Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Washington [US], May 17 (ANI): After a year without the Miss Universe pageant due to the coronavirus pandemic, Andrea Meza of Mexico was crowned on Sunday as the most beautiful woman on Earth.

According to Fox News, when Meza, who has a software engineering degree, beat out Miss Brazil at the end of the night, she shouted "Viva Mexico!"Beauty queens from 74 countries and territories took part in the competition but only 21 made it to the final round, E! News reported. There, Meza faced questions about both beauty standards as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her final statement, Miss Mexico was asked to address changing beauty standards in the world.

"We live in a society that more and more is more advanced and as we have advanced as a society, we have advanced with stereotypes," she shared, as per the outlet.

"Nowadays, beauty is not only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirits, but in our hearts and the way we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you are not valuable," she added.

Meza was also asked how she would have handled the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the show to cancel its 2020 competition.

"I believe there is not a perfect way to handle this hard 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 that. We have to take care of our people. That's why I would have taken care of them since the beginning," she said.

Previous winner Zozibini Tunzi fit the crown on Meza's head and waited to make sure it would stay in place as Meza beamed and took her first walk to the front of the stage. Tunzi, a public relations professional who became the first Black woman from South Africa to win the contest, had held the title since December 2019.

"I always knew that my reign as Miss Universe would be unlike any other," Tunzi said regarding passing the torch.

"While it was nothing like what I had imagined my year to be, this year has opened doors for me I could never have imagined. I am so grateful for the opportunity to connect virtually with people all over the world and elevate the causes I care most about," she added.

A statement said the pageant was hosted by Access Hollywood's Mario Lopez and actor and model Olivia Culpo, the 2012 Miss Universe. It was broadcast live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood in Hollywood, Florida.

Ahead of the pageant, Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, stated that they had spent months planning a safe competition that followed similar guidelines as last November's 2020 Miss USA competition held in Memphis.

As per Fox News, the Miss Universe competition is aired in more than 160 territories and countries across the globe including in the US on the FYI channel and on Telemundo. (ANI)

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