Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday, 16 May, in Florida. On the other hand, fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used the platform to draw attention to the military coup in her country.
Sunday saw Miss Universe's return to television after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time owing to the raging coronavirus pandemic.
Twenty-six-year old Andrea Meza finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in the event that was hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.
Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th Miss Universe pageant, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
While Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin urged everyone to speak about what was happening in her country, Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong used the national costume portion to make a political statement.
Dressed in a red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she wore a cape in the colors of the Singaporean flag. Painted were the words "Stop Asian Hate."
"What is this platform for if I can't use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?" she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit.
The United States in particular has seen a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year.
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