The Miss Universe 2023 pageant, held on November 18 in El Salvador, was a celebration of diversity and empowerment. This year’s competition featured 84 contestants from around the world, each representing their respective countries with grace and poise. The event showcased the evolving nature of the pageant, with the inclusion of transgender women, mothers, and contestants who advocate for body inclusivity. Let’s take a closer look at the remarkable journey of Miss Universe 2023 and the inspiring women who participated.
The Evolution of Miss Universe
Over the years, the Miss Universe pageant has undergone significant changes to embrace inclusivity and represent the diverse beauty of women worldwide. In recent years, organizers have opened the doors for transgender contestants and allowed mothers and married women to compete. These progressive steps have paved the way for a more inclusive and empowering Miss Universe pageant.
A Historic Moment: Transgender Contestants
One of the groundbreaking moments of Miss Universe 2023 was the participation of two transgender contestants. Erica Robin from Pakistan and Marina Machete from Portugal made history by becoming the first transgender women to compete in their respective countries’ pageants. Their presence highlighted the importance of equality and representation for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.
Erica Robin, 24, is a passionate advocate against gender bias and inequality in the workplace. Despite facing backlash from some sectors of the community after being announced as Miss Universe Pakistan, she remained steadfast in her commitment to standing up for what she believes in. Robin’s journey exemplifies the strength and resilience of modern Pakistani women and their ability to celebrate success while embracing their cultural heritage.
Marina Machete, a 28-year-old flight attendant, won the title of Miss Portugal 2023, making her the first transgender contestant to achieve this honor in her country. Machete is a vocal proponent of equity and inclusion, and she believes that her challenges have shaped her into a compassionate and empathetic individual. Her journey serves as an inspiration to those facing adversity, reminding us of the power of courage and kindness.
Embracing Motherhood and Marriage
Another significant step towards inclusivity in Miss Universe 2023 was the acceptance of mothers and married women as contestants. Michelle Cohn from Guatemala and Camila Avella from Colombia made history by being the first mothers and married contestants, respectively, to compete in the pageant.
Michelle Cohn, 28, is a mother of two, a model, brand founder, and entrepreneur. She launched a swimwear brand in 2016 and actively promotes equal opportunities for deaf women. Cohn’s participation in Miss Universe is a testament to breaking stereotypes and empowering women. Her journey reminds us that motherhood does not limit a woman’s aspirations and achievements.
Camila Avella, 28, is a journalist and model who competed for the Miss Colombia title in 2018 but was not selected. When the opportunity arose for mothers and married women to compete in Miss Universe, Avella seized the moment to represent her country as a wife and mother. Her focus on uplifting young mothers through various resources, including financial management and mental health training, showcases her dedication to supporting women in all walks of life.
Advocating for Body Inclusivity
Miss Universe 2023 also marked a significant milestone in promoting body inclusivity. Jane Dipika Garrett from Nepal made history as the first body-inclusive contestant. At 22 years old, Garrett advocates for mental and hormonal health, drawing from her personal experience with depression caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Her Voices of Change campaign video emphasizes the importance of embracing different body shapes and sizes, celebrating the uniqueness of each individual.
Garrett’s determination, resilience, and genuine nature shine through in her journey. She embraces her true essence and nature without fear, showing the world that beauty comes in all forms. Through her advocacy, Garrett encourages women to celebrate their bodies and challenges societal norms surrounding beauty standards.
Crowning Miss Universe 2023
After a highly competitive competition, Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua was crowned Miss Universe 2023. Palacios captivated the judges with her grace, intelligence, and commitment to women’s empowerment. In the final round, when asked about a historical figure she would choose to spend a day with, Palacios selected the 18th-century British philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Palacios recognized Wollstonecraft as a trailblazer who broke boundaries and provided opportunities for women.
Palacios’ victory symbolizes the limitless potential of women in today’s society. Her message resonates with women worldwide, inspiring them to break barriers and pursue their dreams without limitations.
The Impact of Miss Universe 2023
Miss Universe 2023 was not only a global spectacle but also a platform for empowering women and promoting inclusivity. The participation of transgender contestants, mothers, married women, and body-inclusive advocates showcased the diverse and evolving nature of beauty. These remarkable women shattered stereotypes and inspired millions around the world.
The Miss Universe pageant continues to evolve, embracing the changing dynamics of society and celebrating the strength, resilience, and achievements of women. Through their stories and journeys, these contestants remind us that beauty encompasses much more than external appearance. It encompasses the power to overcome challenges, uplift others, and make a positive impact on the world.
As we celebrate Miss Universe 2023, let us continue to support and uplift women from all walks of life. Each contestant’s journey is a testament to the limitless potential within every individual, regardless of their background, identity, or circumstances. Together, we can create a world where every woman feels empowered to embrace her true beauty and make a difference.