(CMR) Several Caribbean contestants made it to the top 10 of the Miss Universe 2021 pageant on Sunday, but the crown was won by Mexico's Andrea Meza.
The runner-up was Miss Brazil Julia Gama, and the second runner-up Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo. Also in the top five were Kimberly Jiménez Rodríguez from the Dominican Republic and Adline Castelino from India.
The five other participants who made the top ten were Miss Jamaica Miqueal-Symone Williams, Miss Australia Maria Thattil, Miss Puerto Rico Estefanía Soto Torres, Miss Thailand Amanda Obdam, and Miss Costa Rica Ivonne Cerdas.
Meza is the third Mexican woman in history to win the contest. She has a degree in software engineering, addressed the topic of changing beauty standards during the final round, stating that “as we have advanced as a society, we have 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. Never permit someone to tell you that you're not valuable,” Meza added.
Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico all made their countries proud despite not winning the crown.
Miss Jamaica Miqueal-Symone Williams (24) has a degree in marketing and has worked as a model for brands including Valentino, Loreal, and Armani. She recently created The Bloom Initiative, which provides internet access to Jamaican children who otherwise would not be able to attend their online school classes.
Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jiménez Rodríguez (24) was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Dominican Republic. She is working toward a double BA in forensic sciences and business administration and is also a model and stage actress. Jiménez supports an orphanage in her hometown, La Romana, and is a founding member of the Dominican Republic Women's Club.
Miss Puerto Rico Estefanía Natalia Soto Torres (29) has a bachelor's degree in foreign languages and a master's degree in intercultural mediation and has studied in France, Belgium, and Mexico. She has worked for international organizations including Eurocities in Brussels, the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., and at the European Patent Organization in La Haya.