Miss Universe 2020 Contestants Made Powerful Political Statements During Pageant
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Three Miss Universe hopefuls stood in the spotlight during the 2020 pageant national costume contest to make political statements on issues that matter to them.
Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong, Miss Uruguay Lola de los Santos and Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin all showed strong looks on the runway.
The 26-year-old Ong wore a red and white outfit that was inspired by the national flag of Singapore, as well as the cape reading "Stop Asian Hate".
"What is this platform for if I can't use it to send a strong message of resistance to prejudice and violence? Thank you #MissUniverse for giving me this opportunity !!!" She wrote about the look on Instagram.
"My national costume is inspired by Singapore's national flag," she added, noting that the costume symbolizes "unity for all and social harmony in a multiracial, multicultural and interfaith country".
RELATED: Miss Mexico Andrea Meza Wins Miss Universe 2020
The 23-year-old De los Santos showed her support for the LGBTQ community and rocked a black body with a rainbow skirt that read "No more hate, no violence, rejection, discrimination".
Meanwhile, Miss Myanmar, 22, took the stage in a traditional outfit and carried a scroll with the strong message: "Pray for Myanmar." She went on to win the round.
Her outfit was inspired by the Chin ethnic costume from northwest Myanmar, "where fighting has raged between the army and anti-junta militia fighters in recent days," according to Reuters.
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Reuters reports that at least 790 people have been killed in the Southeast Asian nation since a military coup took power on February 1 and toppled elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group.
In addition, the activist group says more than 5,000 people have been arrested since then and 4,000 are still detained.
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Miss Mexico Andrea Meza, 26, won the grand prize in the global competition that was suspended for a year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
She knocked out 73 other women from their countries and territories, including runner-up Miss Brazil Julia Gama and runner-up Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo.
Meza, who, according to her biography, has a degree in software engineering, was awarded the crown by her successor, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi.
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