Mexico's Andrea Meza wins Miss Universe 2020; India finishes 4th
The most-awaited competition for the coveted title of Miss Universe 2020 finally came to an end as the world witnessed Mexico's Andrea Meza receive the prestigious crown from her predecessor Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa.
Andrea, who competed against 73 other gorgeous women from all across the globe, made it to the top five along with runner-up, Miss Brazil Julia Gama, second runner-up, Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo, third runner-up, Miss India Adline Quadros Castelino and fourth runner-up, Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Marie Jiménez de León.
Andrea made history with her win as she became the third Mexican woman to be crowned as Miss Universe, the other two being Lupita Jones (1991) and Ximena Navarrete (2010).
Andrea, who has a degree in software engineering, is an activist and focuses on women’s rights and inclusion. She currently works closely with the Municipal Institute for Women, which aims to end gender violence.
During the final question and answer round, Andrea's inspiring answer on "changing beauty standards" left the judges impressed.
"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," she said, adding that society has accentuated stereotypes.
India's Adline Castelino also turned out to be a strong contender bagging the position of 3rd runners-up, the highest placement for the country in the competition in 20 years.
Adline, on the other hand, faced a very interesting question about the COVID crisis in the world. "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?" she was asked.
To this, she responded, "Well, coming from India and for what India is experiencing right now, I have come to realise something very important. 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."
Apart from the above-mentioned contestants, one beauty queen who shone throughout the pageant is the history-making Miss Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin. Thuzar, who made it to the Top 21, also won the Miss Universe National Costume title with a powerful statement "Pray for Myanmar".
Adline's national costume was inspired by the national flower of India, the Lotus, which was designed by Hyderabad-based designer, Shravan Kummar. The lotus symbolizes knowledge and spirituality.
She currently works with a welfare organisation called ‘Vikas Sahayog Pratishthan’ (VSP) which functions to provide a sustainable livelihood for farmers, to curb farmers' suicides and inequality.
She has often advocated for spreading more awareness about the acceptance of the LGBT community. She also encourages leadership qualities in women by conducting leadership programmes.
(Edited Aparmita Das)
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