The 69th Miss Universe pageant was filled with plenty of significant moments, to say the least — from finalists giving their take on the pandemic to contestants unveiling protest messages during the competition’s popular “national costume” segment.
Held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, the final leg of the competition, which took place on 16 May, saw over 70 contestants vying for the coveted title of Miss Universe 2020-21. The title eventually went to 26-year-old Andrea Meza from Mexico.
Beyond their stunning looks and graceful demeanour, there’s so much more than meets the eye with these beautiful glamazons. Ahead, we highlight interesting facts about the top five finalists of Miss Universe 2020-21 that you should know.
Winner Andrea Meza (Mexico)
Andrea wears many “crowns” — with her most recent “role" being the winner of this year’s pageant. She also has a software engineering degree from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua and is a certified makeup artist. Plus, she launched her own activewear line, Andrea Meza Activewear in September 2020.
Standing at a towering 1.8 metres tall, the statuesque model is also vegan and enjoys extreme sports, such as rappelling and sandboarding, in her free time. During the competition, Andrea also made an impactful final statement that addressed redefining beauty standards: "As we advance as a society, we also advanced with stereotypes. 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 we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you you're not valuable.”
Runner-up Julia Gama (Brazil)
Brazilian actress and model Julia Gama speaks five languages, including Mandarin, Spanish and German. The 28-year-old has also held the title of Ambassador of the Fight Against Hansen’s Disease for six years running, where she’s used her influence to raise awareness surrounding the chronic infectious disease that can affect the nerves, skin, eyes and lining of the nose.
Finalist Janick Maceta del Castillo (Peru)
27-year-old Peruvian model Janick is an audio engineer, music producer and the co-founder of the record label, Top of New York. In addition, she also founded Little Heroes Peru, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that supports children who are or have been victims of sexual violence.
During the competition’s question and answer round, she also delivered an uplifting message to women who were experiencing sexual or domestic abuse: "I will tell them that I admire their strength, that they're survivors, and I've been there, too. I became the hero of my own story that's why I advocate saving little girls from being victims. They are survivors, they are heroes, they have the power. Don't ever, ever make anyone silence your voice."
Finalist Adline Castelino (India)
Born and raised in Kuwait, Adline moved to India at the age of 15 and holds a degree in Business Administration from Wilson College in India. Although she’s appeared in numerous fashion campaigns and magazine covers such as FEMINA India, the 22-year-old has revealed that her true passion lies in business.
She’s also the Goodwill Ambassador for Smile Train, a nonprofit organisation that aims to transform the lives of children born with cleft lips and palates, and the current face of the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Free India Campaign.
Finalist Kimberly Jiménez (Dominican Republic)
24-year-old stage actress and model Kimberly Jiménez is currently pursuing a double bachelor’s degree in forensic sciences and business administration and is also a founding member of the Dominican Republic Women’s Club, which is dedicated to providing services to women with breast cancer.
Raised in an all-women household, she also humbly spoke about the importance of teaching leadership to young girls during the competition, stating that she “[doesn’t] need a title to be able to help others and to be able to support them.”
What’s one key trait that you believe every modern pageant queen ought to possess?