Andrea Meza from Mexico has won the 2021 Miss Universe competition. After a significant delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition was finally held on Sunday, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The show was hosted by Mario Lopez and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, who took the crown in 2012.
Meza, who has studied software engineering in university, beat Miss Brazil and took the crown home. Former winner Zozibini Tunzi crowned Meza, who then walked proudly to the front of the stage.
A public relations graduate, Tunzi was the first black woman from South Africa to win the title of Miss Universe in 2019. Since then, she had held the title as last year’s ceremony got canceled due to the raging pandemic.
This year’s competition was held under strict protocols, as stated by Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization. According to Shugart, the entire team had worked out a thorough plan to execute an event that adhered to all safety guidelines similar to the Miss USA competition held last November in Memphis.
This year’s winner, Miss Mexico Andrew Meza left the judges bedazzled by her beauty and charisma. Before being crowned as the winner, Meza was asked to offer a fresh perspective on the ever-changing beauty standards of society.
Eloquent and confident, Miss Mexico spoke of the state of our current society that has been plagued with stereotypes. She affirmed how beauty is not confined to looks- it is much more than what lies on the outside. “For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirits but in our hearts and the way we conduct ourselves,” she declared through the translator.
Minutes before the judges announced the 2021 winner, Miss Mexico stood in the final question round where she was asked to provide her insight on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to her, there is no ‘perfect’ way to handle the situation. However, she insisted that if things were in her control, a lockdown would have been imposed from the very beginning as the primary duty of any government is to “take care of the people.”
The Miss Universe Competition is a highly competitive event where beauty icons from 74 countries participated in the pageant. Out of the 74, only a select 21 contestants proceed to the final round.
The contestants started the event with the swimsuit contest. Only ten contestants moved on to the next evening gown competition. Top achievers in this round moved to the final Q&A session, where Miss Mexico Andrea Meza impressed the judges and took the title of Miss Universe, home.