The 69th annual pageant, held in Hollywood, Florida, emerged as one of the most important and talked-about beauty contests.
The first reason which enhanced the importance of this year’s competition was its unexpected delay for one year as the 2020 contest was canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The onset of the pandemic had given Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi an extra year with the Miss World Crown.
The second reason which brought the contest to the limelight was the political messages and impressions propagated by the contestants through their costumes, placards, and verbal depiction.
The 2021 Miss World title was bagged by Mexico’s Andrea Meza. 26-year-old Meza is 1.80 meters tall with brown hair and hazel eyes. In addition to holding the title of Miss World 2021, Meza is a software engineer, model, certified makeup artist, activist, and vegan.
It may be noted that Meza hails from Chihuahua City, Mexico, the same region, about which the former US President Donald Trump had been voicing discriminating views. The ex-president had called Mexican immigrants ‘drug dealers’ and ‘rapists’.
Those were the words, which perhaps moved Meza to post on Instagram, “MÉXICO ESTO ES PARA TI,” which reads in English: “Mexico this is for you.”
But with Meza being crowned for the Miss World title, it seems that the country’s pageant organizers have now decided not to send contestants to Trump’s pageant.
This gesture not only suggests that the US has now completely abandoned ‘Trump’s psyche’ that has kept the country under its spell for years, but that the Americans have transformed their idea of beauty altogether.
America has accepted that whom we deem ‘beautiful’ is a reflection of our values. The same was addressed by Meza in the contest’s final statement round, that beauty is not only about having a conventionally attractive external aesthetic — it’s also about one’s inner beliefs, and values.
And it is hoped that under the new Democratic rule, the US will go on apprehending that in this more expansive modern world we are all beautiful, including the ‘drug dealers’ of Mexico, and all other migrants, for whom, America has shut down its borders. This also goes to those immigrants, who are tolerating the discrimination meted out to them within US territories.
Pageantry and Political Messages Mixed
The biased and double-standards of America and the rest of the ‘civilized world’ were also noticed by other contestants. That’s why the pageant was more a protest demonstration than a beauty contest.
Pray for Myanmar
Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, Thuzar Wint Lwin, while striding down the runway at the pageant, unfurled a scroll she’d been carrying, which read: “Pray for Myanmar”.
Stop Asian Hate
Miss Universe Singapore, Bernadette Belle Ong, walked the ramp in a costume depicting the colors of Singapore’s national flag. There was a hand-painted sign on the back of her costume, which read: “Stop Asian Hate”.
Both Asian contestants showed a mirror to Americans, who have been committing hate crimes against Asian Americans for a long time.
Ong posted on Instagram about her political message, “What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?”.