A celebration of women around the world, Miss Universe continues to merge female empowerment, culture, and philanthropy together in its 72nd edition.
For 72 years, the Miss Universe competition has celebrated women from all cultures and backgrounds worldwide, empowering their stories and serving as a platform for their advocacies. Among its long list of winners are Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray, who have proudly represented the Philippines and given unforgettable performances in the competition.
Out of over 90 contestants, Miss Universe Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios won the prestigious title and is the first Miss Universe crowned from her country. Palacios made her pageant debut at the Miss Teen Nicaragua when she won the 2016 title. In 2020, she was crowned Miss World Nicaragua 2020 and represented her country at the Miss World 2021 pageant, where she was one of the top 40 finalists. Palacios also has a degree in mass communications from the Universidad Centroamericana (Central American University), using it to advocate for mental health awareness through her “Understand Your Mind” project.
In the competition, Palacios carried herself with confidence in her beauty and intelligence. Jorge Salazar designed her national costume, inspired by the great-tailed grackle found in the Americas. For the evening gown category, she donned the flag colors of her country in her custom beaded silver gown and floor-length blue cape.
For the final question, Palacios was asked, “If you could live one year in another woman’s shoes, who would you choose and why?” Not missing a beat, she answered through her interpreter: “I would choose Mary Wollstonecraft because she opened a gap and gave an opportunity to many women.” Admiring the late English writer and advocate, she also said that she would want that income gap to open up, “So that women could work in any area that they choose to work in because there are no limitations for women.”
Cheers erupted when Palacios won, making her Miss Universe 2023. With the Force For Good Crown placed on top of her head by Miss Universe 2022 R’bonney Gabriel, Palacios took her first walk as the reigning Miss Universe.
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