.