Vegan model and software engineer Andrea Meza has won the revered Miss Universe 2021 title this year.
The Miss Mexico title holder scooped the win against 74 other contestants after the initial 2020 competition was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miss Universe 2021
Announcing the win on her Instagram, the 26-year-old exclaimed: “What a moment! Ready for this journey!”
‘Miss Universe is Mexico!’, she added.
She accepted the crown onstage at the eagerly awaited event, held at the luxury Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood on May 16.
Upon receiving the win, she said: “We live in a society that more and more is more than advanced. As we advance as a society, we’ve also advanced with stereotypes.
“Nowadays beauty isn’t only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirit but in our hearts and the way that we conduct ourselves.”
Additionally, she said: “Never permit someone to tell you that you’re not valuable.”
The annual beauty pageant recognizes humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. Every year, it garners audiences reaching over 500 million.
Meza is outspoken about beauty standards and an advocate for ending gender-based violence.
She has a degree in software engineering and currently works closely with the Municipal Institute for Women, an organization seeking equal opportunities for women in Mexico.
Moreover, she uses her platform of 1.1 million followers to share her favorite healthy plant-based recipes. They include granola bowls, watermelon ceviche, and tofu salads.
In a statement released by Miss Universe, Meza added: “It is a dream come true to wear the Miss Universe crown. And, I hope to serve the world through my advocacy for equality in the year to come and beyond.”