After a year without the pageant due to the coronavirus pandemic, Andrea Meza of Mexico has officially been crowned Miss Universe 2021.
The 26-year-old model, who has a software engineering degree, was crowned by 2019 title holder Zozibini Tunzi at the Miss Universe competition which finally held on May 16 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.
Meza finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.
For the grand finale, Andrea dazzled in a flaming red-fringed gown designed by Ivis Lenin to accept the honor onstage Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
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 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.”
And just minutes before, Miss Mexico also faced the final question round where she was asked to share how she would have handled 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 is reportedly the third Mexican woman to ever win the crown after Lupita Jones and Ximena Navarrete.
See photos below: