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‘Never permit someone to tell you that you’re not valuable’: Andrea Meza and other finalists’ Miss Universe speeches

By CAMILLE SANTIAGO Published May 17, 2021 2:47 pm

The most anticipated Miss Universe 2020 pageant has finally concluded and we witnessed the crowning of Mexico's Andrea Meza, the third Mexican to win the Miss Universe title.

Prior to the announcement, the Top 5 ladies went through a round of Q&A and another round for final speeches, where they talked freely about their opinions and inspiring thoughts on today's pressing social issues.

Newly-crowned Miss Universe Andrea Meza of Mexico wanted to change society's perception of beauty by reminding the universe that beauty goes beyond physical looks. "We live in a society that more and more is more in advanced...and as we advanced 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," she said. "Never permit someone to tell you that you’re not valuable," Meza added.

For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirit but in our hearts, and the way that we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you you are not valuable. — Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza on changing beauty standards.

Julia Gama of Brazil, the pageant's first runner-up, focused her speech on educating younger generations on climate change. She said: "It is our collective responsibility to start taking action in order to save our planet. Just by the little by little, we can start making a difference. Little by little, by recycling, by teaching young generations about taking care of our beautiful, beautiful earth, we are just here for one time and this is the time that we have to start taking care of it. Thank you."

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May we all tonight remember to normalize conversations about anxiety or depression because we all hurt sometimes and we don't need to face it alone. — Miss Universe Peru Janick Maceta on mental health

While mental health is still a taboo topic in many countries, second runner-up Janick Maceta of Peru encourages everyone to "normalize conversations" about it and reminds everyone to "support each other." "Mental health is still a very stigmatized topic and it keeps us from giving the right assistance to those in need," Maceta said in her speech.

"So may we all tonight remember to normalize conversations about anxiety or depression because we all hurt sometimes but we don't need to face it alone. May we all come together because togetherness is our strength and together we can overcome anything. So let's support each other and let's share empathy. Thank you," she ended.

India's Adline Castelino, third runner-up, explained the importance of freedom of speech and the right to protest. She specifically focused on the protest of women for their rights. Castelino said: "We've seen many protests in the recent days especially, I want to point out the protests that women have made throughout the years with equal rights. Until today, we’re lacking them because protests help us raise our voice against what's happening, against inequality. It helps minorities in any democracy to raise their voice. So the protest is very important, but what's more important is when you use it because with every right comes a responsibility, so use it with power."

And finally, fourth runner-up Kimberly Jimenez of Dominican Republic is proud that through her platform as a beauty queen and representative of her country, she is able to help elevate her country's tourism, which in turn will benefit and help raise its economy and alleviate poverty.

"During this pandemic, my country Dominican Republic, has risen to 23% poverty rate. For me, being able to be in front of you guys representing Dominican Republic, makes me incredibly proud that it will help our tourism and us as human beings. We have to realize there are so many people out there that need our help and we can overcome anything," Jimenez said.

Photos courtesy of Miss Universe/Tracy Nguyen