Miss Mexico, Andrea Meza has taken the crown and has won the 69th Miss Universe title in 2021.
Australia’s Maria Thattil missed out on the top spot, but did Australia extremely proud, making it to the top 10.
The 26-year-old won over 73 other contestants at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The runner-up was Miss Brazil Julia Gama and the second runner-up Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo.
The newly titled Miss Universe has a degree in software engineering. Her official profile on the Miss Universe website says:
Andrea Meza has a degree in software engineering and is proud to be a woman who graduated in a male dominated field of study.
Andrea is an activist, focused on women's rights and inclusion and currently works closely with the Municipal Institute for Women, which aims to end gender violence.
Andrea has also been part of a global charity association raising funds in India, Indonesia and China for the downtrodden. She is a certified make-up artist and model, who is also passionate about being active.
She practices crossfit and extreme sports, such as rappel and sand boarding. Her concern for the wellbeing of the world and animals led her to become a vegan. Andrea is also the official Tourism Brand Ambassador for Chihuahua, promoting the best touristic attractions and rich culture her beautiful home offers.
Making Australia proud, 28-year-old Maria Thattil made it to the top 10, with the official Miss Australia account congratulating her saying:
WE ARE SO PROUD! ⭐️⭐️ @mariathattil CONGRATULATIONS on not only making @missuniverse TOP 10 in the world, but for representing ALL of Australia with so much pride, strength and love! ♥️
You’ve already changed the lives of so many around the world, with or without the Miss Universe crown.💛 WE LOVE YOU! x x x
Thattil's profile on the Miss Universe website says:
Maria Thattil is a multi-hyphenate who is a founder, speaker, corporate professional, digital creator and fierce activist for inclusivity, equality and empowerment. Before she started training to be an accredited life coach, she graduated with a psychology degree with Honours, and then with a Masters degree in Management with First Class Honours, and was nominated for a scholarship to Harvard University. Maria’s biggest hobby is volunteering and is a member of the United Nations (UN) Association of Australia, works as an ambassador for the SisterWorks charity and volunteers for Mission Australia.
As an Australian woman of Indian descent, a daughter of immigrants, and a product of a hybrid culture, Maria believes her upbringing has gifted her with unique experiences and fuels her passion for inclusivity. She is the founder of her own podcast ‘Mind With Me’ which is a curation of conversations and interviews on a myriad of critical and complex topics.
The 28-year-old stunned audiences and she took to social media to thank her team and explain why she competed in the pageant:
"Tonight, I competed as @missuniverseaustralia.official in the @missuniverse Preliminary Show. And why did I compete? Because barriers are made to be broken, and ceilings were meant to be shattered. Preliminaries finished with heart and soul. Thank you to the entire team of mine back home in Australia that made this possible."
Image Credits: (MissUniverse / Facebook | missuniverseAU / Facebook)