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“Finally Representation”: People React To Miss Nepal Competing In This Year’s Miss Universe
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“Finally Representation”: People React To Miss Nepal Competing In This Year’s Miss Universe

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As good old Shakespeare once said: “Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good”, but in this year’s Miss Universe pageant, all contestants were anything but doubtfully gorgeous.

In fact, this year’s 72nd edition of the famous beauty pageant featured several historic firsts, with one woman seemingly winning viewers’ hearts, rather than the competition’s crown.

22-year-old Miss Nepal, Jane Dipika Garrett, has risen to fame this month after becoming the first-ever plus-sized contestant to take to the prestigious stage.

22-year-old Miss Nepal, Jane Dipika Garrett became the first-ever plus-sized contestant in Miss Universe

Image credits: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Image credits: Miss Universe

Jane had won the title of Miss Nepal earlier this year before representing her nation at the Miss Universe competition at the Gimnasio Nacional José Adolfo Pineda in San Salvador, El Salvador on November 18.

Jane said: “As a curvy woman who doesn’t follow certain beauty standards, I’m here to represent all women,” Indy100 reported.

Image credits: jadedipika_

Clips showing the Nepalese model taking to the stage in El Salvador sparked praise on social media, as a person wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): “OH WOW Nepal’s Jane Dipika Garrett is SUCH A BEAUTY and defies stereotype in Miss Universe.

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“I LOVE that the crowd is cheering for her.

“Finally a representation of plus size women in the Ms. U!!! GOO GOO JANE cheering for you.”

Another person commented: “Jane Dipika Garrett, you’ve broken barriers.

“Many women around the world see themselves in you.

“Congrats on Top 20, my sentimental fave.”

“Pleased to see Miss Nepal in the Miss Universe Competition which is dominated by slim ladies,” a separate individual chimed in.

Jane advocates for mental health as a result of her own battle with PCOS, which led to depression

Image credits: jadedipika_

They added: “It’s refreshing to see all body types there too.

“Women have all sorts of bodies and every kind of body is beautiful.”

Erica Robin was the first Pakistani woman to represent her country at the famous beauty pageant

Image credits: Miss Universe

Jane has used her platform to advocate for body positivity, hormonal health, especially polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and mental health.

The beauty queen was inspired to motivate others after her own battle with PCOS, which led to depression.

Jane previously told Hola Magazine, as per VT: “A few years ago, I was a very insecure person and had very low self-esteem.

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“Now, I love myself, and that’s success to me.”

Athenea Pérez made a groundbreaking appearance as the first Black woman to win the Miss Spain title

Image credits: Miss Universe

But the top 20 Miss Universe semifinalist isn’t the only contestant to break the numerous barriers Miss Universe has traditionally upheld.

This year’s pageant saw Miss Pakistan take to the Miss Universe stage for the first time.

Erica Robin, the 24-year-old representing the South Asian country, walked the swimsuit category donning a stunning pastel pink burkini that covered much of her body.

Nevertheless, her modesty didn’t suffice to protect Erica from certain conservative critics, as some Pakistan politicians called her participation “shameful” and even the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul-Haq Kakar ordered an investigation, BBC News reported.

Miss Colombia, Camila Avella, was the first mother and married woman to place in Miss Universe

Image credits: Miss Universe

Erica reportedly responded to the critics: “It feels great to represent Pakistan.

“But I don’t understand where the backlash is coming from.

“I think it is this idea that I would be parading in a swimsuit in a room full of men.”

Prior to the competition, the beauty queen had reportedly said she hoped to “change [the] mindset that Pakistan is a backward country”.

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It is interesting to note that Erica has previously revealed in her Miss Universe bio that she is among the 1% of Christians in Pakistan.

She reportedly opened up regarding backlash for being a Christian representing a predominantly Muslim country: “Despite these criticisms, 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, and showing the world that Pakistan can celebrate the success of women.”

Miss Portugal, Marina Machete, stood out as the first transgender contestant to place at the 2023 pageant

Image credits: Miss Universe

Meanwhile, Athenea Pérez, who placed in the top 10, made a groundbreaking appearance as the first Black woman to win the Miss Spain title.

Advocating for racial equality in Spain, Athenea said in her Miss Universe introduction video that she was raised by a single immigrant mother, and she hoped her story could “inspire people.”

She further stated: “Diversity is here, and diversity is now, it’s today.”

