The Miss Universe pageant at first glance can be regarded as a contest based solely off of looks, however, what many might overlook is that it displays representation from around the world of all different backgrounds and cultures on a single stage.
The 68th Miss Universe was hosted in Thailand by Steve Harvey, Carson Kressley, and Ashley Graham and included 94 contestants representing their respective nations.
Angela Ponce, Miss Spain, made history as the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant. Although, she did not make it to the Top 20, it was a victory in itself to represent and inspire the LGBTQ community.
Prior to the event, there was a strike of controversy facing Sarah Rose Summers, Miss USA, as she was condemned for mocking Miss Vietnam and Miss Cambodia for their lack of English speaking skills during an interview.
The finalists of Miss Universe were determined through the highest ranking average in each of the categories which included: evening gown, swimsuit, and a personality interview. The two contestants were Catriona Gray, Miss Philippines and Tamaryn Green, Miss South Africa.
Catriona Gray of the Philippines was crowned Miss Universe and became the fourth Filipino to win this title. With the last win in 2015 from Pia Wurtzbach, and the previous from Margie Moran in 1973 and Gloria Diaz in 1969.
Gray is a Filipino-Australian. At only age 24 she has won numerous titles and brings the people of the Philippines great pride and representation with this win. Winning Miss Universe has been a lifelong dream starting back to Gray’s early pageant days in her childhood and now has finally achieved a dream she yearned for.
As Gray owns this reign for the next year she intends on continuing her efforts in the many philanthropic duties she takes part in and to further represent the Philippines.