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Nepal's Jane Garrett defies beauty standards at Miss Universe 2023 as first plus-size candidate

By Melanie Uson Published Nov 16, 2023 4:37 pm

Marking another pageant’s first, Miss Universe Nepal 2023 Jane Dipika Garrett has become the sole plus-size candidate.

The 23-year-old beauty queen was among the crowd’s favorites during the preliminary competition held on Thursday, Nov. 16 (PHT) in El Salvador, earning loud cheers from the crowd as she made her way to the stage.

The nurse-entrepreneur also landed a spot on the trending topic list in X (formerly Twitter), earning over 12,000 posts as of writing. 

“She deserves the cheers! Such a confident woman,” a social media user wrote

“THE CHEERS FOR MISS NEPAL JANE GARRETT AS SHE EMERGES IN HER  [Rubin Singer] SWIMSUIT,” veteran reporter Dyan Castillejo wrote. “She truly wears her advocacy of body positivity on her sleeve.” 

In September, Jane made headlines after making history both in her country and in the international pageantry being the first plus-size candidate to win and become a delegate. 

Jane advocates for body positivity and women’s hormonal and mental health. "As a curvy woman who doesn’t follow certain beauty standards, I’m here to represent all women,” she previously said. “I think there’s not one way to be beautiful, every woman is beautiful just as they are.” 

She also opened up about how she was able to power through her insecurities, and now making a statement in the pageant world. 

 “I think success varies depending on each person. For me, to be on this stage and to speak my truth is something that matters a lot,” she said.  

“A few years ago, I was a very insecure person and had very low self-esteem. Now, I love myself, and that’s success [for]me,” she added. 

The Miss Universe organization has been breaking barriers in the past years. It had its first trans woman candidate named Angela Ponce of Spain, as well as other candidates who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, like Miss Universe Myanmar 2019 Zin Htet who came out as lesbian, and the Philippines' Michelle Dee who announced that she’s bisexual.

In 2022, the organization has also opened its doors to aspiring beauty queens who are mothers, married, and divorcees.

This year’s final competition will be held on Sunday, November 19 at 9 a.m. (PHT). Filipino pageant fans can watch it for free via ABS-CBN platforms A2Z Channel 11, Kapamilya Channel, Metro Channel, and iWantTFC.