Shortly after the glitzy Miss Universe finals night that crowned Miss Mexico Andrea Meza, Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo shared an Instagram Live with fellow candidate Miss Bolivia Lenka Nemer.
The two beauties shared an empowering message to encourage other delegates and pageant fans to cheer up and consider their journey in the world's most prestigious pageant as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“This is a beautiful start for something new. One girl was crowned, but every one of us, we feel like queens already even without the title. And the impact that you make on other people, it’s not every day that we get to represent our country. It’s a great opportunity for us and we are happy to be here,” Mateo shared in an Instagram Live by Miss Bolivia who, on the other hand, said that the pageant has built a long-lasting friendship among the delegates.
Mateo ended her Miss Universe journey after failing to secure a spot in the Top 10 where delegates competed in their long gown.
Miss Mexico, a 26-year-old make-up artist, and model, who also has a degree in software engineering, edged out 73 other delegates vying for the Miss Universe crown in the pageant's 69th edition.
A pageant veteran, Meza won first runner-up in Miss World 2017 and the third Mexican to win Miss Universe.
The Mexican beauty advocates women's rights and inclusion and currently works with the Municipal Institute for Women that focuses on ending gender violence. A vegan and animal lover, she is the official Tourism Brand Ambassador for Chihuahuas, helping promote Mexico’s touristic attractions and rich culture.
During the crucial Q & A portion, Meza was asked: “If you were the leader of your country, how would you have handled the COVID-19 pandemic?”
“I believe there is no perfect way to handle this hard situation such as COVID-19, but I believe what I would have done is to 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've taken care of them since the beginning,” Meza replied.
Meanwhile, in the final statement segment, where she picked the topic on “Changing Beauty Standards,” Meza underscored her speech with the powerful line, “Never let someone say that you are not valuable.”
Miss Brazil Julia Gama, 26, who was Miss World 2014 Top 10 and co-winner of the “Beauty with a Purpose award,” finished first runner-up, while Miss Peru Janick Maceta del Castillo, 26, was named 2nd runner-up.
Miss India Adline Castelino, 22, and Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jimenez, 24, were named 3rd and 4th runners-up, respectively.
Myanmar’s Thuzar Wint Lwin, the first-ever semi-finalist from her country won the National Costume award.
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