The Miss Universe pageant returned on television on Sunday night, after being canceled for the first time in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrea Meza, 26, placed first in a dazzling televised event organized by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo, ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists.
The 26-year-old model-software engineer, who was crowned by 2019 winner Zozibini Tunzi, responded to her victory on Instagram, writing, ‘MISS UNIVERSE IS MÉXICO!’ and afterward, ‘MÉXICO ESTO ES PARA TI,’ which translates as ‘Mexico is for you.’
Andrea dazzled in a fiery red-fringed gown designed by Ivis Lenin for the big finale, accepting the award onstage at Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Holywood.
During the final statement round, Miss Mexico was asked to address the topic of changing beauty standards. “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 via a translator. “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.”
Just minutes ago, Miss Mexico faced the final round of questions, in which she was asked how she would have tackled the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe there is not a perfect way to handle this hard situation such as COVID-19,” she explained. “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.”
Meza also represented her country by wearing a national costume of an Aztec dragon showcasing thousands of beads and brightly colored feathers.
In the past, the pageant has been castigated for objectifying the contestants.
In recent years, the competition’s profile has changed, with a greater emphasis on women’s empowerment, advocacy, and activism.