SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (Diya TV) – The 72nd edition of Miss Universe 2023 rewrote the pageant’s history with groundbreaking moments that challenge stereotypes and celebrate diversity. From the inclusion of plus-size models to the first-ever Miss Pakistan making a statement in a burkini, this year’s competition is a trailblazing showcase of empowerment and inclusivity.
Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua won the 2023 Miss Universe crown. Anntonia Porsild of Thailand was first runner-up. Palacios is the first Nicaraguan woman to win Miss Universe.
Jane Dipika Garrett, representing Miss Nepal, made history as the first plus-size model to grace the Miss Universe stage. During the preliminary rounds in El Salvador on November 15, Garrett captivated the audience with her runway presence. Her inclusion sparked immediate controversy, but Garrett, a staunch advocate for body positivity, sees this as an opportunity to represent all women. In an interview with Hola magazine, she emphasized, “I think there’s not one way to be beautiful; every woman is beautiful just as they are.”
Garrett’s journey is a personal one, as she openly shared her past struggles with body image. “A few years ago, I was a very insecure person and had very low self-esteem. Now, I love myself, and that’s success to me,” she said. As she competes for the crown, Garrett champions a broader definition of beauty that embraces diversity and rejects rigid norms.
Erica Robin, the first-ever Miss Pakistan, wore a burkini during the swimsuit competition. The crowd in San Salvador, El Salvador, erupted in applause as Robin walked the stage, showcasing her commitment to breaking barriers. Despite facing criticism in her home country, Robin stands proud, saying, “I was ready to face any challenges ahead of me while maintaining my values as a young modern Pakistani woman, representing our rich culture and heritage.”
Robin, part of the Christian religious minority in Pakistan, emphasized her dedication to gender equality and volunteering at the nonprofit Karachi Down Syndrome Program.
Miss Colombia, Camila Avella, was the first married woman and mother to place since rule changes in August 2022. Miss Portugal, Marina Machete, was the first transgender contestant to reach the top 20.