Athenea ended up winning the Miss Congeniality title.

Guatemala’s Michelle Cohn became the first married mother of two to compete in the pageant

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Image credits: Miss Universe

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Another trailblazing moment emerged when Miss Portugal, Marina Machete, stood out as the first transgender contestant to place at the 2023 pageant.

Prior to competing, the 28-year-old flight attendant wrote on Instagram that she was “proud to be the first trans woman to compete for the title of Miss Universe Portugal”.

“For many years I wasn’t eligible to compete, and now it’s such an honor to be a part of this incredible group of candidates,” she added.

Rikkie Valerie Kollé was the first transgender woman to represent The Netherlands

Image credits: Miss Universe

All in all, the Miss Universe 2023 crown was won by Miss Nicaragua, 23-year-old Sheynnis Palacios, who became the first woman from Nicaragua to earn the prestigious title.

During the final round, Business Insider reported that the top three contestants were all asked the question: “If you could live one year in another woman’s shoes, who would you choose and why?”

The Miss Universe 2023 crown was won by Miss Nicaragua

Image credits: Miss Universe

Accordingly, Sheynnis chose the women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft.

The Nicaraguan beauty has used her Miss Universe platform to open up about her struggles with anxiety, starting the project “Understand Your Mind” to advocate for women who experience mental health issues.

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Miss Universe brought many happy viewers this year

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vonblade avatar
VonBlade
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's great that she's doing her thing. I do somewhat grow weary of the "look at this non-standard sized person, aren't they beautiful" narrative though. Beautiful people are that regardless of size. Not all fat people are gorgeous, neither are all thin people. But we have to be wary of "that supermodel is thin and it's disgusting; this model is fat and it's beautiful" knee-jerk response to everyone. Some people are just thin. Some people are just chunky. Don't make some young person who is naturally stick thin feel bad about themselves just because they're not plus sized. /diatribe

brianne_amos avatar
Brainmas
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So true. My daughter is extremely thin and can't gain wait. I'm talking 16, 90lbs, eats constantly and isn't super active. She alwsys gets comments on her size. She has a very fast metabolism and actually an underperforming thyroid which would normally make a person gain weight. She is very self conscious because of it and it is hard to find her clothes.

Load More Replies...
acey-ace16 avatar
Ace
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't it time (or well past it) that beauty pageants should be done away with? I mean, beauty standards have always been a changeable thing, but if you're going to have such competitions then they should surely be up to the judges to decide what they do and do not consider beautiful).

apatheistaccount2 avatar
Apatheist Account2
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't that up to women? If no-one entered, they would peter out. No-one is forcing them into it; who are we to say they can't do it if they want to?

Load More Replies...
copper-fractions avatar
Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yet you can't break free from the idea that you need people to judge you on your appearance instead of who you are as a person. That wall around women is one that doesn't seem possible to break down, largely because women won't allow it to happen.

Load More Comments
vonblade avatar
VonBlade
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's great that she's doing her thing. I do somewhat grow weary of the "look at this non-standard sized person, aren't they beautiful" narrative though. Beautiful people are that regardless of size. Not all fat people are gorgeous, neither are all thin people. But we have to be wary of "that supermodel is thin and it's disgusting; this model is fat and it's beautiful" knee-jerk response to everyone. Some people are just thin. Some people are just chunky. Don't make some young person who is naturally stick thin feel bad about themselves just because they're not plus sized. /diatribe

brianne_amos avatar
Brainmas
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So true. My daughter is extremely thin and can't gain wait. I'm talking 16, 90lbs, eats constantly and isn't super active. She alwsys gets comments on her size. She has a very fast metabolism and actually an underperforming thyroid which would normally make a person gain weight. She is very self conscious because of it and it is hard to find her clothes.

Load More Replies...
acey-ace16 avatar
Ace
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't it time (or well past it) that beauty pageants should be done away with? I mean, beauty standards have always been a changeable thing, but if you're going to have such competitions then they should surely be up to the judges to decide what they do and do not consider beautiful).

apatheistaccount2 avatar
Apatheist Account2
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't that up to women? If no-one entered, they would peter out. No-one is forcing them into it; who are we to say they can't do it if they want to?

Load More Replies...
copper-fractions avatar
Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yet you can't break free from the idea that you need people to judge you on your appearance instead of who you are as a person. That wall around women is one that doesn't seem possible to break down, largely because women won't allow it to happen.

Load More Comments
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